Target Corporation today unveiled Target Forward, the retailer’s new sustainability strategy that puts its business to use to positively impact both people and the planet. Building on its legacy of corporate responsibility and sustainable practices, Target Forward marks a new era in sustainability for the company, as the retailer aims to co-create an equitable and regenerative future with its guests, partners and communities.
Target Forward is anchored to the company’s purpose to help all families discover the joy of everyday life. Through Target Forward, the retailer is focused on restoring and regrowing natural systems, and ensuring its team, communities and partners around the globe can thrive.
“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,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target. “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.”
Target’s Sustainability Commitments
The commitments Target is making with Target Forward work toward three critical ambitions: to design and elevate sustainable brands, innovate to eliminate waste, and accelerate opportunity and equity. Signature goals include:
- By 2030, Target aims to be the market leader for creating and curating inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences.
- By 2040, Target plans for 100% of its owned brand products to be designed for a circular future. Target’s teams will continue designing to eliminate waste, using materials that are regenerative, recycled or sourced sustainably, to create products that are more durable, easily repaired or recyclable.
- By 2040, Target commits to being a net zero enterprise — zero waste to landfill in its U.S. operations and net zero emissions across both its operations and supply chain, inclusive of scopes 1, 2 and 3.
- By 2030, Target aims to build a team that equitably reflects the communities it serves, beginning with its commitment to increase Black team member representation across the company by 20% by 2023.
- Target and the Target Foundation will become even more deeply ingrained within communities, lifting up the voices and unique perspectives of community members to maximize the positive impact they can create together.
“We want our guests to turn to Target first when they think about sustainability,” said Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility, Target, and president of the Target Foundation. “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.”
Building on a Strong Foundation
Target’s efforts in collaborating to bring equitable, sustainable solutions for its communities and the environment can already be seen across its business — from the retailer’s inclusive and sustainable product assortments and the increasing renewable energy footprint in its operations, to its social justice commitments and philanthropic support of underserved communities at home and around the world.
- In 2019, Target set science-based targets for emissions reductions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 — becoming a leader in U.S. retail — and Target also committed to join the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C,” ensuring that its emissions will contribute to no more than 1.5 degree warming.
- Target has projects and partnerships in place that when complete, will result in purchasing nearly 50% of its electricity from renewable sources, well on its way to 100% by 2030.
- Circular design principles can be seen in Target’s owned brands such as Universal Thread and Everspring, and Target accelerated its commitments to sustainable packaging in 2018 when it became a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.
- In 2020, Target invested $1 billion more in the health, safety and wellbeing of its team members, including the move to an industry-leading starting wage of $15 in the U.S.
- Target’s Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee was established in 2020 and accelerates the retailer’s work to create racial equity for Black team members, guests and communities. REACH builds on 15 years of progress in creating a diverse workforce, and setting diversity and inclusion goals for Target’s team and business.
Looking Forward Together
Collaboration is necessary to build a more equitable and regenerative future. Target is committed to co-creating alongside partners, communities and purpose-driven organizations, and to continuous listening and improvement as it works to achieve its goals.
“Target’s new sustainability commitments can make a real impact. We at Unilever love seeing the goal of net-zero emissions, which aligns with ours,” said Fabian Garcia, president of Unilever North America. “Carbon reduction is needed to work toward a more sustainable world for all. Unilever and our purpose-driven brands look forward to partnering with Target to help drive our industry even further in improving the health of our planet.”
“Target has been a Business for Social Responsibility member for more than 10 years and we are proud to have worked as their partner in developing this ambitious new sustainability platform,” said Laura Gitman, chief operating officer of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). “We strongly believe that in setting these goals, Target is charting a bold new course based on a clear-eyed understanding that sustainable business strategies are crucial not only for lasting business success, but for building a truly just and sustainable world.”
“Prosperity Now is excited about Target’s new sustainability initiative, and we look forward to continuing our partnership as they pursue ways to accelerate equity and opportunity building,” said Gary Cunningham, president and chief executive officer of Prosperity Now. “This work is closely aligned with our mission of building pathways for all people to prosper. We welcome Target’s renewed commitment to the pursuit of financial security for all and value their contributions to our own efforts to ensure that every family and individual has the opportunity to save, build wealth and thrive.”