2019 corporate responsibility report

As one of the largest employers in the United States, with stores in more than 1,800 communities, we have a significant opportunity to drive change and work to truly deliver joy to all families today and tomorrow. We see opportunity to use every dimension of our business to make a positive impact. That means leveraging our size, scale and core strengths to create value for our teams, our guests, our communities and investors, and the planet we share. Every action we take that strengthens the health and vitality of the communities where we live is a step forward in building a better, brighter future for Target and the people we serve.


download the 2019 report


featured content

  • Empower Teams : minimize panel


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    In Progress
    2018: $12/hour
    Baseline (2017): $11/hour

    Pay all team members a minimum hourly wage of at least $15 by the end of 2020

    In 2017, we shared our commitment to raise our minimum hourly wage to $15 by the end of 2020. We continued that path in 2018, raising minimum wage to $12, and then again to $13 in 2019.

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    2018: $3.7 million raised, $500,000 disbursed

    Launch the Target Team Member Giving Fund

    Target’s Team Member Giving Fund was launched in June 2018. The Fund helps team members dealing with difficult times, such as unexpected illness, injury, house fire or natural disaster. Team members raised $1.2 million for the fund in 2018, and Target contributed an additional $2.5 million.


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    Continue to invest in the team member experience focusing on the programs, benefits and moments that matter most and are in the best interest of our team and our business

    We invested in a dedicated team that is focused on team member experience design and delivery, and we are working to elevate key elements of the experience with human-centered design techniques to learn from and apply more broadly in our overall experience.

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    Continue to invest in training opportunities for team members to develop new skills and experiences at every level of the company

    Target continuously invests in its team members to provide the right knowledge, tools and resources for current roles and career development. For more details, please see GRI 404, p. 82 of the CR report.


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    In Progress
    2018: 435,000

    Enhance the lives of three million people in the factories and surrounding communities where Target’s goods are produced by 2020

    To help elevate the lives along our supply chain, Target engaged 10 organizations, including Fair Trade USA, HERproject and UNICEF, with a special focus on Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

    As one example, through our ongoing partnership with Water.org, we invested $3 million to help families in the communities where our products are made in Bangladesh, Indonesia and India to have more affordable access to clean, drinkable water and sanitation in their homes.

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    New Goal
    2018: 27.5% of SKUs

    By 2022, 100 percent of Target's Archer Farms coffee in both bags and pods will be certified sustainable according to the Fair Trade USA standard or an equivalent

    This goal, set in partnership with Fair Trade USA’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge, builds on work Target has been doing to grow Archer Farms coffee more sustainably.

    As of 2018, 27.5 percent of Archer Farms coffee in bags and pods was Fair Trade certified. As we launch Good & Gather in the coffee category, our commitment will continue under the new brand.


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    Enhance worker safety throughout our supply chain

    Providing occupational safety for workers within our manufacturing supply chain is a key component of our efforts to improve global livelihoods. Our Standards of Vendor Engagement require that our suppliers provide a safe and healthy working environment that complies with local laws and minimizes occupational hazards.

    Target was a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety in 2013 and continued engagement with the alliance, including a seat on the board of directors, to elevate safety conditions for garment factory workers across Bangladesh through its conclusion in 2018. We are engaged in the transition from the Alliance to Nirapon, a self-regulating model providing factory-building and fire-safety monitoring, oversight and reporting services in Bangladesh for its member brands.


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    Monitor for forced labor throughout our supply chain and take swift action to eliminate it if discovered

    We have a responsibility to the people who create our products. We are committed to working with our supply chain and industry experts to help prevent, identify and swiftly eradicate forced labor. Our partnerships include IJM, Verité, Responsible Business Alliance, Impactt and GoodWeave. 

  • Serve Guests : minimize panel


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    In Progress

    Identify and remove all unwanted chemicals from Target owned-brand products and manufacturing, and encourage all supporting industries to incorporate green chemistry principles

    In 2018, we released our first Restricted Substance List (RSL) and Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) for our textiles categories. They can be found publicly on the chemicals page of our website. See below for additional goals related to specific chemicals and product lines.

