Perspectives: Laysha Ward Introduces Target’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

June 19, 2015 - Article reads in
Laysha Ward and Brian Cornell
“We know that working together with our team members, guests, suppliers and communities creates better outcomes on issues that matter to us all,” said Laysha Ward, EVP and chief CSR officer, Target

My grandma was a wise woman. For not having seen much of the world beyond her small Midwestern hometown, she had a broad view, an astute understanding of human nature, and a knack for telling it like it is. She used to tell us this famous quote from another wise woman, Dr. Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. And then when you know better, do better.”

Grandma could have been speaking about what it means to be an active corporate citizen and good neighbor in today’s global economy. Target has always been, and today remains, a purpose-driven company, and as we know better, we seek to do better. That is the spirit behind the work in our just-published 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

In the report, you’ll find stories about some of the ways in which Target is working to create shared value—doing what is good both for our business, and for broader society. There’s our partnership with GoodWeave, an international nonprofit that aims to put an end to child labor in the rug weaving industry in India and instead get these children in school. There is our unique collaboration with Walmart to urge more sustainable practices in beauty and personal care products. There is our partnership with a coalition of more than 180 companies to help the 100,000 Jobs Mission find work for U.S. veterans. And then there’s our commitment to volunteerism and service; in 2014 our team members again gave more than a million hours to issues and organizations in local communities across the country and around the globe.

The story continues. In 2015, we’ll achieve our goal of giving $1 billion to education—a big milestone with huge dividends, as we help kids reach their full potential while creating an educated workforce and leaders for the future.

Can a company in the midst of a business transformation continue to be an active force for the good in the world? We think the stories in this report answer that question with a resounding, “Yes.” Target’s commitment to corporate citizenship is in our DNA, and I’m excited about how we are now reimagining the work for future generations. We’ll act not only as business entrepreneurs, but also as social entrepreneurs, as we seek innovative ways to fuel Target’s growth, improve people’s lives, and make a sustainable difference in the world. As we know better, we’ll seek to do better. I hope you’ll continue to join us on that journey.

The infographic below features highlights from our 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. Click it to access the full report.

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