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REI's New Product Impact Standards

REI’s New Product Impact Standards

REI’s new Product Impact Standards for 2021, now include diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements for companies wanting REI shelf space.   The standards include the retailer’s core requirements as well as optional preferred attributes.   REI is an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation, organized as a consumers’ co-operative.  The retailer sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing, as well as outdoor-oriented experiences, recreation activities, and courses.

 

Back in 2018, REI had originally devised its product standards to focus on ethical production practices and sustainability.  As part of this update, REI has also added two new programs to its list of preferred attributes—a collection of voluntary business certifications that vendor brands are encouraged to pursue, such as for certifications for aspects of climate and environmental stewardship, chemicals management, and animal welfare.

 

REI’s product impact standards are part of the emerging interest among global investors to evaluate environmental, social and governance issues (so called ESG Investing) when investing and operating.   REI’s dedication to sustainable and ethical production, diversity, equity, and inclusion are precisely what ESG Investing seeks to encourage.

 

According to an article by SNEWS, the outdoor recreation retailer consulted with brands of various sizes and product categories, as well as with more than a dozen DEI nonprofits, advocates, and ambassadors.   The advice from such third-parties included feasibility considerations.  SNEW is an outdoor industry publication of Pocket Outdoor Media Inc.

 

The full December 9, 2020 article by SNEWS is available at this link, along with with reference to the full document describing these REI standards:  REI holds vendors accountable for climate and DEI practices with new product standards

Rep. Haaland Nominated to Lead Interior Dept.

Rep. Haaland Nominated for Interior Department

Rep. Haaland is nominated to lead the Interior Department.   With Senate confirmation, Rep. Haaland will become the first Native American to serve as Cabinet secretary.

 

President-elect Joe Biden nominated Rep. Debra Haaland to helm the U.S. Department of the Interior, a federal agency forever linked with the history of Native Americans since the nation’s founding.   The Albuquerque Journal has reported that Haaland’s nomination reflects Biden’s commitment to address the historical mistreatment of Native Americans including violations of treaty obligations.

 

The Interior Department administers roughly 500 million acres of public lands and plays a key policy role on tribal issues.   In her role, Rep. Debra Haaland’s Interior Department will oversee two key tribal offices – the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) and the Bureau of Indian Education.  The U.S. Interior Department was first established in 1849, actually established after the BIA was first established in 1824 – the oldest agency within the Department of the Interior.

 

Rep. Haaland is a Laguna Pueblo member and is well-known for her leadership roles in tribal government, administration, and economic development programs and enterprises.  Laguna Pueblo is a federally-recognized tribe of Native American Pueblo people situated to the west of metro Albuquerque, New Mexico.   The Laguna Pueblo tribal reservation includes approximately 500,000 acres of land situated in Cibola, Valencia, Bernalillo and Sandoval counties.

 

A full article regarding U.S. Rep. Haaland being nominated to lead the Interior Department, is available at the Albuquerque Journal:  Haaland gets historic Cabinet nomination

 

 

Rep. Haaland is Nominated to Lead the Interior Department

The U.S. Interior Department administers roughly 500 million acres of public lands, involving a myriad of environmental, energy, and public access issues and concerns.

Planned Community Consultants

Golf Courses Remain a Focus for Redevelopment

Golf courses remain a focus for redevelopment and repurposing as property owners explore greater highest-and-best use for their golf assets.

 

The interest in such redevelopment is straight-forward.  Golf courses were overbuilt in the U.S. and in some global regions, and the 2008 recession decimated many golf owner’s financial resources.   At the same time golf participation has steadily declined year over year, at least through 2019 (there is an exception in 2020 due to Covid-19).  With this confluence of economic difficulties and ever-changing consumer preferences for their leisure-time activities, in many instances golf course assets offered a tantalizing opportunity for adaptive re-use and repurposing.  For many cities and communities with increasing interest in local economic development and specific agendas such as affordable (if not more inclusionary) housing, these golf assets are particularly ripe for highest-and-best-use consideration.

 

The mega project proposed by Hines for Riverwalk Golf Course in San Diego, will likely spur even greater interest in golf course redevelopment.   Golf courses are often situated within attractive residential communities, with reasonable roadway access and ingress/egress for feasible re-purposing as residential projects.   Hines found such an opportunity with the Riverwalk site in a decidedly “best case” way – the Riverwalk golf course just happens to be so well-located within its region that it can support substantial mixed-use redevelopment.  Hines has proposed such a mega redevelopment project there, which could see in excess of $1 billion in new development.

 

For more information about golf course redevelopment, we have started tracking such projects as part of our ongoing client project research.   We expect golf courses to remain a focus for redevelopment, for some time to come.   StoneCreek Partners also tracks other major real estate asset classes, with some of our research and tracking published here online.   The link is available  here:

 

Golf Course Redevelopment – the Latest

 

ACE Act for conservation

Conservation Act Passes Congress, Now Heads to President’s Desk

SCP’s The Growth Monitor

 

In a bi-partisan vote, a next conservation act has passed the U.S. Senate.   The unanimous vote in the Senate pertains to America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, S. 3051 (the “ACE Act”), a package of natural resource management and conservation provisions.  The House of Representatives is expected to take up the legislation, and vote, as early as next week.

 

SCP Growth Monitor update on October 1 – the House of Representatives has approved the ACE Act by voice vote; now the legislation goes to the President’s desk for signing.

 

Consideration of the Ace Act follows passage in August 2020 of the Great American Outdoors Act, widely considered one of the landmark legislative achievements to protect America’s natural environment.

 

The legislation authorizes the National Fish Habitat Partnership, an endeavor that brings together local, state and federal partners to coordinate and conduct on-the-ground aquatic habitat restoration projects for the benefit of recreational fishing.   The ACE Act also reauthorizes and boosts funding for programs critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary and a critical nursery for sport fish throughout the Atlantic region.

 

As the bi-partisan Conservation Act passes Senate consideration, attention now focuses on regional benefit.  The ACE Act is expected to be a strong boost to recreational economic development in the region.  The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the U.S., and is also a critical sportfish nursery for the greater Atlantic region.

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