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    In Progress
    2018: 22%
    Baseline (2017): 6%

    Achieve transparency to all ingredients, including generics such as fragrance, in beauty, baby care, personal care and household cleaning formulated products by 2020

    Over the course of 2018, we doubled the number of products for which we can report data. We now have access to screen 76 percent of our in-scope assortment. We know from that screening that at least 22 percent of products meet our transparency goal.

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    In Progress
    2018: 44%
    Baseline (2017): 7%

    Improve beauty, baby care, personal care and household cleaning product categories by formulating without phthalates, propyl- paraben, butyl-paraben, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-donors or nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) by 2020

    Over the course of 2018, we doubled the number of products for which we can report data. We now have access to screen 76 percent of our in-scope assortment. We know from that screening that at least 44 percent of products meet our formulated essentials chemical management goal.

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    In Progress

    By the end of 2020, implement an RSL and MRSL for textiles used in all owned-brand products

    In 2018, we released our first RSL and MRSL for our textiles categories, which can be found publicly on the chemicals page of our website. The first set of products that will undergo testing for compliance with our RSL, with the exception of the perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) noted in the following goal, will be coming to market in early 2020.

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    In Progress

    Improve textile products by removing added PFCs from products by 2022

    In accordance with the release of our RSL, we have removed perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)/perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) from apparel products. In 2018, we were able to identify product categories beyond apparel where PFCs exist and will be developing action plans to address these product categories in the coming year. All of this effort is in support of moving to non-PFC chemistries.

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    In Progress

    Improve textile products by removing added flame retardants that are potential carcinogens or pose harm to guests, workers or communities by 2022

    In 2018, we were able to improve more than 25 styles of kids' and toddlers' loose-fit sleepwear by developing products that removed potentially harmful flame retardants. These products will be coming to market in fall 2019. We expect that all sleepwear will meet our goal by 2020. Over the past year, we also pursued OEKO-TEX® certification in priority areas like Cat & Jack.

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    In Progress
    2018: $2,494,660
    Baseline (2016): $0

    Invest up to $5 million in green chemistry innovation by 2022

    In 2018, we opened a request for proposals to address sustainable chemistry innovation. We awarded a range of grants to a total of nine organizations. We are on track with our plan to invest the total $5 million along a bell curve with lesser dollar amounts in 2017 and 2021 and the bulk of funding in 2018-2020.
    Full list of grant recipients and project descriptions


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    Implement Wellness Product Standards and Wellness icons to provide a common framework for what is considered nutritious, clean, transparent and responsibly sourced across food, beverage, beauty, personal and baby care and household cleaning categories

    In 2018, we introduced Wellness icons in food, beverage, formulated beauty, personal and baby care and household cleaning, plus two additional categories: supplements and nutrition and pet food and treats. To learn more about our program and the category-specific product attributes we are tracking, visit www.target.com/wellness.

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    2018: 100%
    Baseline (2016): 68%

    By the end of 2018, remove artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners and colors from all our owned-brand children's items

    By the end of 2018, we successfully removed artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners and colors from 100 percent of our owned-brand children's items.

  • Foster Communities : minimize panel


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    2018: 1,089,814 hours

    Volunteer one million hours annually

    Our team members invest their time and talent across a variety of issue areas and partners that are most relevant to their community. In 2018, a total of 1,089,814 hours were completed by team members.

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    In Progress
    2018: 29 play spaces completed

    Build 100 new soccer play spaces by 2020

    Target committed $14 million to youth soccer through two national initiatives, including an $8 million local grant program and a $6 million partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

    In 2018, 29 mini-pitches were built in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

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    Continue to invest our philanthropic resources in multicultural communities

    In 2018, Target provided more than $99 million in cash and products to organizations that support underrepresented communities of color within the U.S. This brings our three-year total to $319 million (2016-2018), which represents more than 50 percent of U.S. donations over the period.

