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Target’s Putting Sustainability into Action During Earth Month 2023 — and Beyond

During Earth Month and year-round, sustainability touches Minneapolis-based retailer Target’s entire business. It shows up in how they source and design products, invest in their team and communities, develop partnerships in the supply chain and power stores. It all matters, and it’s all woven into their enterprise-wide sustainability strategy, Target Forward.

“Our guests appreciate our extensive assortment of sustainable, affordable and inclusive products that they see every day,” says Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility for Target and president of the Target Foundation. “And I’m especially energized by the increasing number of ways they are seeing our sustainability commitments come to life throughout our business — from sustainable stores and supply chain facilities powered by renewable energy to our efforts to design new reusable bag models.”

Target teams play a critical role in the way the retailer champions a sustainable world. Take a look at some of the areas where they are working to make a difference.

Creating zero-waste solutions for our products

In 2022, Target introduced Target Zero — a curated and ever-growing collection of products from shopper-favorite brands that are designed to reduce waste and make it easier to shop sustainably. The retailer partners with brands like Burt’s Bees to elevate products and packaging that are refillable, reusable or compostable, made from recycled content, or made from materials switched from plastic to paper, aluminum, steel or glass. And they are bringing you products that replace single-use items and reduce waste in your life like this reusable glass cleaning spray bottle and concentrated cleaning products from our Retail-owned Brand (private brand) Everspring. New to the Target Zero roster: Gainful protein supplements, Proudly baby skin products, and Saltair body and hair care products. The Target Zero icon easily identifies these products in stores and online, and is a symbol of the retailer’s progress as we work toward zero-waste solutions.

Celebrating Target’s first TRUE-certified facility

Target’s Regional Distribution Center in Mililani, Hawaii, has completed a rigorous two-year journey to become Target’s first TRUE Zero Waste certified distribution facility. To be certified as zero waste, the facility must divert over 90% of its operational waste from landfills by reusing, reducing, recycling, and donating. The center earned this certification well before Target’s enterprise strategy goal to achieve zero waste by 2030 — largely due to the passion, creativity, and commitment of the team. We’ll continue to expand TRUE certification in select locations.

Empowering energy goals

Minimizing Target’s energy use and investing in projects around the country that produce electricity through renewable sources — like sun and wind — are just two powerful ways we are reducing our footprint, as we commit to sourcing 100% of Target’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This goal applies to Target stores, distribution centers, and offices across the U.S. One way they are doing this is through their long-term agreement with Plenitude, Eni’s Benefit Corporation (Società Benefit) to purchase green electricity from the Golden Buckle Solar Project, which recently began operating in Brazoria County, Texas. Target’s 160-megawatt portion of the project is expected to generate the equivalent electricity required to power more than 53,000 homes each year.

In 2022 the retailer introduced larger-format stores with built-in updates that advance sustainability goals. With features like larger windows for more natural light, locally sourced reclaimed wood, native outdoor landscaping, and local products sold in-store, the reimagined format creates a shopping experience that reflects the local community.

And, for the eighth year in a row, Target has been named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year. The award recognizes businesses helping transition to a clean energy economy. Big strides for Target in 2022 included installing LED lighting both inside and outside hundreds of our stores and upgrading to more efficient rooftop HVAC units.

Partnering for greater impact

Outside-the-box thinking and partnering with other like-minded companies is also making a sustainability impact beyond our own operations.

Take Target’s partnership with the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag. As a founding partner alongside other industry leaders, Target has a goal to create sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic bags. This spring they are testing new Bring Your Own Bag and Borrow Bag initiatives in different markets, building on other pilot programs implemented last year.

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By Published On: April 17th, 2023Tags:

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About the Author: Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of the Velocity Institute. Prior to this he founded the groundbreaking site My Private Brand. He is the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He began his retail career building brands at Food Lion and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Durham has worked with retailers around the world, including Albertsons, Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro Canada. Durham has published seven definitive books on private brands, including Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project and Vanguard: Vintage Originals.

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