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Target Just Announced a New Climate Policy and Goals—Take a Closer Look

As organizations around the world team up to combat the effects of climate change, companies like Target have a big role to play. Since we opened our first store back in 1962, we’ve aimed to make our products and operations more sustainable for our guests—we’re a two-time ENERGY STAR partner of the year, and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s 2016 top corporate solar installer in the U.S. We’ve also come to the table in support of the Paris Agreement and other global and local environmental efforts.

Today, we’re taking the next step forward, introducing a new climate policy and goals to help us keep making progress.

“Target has long been committed to making our business more sustainable, which leads to a stronger, cleaner supply chain and operations, and a healthier environment for our team members and guests,” says Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO, Target. “That’s why we’re setting goals to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, and working with our industry partners, policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

We set our new goals with the Science-Based Targets initiative in mind. This organization provides guidelines that help U.S. companies align their corporate goals with climate science so the economy can progress together. Take a look:

Target’s climate goals
Target will reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 2015 levels by 2025.
We’ll get there by continuing to ramp up our use of renewable solar and wind power to offset energy used at our facilities, increasing the energy-efficiency of heating and lighting sources in stores, actively managing our refrigerant inventory, and exploring new programs. 
Target will implement projects in our owned brand manufacturing facilities that will result in the avoidance of 2 million metric tons of Scope 3 emissions annually by 2022.
We’re already well on our way through efforts like our participation in the Clean by Design textile industry program and the Vietnam Improvement program, both of which work to improve energy and water efficiency—which we will expand in coming years.
Within a year, Target will develop an additional Scope 3 goal that, coupled with our Scope 1 and 2 goal, will fulfill our commitment to the Science-Based Targets initiative.
What are Scopes?
Scope 1: Emissions that come directly from Target facilities
Scope 2: Emissions from energy we purchase to power Target facilities
Scope 3: Emissions generated through the manufacturing and distribution of products, business travel, guests using our products and other indirect sources 

In addition to these goals, we’re committing to sourcing 100% renewable energy in our domestic operations, which we’ll work with partners to achieve in the coming years.

To make it all happen, we’ll focus our efforts in five areas:

  • Increasing adoption of renewable energy in our own operations, our supply chain, and on the electricity grid;
  • Driving energy and water efficiency in our own operations and in our supply chain;
  • Investing in innovations supporting the transition to a lower-carbon transportation system, including vehicle electrification;
  • Considering climate impacts in raw materials sourcing, particularly the impacts of land use change, and designing plans to mitigate those impacts; and
  • Supporting communities most heavily impacted by climate change and building their resilience to climate change impacts like extreme weather events

That means we’ll continue building on several projects already in the works, like our collaboration with WWF (World Wildlife Fund)—where they advise us in areas like climate change, water stewardship, food waste, packaging, and sourcing raw materials, with more to come as the relationship moves forward.

We’ll also continue our work to promote water conservation, which has already saved more than 22 million gallons through optimization of outdoor irrigation systems at 176 of our stores.

And to share our learnings and progress with the rest of the world, we’ll report regularly in our annual Corporate Responsibility Report.

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