  • Design Tomorrow : minimize panel


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    10.95% reduction to 15.24kWh/SF
    Baseline (2010): 17.11 kWh/SF

    Reduce the energy intensity per square foot (SF) in our stores by 10 percent by 2020

    Our total energy-intensity reduction for 2018 was 10.95 percent, exceeding our goal of 10 percent by 2020. Target will continue to report achievements in energy reduction within our new 2030 science-based carbon-reduction goal.

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    over 1,200 stores and all five food distribution centers
    Baseline (2016): 580 locations

    Introduce hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free refrigerants in our food distribution centers and stand-alone refrigerated display cases by 2020

    Moving forward, all new and replacement stand-alone equipment that qualifies in this category will be HFC-free. In 2018, Target installed 3,001 new stand-alone refrigerators and freezers that use HFC-free R290 Hydrocarbon as a refrigerant. Target now has 7,687 R290 units, making approximately 41 percent of Target's chain-wide installed base of these assets HFC-free.

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    New Goal

    Reduce our absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 30 percent below 2017 levels by 2030

    Baseline (2017): 81,218,000 MTCO2e

    Setting our Scope 1, 2, and 3 goal in March 2019 places Target among the select U.S. companies with SBTi-approved goals to reduce GHG emissions throughout its supply chain. We will report on our progress in future reports.

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    New Goal

    Eighty percent of our suppliers will set science-based reduction targets on their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2023

    We will partner with our suppliers to provide training and education on setting their own Scope 1 and 2 targets.

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    In Progress
    22% renewable electricity powered
    (6% Target projects, 16% utility grid)

    Source 100 percent of our domestic electricity from renewable sources by 2030

    We are working toward an initial checkpoint of sourcing 60 percent of our domestic electricity through renewable sources by 2025.

    Off-Site and Utility Efforts: We signed two new Virtual Power Purchase Agreements for a total of 168 MW of new renewable energy. These projects are in addition to the 40 MW Stephen's Ranch Wind Farm and the 100 MW Solomon Forks Wind Farm under existing agreements.

    Our participation in green tariff programs expanded in 2018. Adding to our ongoing contracts with Puget Sound Energy and Georgia Power, we joined Xcel Energy’s Colorado Renewable*Connect program. This program brought 50 MW of new solar energy onto Colorado's utility grid in early 2019.

    Industry Partnerships: To advance our goals, Target is a member of industry associations working to increase clean energy access. By pooling our energy demand with other companies in the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and partnering with electric utilities in the World Resources Institute's Clean Power Council, we are advancing clean energy beyond our own operations and into the communities we serve.

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    In Progress
    470 locations
    Baseline (2014): 104 locations

    Add solar rooftop panels to 500 of our stores and distribution centers by 2020

    Target installed 34 new solar projects in 2018 to end the year with a total of 470 installations. The 2018 installations included Target’s largest solar projects to date: two of our distribution centers in California for a combined total of 4.5 MW of new solar energy. Target is committed to designing for the future, and supporting our communities and solar installations are an important part of that effort. In some cases, Target may generate the solar energy in support of broader clean energy programs and policies, and in those cases, we do not retain the renewable energy credits.

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    In Progress
    200 spaces at 26 sites in seven states

    Expand our electric vehicle program to more than 600 parking spaces with charging stations at more than 100 sites across more than 20 states by 2020

    With the help of industry experts Tesla, ChargePoint and Electrify America, we are working to accelerate our electric vehicle charging program.

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    Invest in innovations supporting the transition to a lower-carbon transportation system, including vehicle electrification

    Target supports research and development of alternative fuel options in partnership with our carriers to lower carbon emissions within transportation networks we hire.


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    EIn Progress
    100% certified and 84% traceable

    All palm oil in Target's owned-brand food (Market Pantry, Archer Farms, Simply Balanced), personal care (up&up) and household cleaning products (up&up) will be fully traceable and sustainably sourced by 2018 or sooner

    In 2018, 100 percent of palm oil in products covered by our commitment was certified sustainable under one of the RSPO's supply chain models—38 percent via RSPO physical certification (Mass Balance or Segregated) and the remainder covered by RSPO PalmTrace credits. Additionally, 84 percent of the palm volume was traced to the importer.

