Retail: Burgerville, REI

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BurgervilleBurgerville

Green winner logoHow can fast food be green? Try eating at Burgerville, where 100 percent of the energy used is offset with wind credits. As a leader in an industry not known for being environmentally friendly, Burgerville, with 39 locations stretching from Centralia to Corvallis, Ore., has also gone the extra mile to ensure that its food does no environmental harm coming into the restaurant or going out—the chain buys most of its products from local food producers and donates unused inventory to food banks.

Location: Vancouver

Employees: 1,100+

Website: burgerville.com

In order to cut waste, the restaurant chain instituted a company-wide, employee-led recycling and composting program, which has helped Burgerville reduce its food waste by 83 percent. If that isn’t above and beyond most restaurants, Burgerville is also the first quick-service restaurant chain in the nation to use International Paper’s completely compostable Ecotainer drink cup.

REI

REI
REI employee Peter Streit planting trees.

Green winner logoAs an outdoor adventure supply company, it’s in REI’s best interest to help keep the environment pristine. With changes for the better being instituted at almost every level of the company, REI was a strong standout in the retail category. Starting with the little things, REI reduced its paper usage and continues to search for environmentally friendly products for paper and packaging. Also an avid recycler, 84 percent of REI’s waste, 9,064 tons, was recycled in 2009, an increase over 2008.

Location: Kent

Employees: 9,400

Website: rei.com

Despite the addition of five new stores, REI was able to reduce its total energy usage by 2 percent from 2008 to 2009. By the end of 2009, 21 stores were operating solely on green power. Not wanting to become stagnant in its efforts, REI has set lofty goals to send zero waste to landfills by 2020 and continues to analyze its impact on the environment in the United States and abroad.

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