Target Sets Latest Sustainability Goals

Target has unveiled its latest sustainability and social impact efforts. 

The updated formula includes designing 100 percent of its owned brands with regenerative, recycled or sourced sustainably materials by 2040; committing to contributing zero waste to landfills in the U.S. and net zero emission across both Target operations and the retailer’s supply chain within the same time frame, and diversifying the company’s workforce to better reflect the communities it serves by 2030. 

“As a company and a member of the global community, it’s imperative for both the health of our business and of our planet that we embrace new ways to move forward,” Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target, said in a statement. “We know sustainability is tied to business resiliency and growth, and that our size and scale can drive change that is good for all. Target Forward influences every corner of our business, deepens our collaboration with our partners and builds on our past efforts to ensure a better future for generations to come.”

But this isn’t the first time Target has made an effort to promote diversity and sustainability.

Last September, the retailer said it would increase its representation of Black team members by 20 percent by 2023. The following month, Target said it would contribute $1 million over the next five years to the National Racial Equity Initiative, a program that selects Black college students to be social justice policy fellows in Congress for a 12-month period. 

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Then, earlier this year, the big-box retailer said it would spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025. That includes adding products from more than 500 Black-owned businesses across the assortment and partnering with more Black-owned firms, such as marketing agencies, construction companies, suppliers and maintenance facilities, among others. 

Sustainability is also nothing new for Target. In April, Target Corp.’s senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility and president of the Target Foundation Amanda Nusz said during Fairchild Media Group’s Sustainability Summit that sustainability is an ongoing process at the company. 

“We absolutely believe there is no end date to the goal of being a sustainable company,” Nusz said at the time. 

Past initiatives have included designing products that last longer; recycling programs, such as old car seats and reusing plastic hangers in stores, and using solar panels and renewable energy. 

Sustainability has become a bit of a hot-button issue over the last few years, as more and more consumers — especially those who fall within the Gen Z cohort — seek out brands and products that are environmentally friendly. In response, retailers across the fashion industry have introduced varying initiatives.

Chanel invested $25 million in a climate change fund. Ralph Lauren said it would establish resale and recycling programs by 2022.  Burberry aims to be climate positive by 2040. In the last year, Lululemon, Nike and Levi’s have launched resale programs.

At Target, the company hopes shoppers will think of it first when they want to shop sustainable, Nusz said Tuesday.

“We know that the only way to make that possible is by putting both people and the planet at the center of our efforts, as we co-create with our guests, our partners and the communities we serve,” she said. 

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