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    In Progress

    Aim to source all of the wood, paper, paper-based packaging and wood-based fiber used in Target’s owned-brand products from forests that are well managed and credibly certified – and whenever possible, from post-consumer recycled materials

    Throughout 2018, our forest policy implementation work was focused on getting more factories certified to chain-of-custody standards like FSC, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), with a preference for FSC when available. This is an important step in getting more products that meet our policy requirements.

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    In Progress
    Baseline (2017): 13.9%

    Source all owned-brand paper-based packaging from sustainably managed forests by 2022

    In 2018, we continued to engage with suppliers of certified paper-based packaging to determine volumes and availability. The results of this work are starting to roll into stores in 2019 and will continue to build momentum toward our 2022 goal.

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    In Progress

    Roll out implementation of our forest products policy among our relevant owned brands:

    In Progress

    Spritz by 2018

    In 2018 we accelerated into the finish line for the Spritz brand. Working toward the goal, we utilized FSC certification across all product categories within the brand. We fell just short of meeting the goal primarily due to the availability of FSC-certified materials. Going forward, we will be looking for solutions to fill these final gaps in supply of FSC-certified materials.

    In Progress

    up&up, Pillowfort and Cat & Jack by 2020

    In 2018, we have started to see accelerating progress toward our sustainability goals for the up&up, Pillowfort and Cat & Jack brands. Each brand has unique challenges, but as of the end of 2018, all three have a path to meeting their goal by the end of 2020.

    In Progress

    Threshold and Smith & Hawken by 2022

    While work has not started to track toward this 2022 goal, our work on the 2020 goal brands is helping us understand and meet the challenges that these later brands will face in meeting our forest products policy.

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    In Progress
    27,192 tonnes
    Baseline (2017): 4,478 tonnes

    Source 100 percent sustainable cotton for our owned-brand and exclusive national-brand products by 2022

    Target is a member of the BCI. BCI Farmers are trained to use water efficiently, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and implement principles of decent work. Based on a survey of our business partners, in 2018, we sourced 22,592 metric tonnes of cotton as Better Cotton and at least 4,600 metric tonnes of cotton grown in the U.S. by Cotton LEADSSM producers.


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    We are committed to enhancing the traceability and sustainability of our shelf-stable tuna and sushi assortments

    All of our Simply Balanced shelf-stable tuna met Target's sustainable seafood policy. We continue to work on sushi and the remainder of our shelf-stable tuna assortment. Our fresh and frozen seafood continued to meet our standards for sustainable seafood in 2018.

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    New Goal

    Pursue viscose-apparel garment supply chains that are free of ancient and endangered forests, endangered species and controversial sources by 2020

    In March 2019, Target announced a commitment to the Canopy pledge for regenerated cellulose fibers in our apparel garments. These fibers (like rayon) come from wood pulp and will be held to the same requirements as wood and paper products. The Canopy pledge will align Target with more than 170 brands, retailers and manufacturers in an approach to create broad change in the regenerated cellulose fiber supply chain from forest to fabric.


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    In Progress
    13.5% reductionto 2,934 million gallons
    Baseline (2010): 3,394 million gallons

    Reduce absolute water withdrawal in stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations by 15 percent by 2025

    For our U.S. direct operations, including stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations, we are taking action to reduce water scarcity, improve water-quality outcomes and manage stormwater flows. It is important work that will help ensure the communities where we do business have clean, safe water for generations to come. We have implemented different programs across our operations, including retrofitting restrooms with more efficient fixtures, incorporating native landscaping and optimizing irrigation systems through an irrigation-efficiency program. The work we have done optimizing the irrigation systems at 270 stores since 2016 saved more than 40 million gallons of water in 2018. This work won Target the 2018 Irrigation Association Vanguard Award for innovation. We have made significant progress while also helping lead the rest of the retail industry in this space. In 2018, we used 2,934,365,882 gallons of water. This equates to a 13.5 percent reduction from our 2010 usage baseline.

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    Drive sustainable water stewardship in Target owned-brand product design and manufacturing

    In 2018, a total of 30 fabric mills in China and Taiwan participated in Clean by Design, realizing at least a 17 percent water savings. We will have more data when the current round concludes in 2019. The results are strong enough that we anticipate more facilities joining over the course of 2019.

