To make sure we leave our planet in better shape for future families, we commit to be a net zero enterprise by 2040. We achieve our business milestones by designing and operating efficient buildings and spaces, using resources responsibly, eliminating waste and minimizing our greenhouse gas footprint.
Part of how we do that is by putting policies in place and setting goals that help guide our progress and move it forward. Take a closer look at our climate policy, chemical strategy and freshwater stewardship approach—and read on to learn more about more of the work that’s underway.
Being a retail leader in smart development means enriching communities, neighborhoods and surrounding areas by revitalizing business districts, attracting additional services and designing to the neighborhood. For example, we take steps to protect and preserve water resources and the surrounding habitats on and near our property using conservation easements. When we can, we also clean up and redevelop landfills and other brownfield areas, giving them new lives as sites for our stores.
reducing greenhouse emissions
We disclose our company's carbon emissions each year through the CDP and we’re working toward our goals to reduce our impact and achieve net zero emissions in our owned operations through more energy-efficient store design, new lighting technologies and experiments with renewable energy. We also joined the more than 50 food retailers in the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill program working to reduce refrigerant emissions and transition to climate-friendly refrigerants that have less impact on the environment.
A sustainable future requires eliminating waste and keeping resources and products in use for as long as possible. We believe that to have sustainable impact, that economy must be a circular one that designs out waste, uses fewer materials and materials with lower environmental impact – including alternatives to plastics – and makes reusing and recycling easier. With our new goal of zero waste in our U.S operations by 2030 we will address the complete value chain by working upstream with our suppliers, improving our own operational waste, and reducing the pain points, such as packaging, identified by our guests. We will continue to be careful about our recycling and disposal practices for electronic waste as well as merchandise and materials we use in our supply chain. Our teams work together to improve our packaging designs using fewer components, minimize the volume of trash we produce and reuse, donate or recycle more materials. When we can’t eliminate waste, we try to divert it from landfill. In 2020, we diverted 80.1% of our operational waste from landfill.
earning the ENERGY STAR
Conserving energy is important, so we partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy to meet their efficiency standards. One thousand of our stores have already earned ENERGY STAR certifications, and feature low-wattage light fixtures; LED lights and motions sensors in the refrigerators; and other energy-saving initiatives. Three years early, in 2017, we reached our goal of earning ENERGY STAR status in at least 80 percent of our U.S. buildings by the end of 2020.
We're making an effort to re-work previously developed sites and retail spaces. Approximately one quarter of our stores are located in space that was once used for another purpose. For example, our Target store in downtown Chicago is housed in the historic Louis Sullivan-designed building that was formerly home to the flagship Carson Pirie Scott department store.
And we’re growing responsibly. As we build more stores in convenient locations for guests, especially in urban areas, we’ll continue to focus on responsible growth—where guests live and work, and near mass transit.
running on solar and wind power
As part of our commitment to supporting our communities and committing to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our enterprise, Target has a long-term interest in designing and operating energy-efficient and sustainable buildings. We achieved our goal to support renewable energy by increasing the number of buildings with rooftop solar panels to 500 by 2020 and are now working toward a goal to be 100% renewable overall. We’re increasingly meeting a portion of our energy needs with solar and wind power.
Currently, our stores that use solar power generate between 15 and 30 percent of their energy from solar, easing the burden on local power grids. We may sell the renewable energy certificates for that energy. Target is also proud to buy a portion of wind energy generated by the Stephens Ranch project in Texas and, beginning in 2019, the Solomon Forks wind project in Kansas once construction is complete. These projects combined will offset ~13% of Target’s total energy usage with clean wind energy.
more efficient transportation
Another of our goals is to adopt cleaner and more fuel-efficient transportation practices. While we don’t own or operate the fleets that carry our freight, we work closely with carriers, vendors and other partners to help put more efficient processes in place. In 2008, we joined the EPA's SmartWay Transportation Partnership, which includes an annual carbon footprint assessment of domestic transportation operations.
We began offsetting our jet travel in 2019. Through our partnership with Arbor Day Foundation, we’re purchasing REDD+ certified carbon offsets, in the Calif. Redwood Forest, the Mississippi River Valley and the Cordillera Azul project in Peru.
stormwater management systems
When it rains, it pours. So as part of our commitment to smart development, we’ve created a comprehensive stormwater management system for each of our stores, and we’re always exploring new design innovations to reduce and improve the quality of stormwater runoff. Examples of these systems include bioswales (landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water) at our store in Redmond, Wash., rain gardens at our store in Edina, Minn., and permeable pavement at our store in Brandon, Fla.