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Target Ushers In New Era of Sustainability

Retailer commits to co-create equitable, regenerative future with guests, partners and communities
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer

Target Corp. has unveiled Target Forward, the company’s new sustainability strategy that puts its business to use to positively impact both people and the planet. 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 CEO 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.”

The Target Forward initiative works toward designing and elevating sustainable brands, innovating to eliminate waste, and accelerating 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.

“We want our guests to turn to Target first when they think about sustainability,” said Amanda Nusz, SVP of corporate responsibility at 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.”

Speaking of partners, Unilever North America thinks that 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 Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based 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,” added Laura Gitman, COO of San Francisco-based Business for Social Responsibility. “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.”

Target recently reported first-quarter comparable-sales growth of 22.9%. The company added more than $1 billion in market share during the first three months of 2021.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 1,900 locations.

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