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    In Progress

    Improve water efficiency in textile dyeing and finishing factories located in priority watersheds by 15 percent by 2022

    In the Vietnam Improvement Project, the 23 participating facilities achieved a 16 percent reduction in water consumption in 2018 from a 2017 baseline. We continue to expand this program to other facilities and priority watersheds.

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    In Progress
    36% of washed non denim SKUs

    Design 100 percent of garment-washed owned-brand apparel utilizing water-saving design principles by 2025

    We continue to work toward establishing a baseline for denim items but realized an increase in nondenim items in 2018.

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    In Progress

    By 2025, all owned-brand apparel textile facilities will comply with ZDHC Progressive level wastewater standards

    In early 2019, we met with our ZDHC partners to develop an implementation plan and road map to achieve this goal by 2025.

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    New Commitment

    Promote sustainable water management in California

    As part of Target's commitment to help preserve and protect freshwater resources in the global agricultural supply chain, we will promote sustainable water management in California as an active member of the California Water Action Collaborative and by engaging collectively with other companies to support public policies that advance resilient water solutions through Ceres’ Connect the Drops campaign.

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    New Commitment

    Collaborate with suppliers to address soil health issues, improve soil health across corn and soy acres and reduce agricultural runoff in the Mississippi River Basin

    As part of Target's commitment to help preserve and protect freshwater resources in the global agricultural supply chain, we will collaborate with suppliers through the Field to Market® Fieldprint Platform to address soil health issues; develop time-bound, measurable goals to improve soil health across corn and soy acres; and ensure progress on water quality is made by reducing agricultural runoff in the Mississippi River Basin.

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    New Commitment

    Support future development of small grains and cover crops grown in rotation with corn and soybeans

    As part of Target's commitment to help preserve and protect freshwater resources in the global agricultural supply chain, we will support future development of small grains and cover crops grown in rotation with corn and soybeans through a collaboration with Practical Farmers of Iowa and Sustainable Food Lab. The project seeks to develop a market solution for climate and water protection in the Corn Belt and engage key supply chain partners on associated feasibility studies.


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    Baseline (2016): 72.3%

    Divert 75 percent of retail waste from landfills by the end of 2018

    After surpassing the 2020 goal of diverting 70 percent of retail waste from landfills in 2016 and 2017, Target updated its goal to accomplish 75 percent diversion by the end of 2018.

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    In Progress
    5,074 SKUs
    Baseline (2013): 0 SKUs

    Add the How2Recycle label to all owned-brand packaging by 2020 (where space allows)

    Target continues to make progress on this goal, as we added the label to an additional 1,231 SKUs in 2018. In total, to date we have the How2Recycle label on more than 5,000 owned-brand SKUs.

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    In Progress

    Support The Recycling Partnership’s mission to improve how more than 25 percent of the U.S. population recycles by 2020

    Since Target joined The Recycling Partnership in 2017, the partnership has provided improved access to recycling and education on how to recycle to an additional 22 percent of Americans.

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    In Progress
    $278,700 invested

    Invest $1 million in textile recycling technologies by 2020

    By the end of 2018, we invested 27.8 percent of the goal.

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    In Progress

    Reduce food waste within our own retail and manufacturing operations by 50 percent by 2025 in accordance with commitments as a member of The Consumer Goods Forum

    We are developing baseline reporting and measurement systems. We recognize that we will need to take many partners and use a variety of internal and external data sources to develop a complete food-waste inventory.

    In the meantime, our work to reduce food waste is underway. We established a crossfunctional company-wide team to accelerate sell-through of food and reduce food waste by improving inventory position through forecasting, ordering tools, improved merchandising, fixtures and offering guests discounts on food close to expiration.

    In 2018, we launched a Food Donations dashboard that provides store team members with store-level donations data and comparisons to their sales volume/store prototype peers. We also introduced a tool that guides team members on what can and cannot be donated. The combination of reporting and new technology led to a 16 percent increase in food donations from 2017 to 2018.

