During the festive season and all year round, Target team members are out making their communities and the world a little bit better every day. Maybe you’ve seen them in their red volunteer shirts, pitching in on a neighborhood project, or installing energy-saving solar panels at your local store, or helping a guest learn about the ingredients in their favorite product. Behind the scenes, they’re putting new ideas in play to make our products and operations more sustainable too.
All that good work is in service of Future at Heart—our corporate responsibility strategy introduced earlier this year, designed to help us do good in four main ways: by empowering teams, serving guests, fostering communities and designing tomorrow. Through these efforts, we’re putting the needs of people, communities and the planet at the center today, to help create a better tomorrow.
Take a closer look at a few of our efforts that are underway right now.
Taking care of our Target family
Who makes every holiday shopping trip extra special for our guests? Our team members, of course—and this year, we brought more than 120,000 seasonal hires on board to help our existing teams work their magic. And thanks to our ongoing efforts to raise our minimum wage, they all started at $12 an hour or more, at a time of year when having a little extra cash is important.
We’re proudly continuing our work toward a minimum hourly wage of $15 by 2020, part of a broader investment in our teams that also includes leadership programs, robust training, tuition reimbursement, product discounts and a Team Member Giving Fund to support them in times of personal hardship. Recently, JUST Capital in partnership with Forbes acknowledged the work as it named us to its 2019 Just 100 list of America’s top corporate citizens, and AnitaB.org included us among its Top Companies for Women Technologists.
Turning on the water works
Clean water is so important to communities all over the world, but with resources disappearing at an alarming rate, Target is taking steps to help make sure it’s accessible for all. This year, we introduced a freshwater stewardship approach to help guide our business and operations. We made a $3 million investment in Water.org, empowering people in communities where our goods are produced and removing barriers to make clean water and sanitation more affordable. And we were the first retailer to join the AgWater Challenge, protecting freshwater resources in our agricultural supply chain.
We’re continuing water conservation work already in progress too, like our recent efforts with Conserva Irrigation to improve the outdoor irrigation systems at our stores. It’s already saved more than 36 million gallons of water, and will be in place at more than 260 stores by the end of this year.
Lifting families’ spirits
At Target, we’re all about bringing families joy, and we do it in lots of ways. Each December, for example, many store teams across the country host Heroes & Helpers events, which pair public safety officials with underserved youth to shop for the children’s families during the holidays. This year, more than 300 stores participated, helping brighten the holiday season for thousands of kids nationwide.
We also helped more families have fun and get active together on the soccer field. This year, we gave nearly 2,000 grants in all 50 states to local communities through our youth soccer program, supporting player registration fees, equipment and training for volunteer coaches. Our efforts reached thousands of kids. And we’re on our way to creating 100 new soccer play spaces across the U.S. by 2020 in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, providing safe and accessible places for families to play.
Offering more options for better living
Whether they’re holiday shopping or on their regular Target Run, guests look to us for products and services that are better for themselves, their families, and the planet. After unveiling a new chemical strategy last year to help us manage chemicals across our entire value chain, operations and every product we sell—a first in the retail industry—partners took notice. The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition gave us an A grade this fall, one of the top marks, on its annual Who’s Minding the Store? report card of retailer chemical safety efforts.
We also brought back our popular car seat trade-in program at numerous stores across the country, which offers guests the chance to bring in a used car seat to recycle and get a coupon for a new one from our assortment. During the fall program run alone, we helped guests recycle more than 2 million pounds of car seat parts. In total, it’s kept nearly 7 million pounds of waste out of landfills since the program started in 2016.
And that’s only the beginning! Explore more of the ways we’re bringing our Future at Heart strategy to life across Target.
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