Target's Laysha Ward holding a young girl

Turning the Page: Laysha Ward Introduces Target’s 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

One of the hardest moments of my career was saying goodbye to my mentor and friend, Bruce Dayton, who passed away at 97 last November. The grandson of our company’s founder and once a president and board member of Target Corporation's predecessor, The Dayton Company, Bruce was an extraordinary humanitarian, patron of the arts, business leader and philanthropist. He believed that businesses should act in the best interest of society, and set Target’s legacy of giving and service into motion decades before the term “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) was coined. That sums up the work I get to do with the Target team every day as we continue to push his pioneering vision forward, reimagined to meet current and future needs. It’s challenging, but incredibly rewarding.

At Target, we see CSR as an enterprise-wide commitment focused on business, social and environmental impact. We believe we can fuel Target’s growth, improve people’s lives and make a sustainable difference in the world—an aspiration that’s woven into our company’s overall purpose and strategy.

Five years ago, we established public goals to help us prioritize our work, relying on the expertise of so many incredible partners—including our own talented team members—to guide us. Each year, we’ve shared our progress, successes and challenges, sometimes evolving our approach based on new information or a changing landscape. In 2015, we built the foundation for the future of CSR at Target that focuses on making wellness a way of life for our guests, team members and communities; pursuing sustainability for our products and business operations; championing a more inclusive society; and investing and engaging in our communities.

That’s the story behind the work in our just-published Corporate Social Responsibility Report. In it, you can see where we’ve landed with our 2015 goals, and read about important projects and milestones, like the ones below.

Click to open report in a new window

2015 Target Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Inspiring wellness

$2.5M committed to help the Kid Power program reach up to 70K students in high-need communities

31 brands and 200+ new products joined the Made to Matter collection

$3.9M saved by team members in 4 months with our new wellness discount

Fostering sustainability

1,265 unique products labeled with How2Recycle information

14.5M+ recycled plastic bottles used to produce fabric for our owned-brand jeans

1 of 154 companies that signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

Championing inclusion

Our total workforce is more diverse than the U.S. population as a whole

31% of our Board is racially diverse, compared to an S&P benchmark of 15%

Introduced Caroline’s Cart to the majority of our stores

Investing in communities

1M+ hours volunteered by team members

$4+ million donated every week to support communities

$1B+ given in support of education

Read the full report

Data as of FYE 2015

These goals came to a close in 2015, and while we’re celebrating successes and examining where we fell short, we are also working on the next chapter of our strategy by creating a new set of aspirational goals and milestones that will guide our efforts into the future.

Bruce Dayton always told me that “if you’re not falling down from time to time, you’re not taking enough risks.” So as we shape our plans, we’ll continue to honor what works, but never settle on it. We’ll still be innovating, and finding new ways to solve old and new problems. And we’re grateful to do that with an ecosystem—hand in hand with you, our valued team members, guests and partners.

So on behalf of me and Target, thank you for being there to help us to do well, and to get back up when we fall. I hope you’ll continue along with us on that journey—we can’t do it without you.

Laysha Ward, Chief CSR Officer, Target

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