    We also expanded our organics recovery program, adding 266 additional stores and distribution and fulfillment facilities for a total of 328 locations (325 stores and three headquarters locations).

    We have implemented a standardized date-label initiative across all owned-brand products and have added community board communications (team member- and guest-facing), huddle topics for store team members, Earth Month engagement and internal communication vehicles to give team members and guests tools to reduce waste.


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    Design all Target owned-brand apparel for functional durability to last the life cycle of the product by 2020

    As part of our commitment to quality, we launched a one-year return policy in 2015 for all our owned-brand general merchandise—a promise to guests that we do not compromise quality to sell products at a value.

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    In Progress

    Create more demand for recycled packaging by creating three new end markets for recycled materials by 2020

    Target continues to explore potential end markets that use recycled packaging materials.

    We included recycled plastic in packaging for our new Everspring brand that launched in April 2019. We are using 100 percent post-consumer recycled content for Everspring room spray, foaming hand soap, liquid hand soap, dish soap and spray cleaning products and 50 percent post-consumer recycled content in laundry bottles. All of the post-consumer recycled plastic is sourced domestically. In total, we estimate we will use almost 700,000 pounds of recycled plastic annually.

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    Replace conventional polyester with polyester made from recycled plastic in Target owned-brand apparel, accessories and home products

    We continue to expand our use of recycled polyethylene terephtalate (rPET)/recycled polyester across multiple products and categories. The majority is used in Apparel & Accessories and Home & Hardlines. Data for recycled polyester content is available in GRI 301-2 of the CR report.

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    In Progress

    Work to eliminate expanded polystyrene from our owned-brand packaging by 2022

    In 2018, we developed an approach that we plan to roll out in 2020 to build momentum toward our 2022 goal.

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    New Commitment

    Pursue the New Plastics Economy commitment by 2025

    Target announced its support of the New Plastics Economy commitment in October 2018. The New Plastics Economy introduces shared aspirations for its members, including:

    • Elimination of problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation and new delivery models
    • Establishing reuse models where relevant, reducing the need for single-use packaging
    • Use of 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging
    • Plastic packaging free of hazardous chemicals and respecting the health, safety and rights of all people involved
    • Plastic packaging that is reused, recycled or composted in practice
    • Fully decoupled use of plastics from the consumption of finite resources

    Target is working to align our internal goals to help achieve this shared vision of a circular economy.


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    In Progress

    Transition to only cage-free shell eggs, pending available supply, by 2025

    Target has committed to transition to selling only cage-free shell eggs by 2025, pending available supply. We continue to work with our suppliers to make progress toward meeting this commitment. As of 2018, 40 percent of the assortment of shell eggs sold was cage free.

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    In Progress

    Eliminate the use of sow gestation crates by 2022

    Target has committed to partner only with pork suppliers who do not use sow gestation crates by 2022. We continue to work with our pork suppliers to make progress toward this commitment.

Materiality MapMateriality

The materiality process drives how we
engage internally and externally; invest
our resources; and adapt our strategy
on environmental, social, economic and
governance topics across our value chain.

find out more about our process

UN GoalsUN Sustainable Development Goals

Target values the important role the UN
SDGs play in equitable, sustainable
development. Our current focus is on six
goals where we believe we can have the
greatest impact.

learn more

CEO, Brian Cornell

a message from our CEO

Future at Heart was designed to fuel growth and create lasting value for our guests, our team members, our stakeholders and our planet. 

Every action outlined in this report ties back to our ultimate aspiration—helping all families discover the joy of everyday life—and building a company that strengthens the communities we serve for generations to come.

read the message

2019 GRI Index

This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option, which we recognize as the most credible standard for reporting on environmental, social and governance performance issues most important to our business and stakeholders.

view the 2019 GRI Index (PDF)

stakeholder engagement

We aim to leverage our size, scale and reach to positively impact the communities in which we serve and operate. Going beyond what we can achieve in our own operations and with our vendors, we collaborate with NGOs, governments, industry organizations and other businesses to innovate solutions to the most pressing issues we face today.

explore stakeholder engagement