materiality

overview

In an ever-changing world, we regularly evaluate and align our strategy and reporting against the most material corporate responsibility topics for our business and stakeholders. 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.

Since the release of our last report, we refreshed our materiality process to incorporate external stakeholder perspectives more robustly. We also incorporated enterprise strategy and risk perspectives, expanded the data inputs from across the business and engaged executives in the process.

For the purposes of this report, we use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards’ definition of materiality, which is different than the definition used for filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Issues deemed material for purposes of this report may not be considered material for SEC reporting purposes.

Our materiality analysis followed three steps:

  1. Identification
  2. Stakeholder Analysis
  3. Collation, Prioritization and Validation

 

identification

We used trends research, global risk reports, retail and competitor analysis, stakeholder perspectives and environmental and social impact reports to build a list of relevant corporate responsibility topics and subtopics for evaluation. We then compared this list to three primary standards and frameworks— the GRI standards, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In partnership with BSR, a global nonprofit sustainability consultancy, we further refined the identified topics alongside our internal strategy and risk documents to develop our initial list of potential material topics across our value chain.Our materiality criteria and axes focus on:

 

stakeholder analysis

We engaged internal and external stakeholders to understand their perspectives on how Target can lead in corporate responsibility and where we have opportunity to engage and drive impact across our value chain. To understand Target’s business priorities as they relate to sustainability, we interviewed a broad set of internal business leaders, reviewed team surveys and scanned internal policies and strategies.

To understand the perspectives of our external stakeholders, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), investors, competitors, vendors, think tanks and subject matter experts, we conducted interviews and held a stakeholder engagement session. In addition, we conducted an external media scan to expand our understanding of stakeholder perspectives of Target and leadership in corporate responsibility.

 

collation, prioritization, and validation

Following the Identification and Stakeholder Analysis phases, we collated material topics into high-level topics, subtopics and individual topics. Topics and their definitions were further evaluated by BSR to reduce bias and produce a draft materiality map prioritizing the topics across axes as follows:

  • Our ability to create value as a business through a topic's influence on our business success, including both risks and opportunities,
  • Each topic's importance, including urgency, to our broad universe of sustainability-focused stakeholders. 

Next, we validated prioritization of topics through internal and external workshops and individual discussions. Based on these insights we amended our materiality map, which is on the following page.

We then mapped the potential impact of long-term trends and enterprise risks to develop an understanding of how the topics may evolve over time.

The results of this process are being integrated into our strategy, engagements and assessments of risk and opportunity for the business.