it all adds up
Even a few small lifestyle changes can make a big difference for the planet, so we offer products, resources and incentives that make it easier for guests and team members to incorporate more sustainable choices into their lives.
By offering better-for-you, clean and transparent products that are affordable and accessible, quick-and-easy places to recycle materials, reusable shopping bags and more, we’re working together to make an even bigger impact.
To guide our progress, we put policies in place and set goals to keep us on track and moving forward. We recommend taking a closer look at our climate policy, chemical strategy and implementation guide—and read on to learn about more of the work that’s underway.
our chemical strategy
In 2017, we created our chemicals strategy and policy that addresses our entire value chain, operations and every product we sell. We believe that by supporting our vendors in being more transparent about the ingredients in products, we can spur innovation across all our product categories and operations and help reduce unwanted chemicals in the homes and lives of millions of guests. Now, initiatives like our Wellness icons will build on it.
the Recycling Partnership
In February 2019, we made a $2 million commitment to The Recycling Partnership to support its new Leadership Summit: 50 Cities Driving the Circular Economy, as well as help provide ongoing infrastructure grants to communities in need, assisting households with the infrastructure, tools and resources they need to make recycling easy and accessible. Target was the first retail company to join The Recycling Partnership in 2016.
We use cotton in many of our products, and we know that cotton farming plays a major role in the economic well-being of communities around the world. So we set a goal to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2022 for our owned and exclusive national brands in apparel, home and essentials, and introduced a new cotton policy to help guide the way. We hope to use our size, scale and influence to help the cotton industry tackle some major environmental and social challenges, while growing our investment in transparent and traceable sources.
addressing single-use plastics with a circular mindset
We’re proud to be members of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment. We join more than 450 organizations, including many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs. We’re also excited to be part of the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help further progress in the United States.
We'll work toward achieving the following:
- Elimination of problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation, and new delivery models is a priority as well as collaboration with the U.S. Plastic Pact to define and take measures to eliminate by 2025.
- Exploration of at least five reuse models to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic and, where possible, pilot them by 2025.
- 20% post-consumer recycled content in owned-brand packaging by 2025. We’ll also engage via the U.S. Plastic Pact to ensure the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging is 30% by 2025.
- All plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025, and, as part of the U.S. Plastic Pact, we will champion ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging (in the U.S.) by 2025.
We’re doing our part to help keep the world’s forests healthy. In 2017, we introduced a new forest products policy to help Target work toward our long-term aim of sourcing all of the wood, paper, paper-based packaging and wood-based fiber used in our owned brand products from forests that are well-managed and credibly certified—and whenever possible, from post-consumer recycled materials.
Beginning with a focus on several of our owned brands, we’ll work closely with partners to understand the origin of the raw materials in the products and improve the sustainability of forests where the timber in those products was grown.
read more about our forest products policy
In addition, we support the approach being taken by a collaboration of clothing designers, retailers and brands, who are working with the environmental not-for-profit Canopy as part of the CanopyStyle initiative. Together we will pursue, with a goal of achieving by the end of 2020, viscose apparel garment supply chains that are free of ancient and endangered forests, endangered species and controversial sources.
read more about our support of the CanopyStyle initiative
our work with Nest
In 2016, Target began a partnership with nonprofit Nest to help empower the fashion and home industry’s global workforce who craft products in their homes or outside of factories. Together, we’re developing industry-aligned standards—like the Nest Ethical Compliance Standards—which protect homeworkers’ safety, well-being and prosperity and give brands further visibility to the artisans in their supply chains. Nest’s programs reach more than 600 artisan groups in over 100 countries.
We’re also teaming up to create clearer indicators for consumers that their products are ethically handcrafted. In 2018, the Nest Seal made its retail debut thanks to the Nest Ethical Handcraft Program and is now located on select handwoven baskets at Target, and we look forward to seeing it on more products in coming years. To earn the Seal, the handcraft business producing the products must meet a set of rigorous compliance standards.
recycling in our stores
Since 2010, our recycling kiosks have given guests an easy way to recycle cans, glass, plastic bottles, plastic bags, MP3 players, ink cartridges and cell phones right in their local store. The goal of the program is to extend our company recycling efforts, and so far, the program has kept thousands of tons of recycled materials out of landfills.
We also host twice-annual car seat trade-in events during which guests can bring in expired car seats and receive a coupon in return.
promoting circular fashion design
Guests often look to Target for better-for-the-planet product options, and we recognize the rising costs and environmental impacts of waste throughout our own value chain. So we’re exploring ways to design for circularity across our business and shopping experiences—like aiming for zero operational waste, empowering guests to lead waste-free lives and closing more loops in our supply chain through new business models and infrastructure. We’re working toward a waste-free world where we can make the most financial and societal impact by circulating materials at their highest value.
As part of this work, we serve as a strategic partner to the Global Fashion Agenda, and support its efforts to mobilize the international fashion industry to transform the way fashion is produced and consumed. We’ve also committed to the following:
By 2020, we'll invest US $1 million in textile recycling technologies, with the goal of accelerating the transition to a circular apparel industry.
By 2020, all Target owned brand apparel will be designed for functional durability to last the life cycle of the product.
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 don’t compromise quality to sell products at a value.
stocking our shelves
Guests come to Target looking for easy ways to bring sustainable practices into their daily routines, so we help them out by offering a wide selection of sustainable products—like groceries, cleaning products, beauty items and more—that are also affordable and convenient.
We carry a broad assortment of our guests' favorite sustainably-minded brands, such as Method soaps, Seventh Generation cleaning supplies and Yes To and Burt's Bees beauty products.
In 2018, Target joined the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action alongside dozens of leading fashion brands, retailers and supplier organizations. The charter recognizes the crucial role fashion plays in reducing emissions while contributing to sustainable development—and as a member, we’ve agreed to address the climate impact of fashion across our value chain.
Aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the charter will help guide our work toward selecting climate-friendly and sustainable materials, using low-carbon transportation, and exploring circular business models. Alongside the other signatories, we are committed to reducing our absolute greenhouse gas emissions within Scope 3, retail purchased goods and services, by 30 percent by 2030.
see the full list of commitments
see the launch guide to support climate action
our reusable bag program
Each time a guest buys something at our stores, we offer a 5-cent discount for each reusable bag they use. We encourage guests to make reusable bags a regular part of their shopping routine by offering a broad and ever-changing assortment of bags that fit different lifestyles and needs.
clear on-package instructions
We know our guests want to recycle and live more sustainably, and we’re always looking for ways to help them. In 2013, we became a member of the How2Recycle Label program, an initiative of our non-profit partner GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition. The labeling system is designed to give consumers clear, on-package recycling instructions and encourage participation in recycling programs. In 2017, Target committed to a goal to add the How2Recycle Label to our owned brand packaging by 2020 (where space allows).
At Target, you can be confident that the seafood you buy was wild caught or farmed using sustainable practices. We’ve worked hand-in-hand with our partner FishWise, trusted vendors and other stakeholders, to ensure 100 percent of our fresh and frozen seafood is sustainable, traceable, or in a time-bound improvement process. Now, we’re expanding our policy to address our sourcing of sushi and shelf-stable tuna. We will continue to seek out ways to leverage our size, scale and reach in ways that we believe will lead to positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes in fisheries and aquaculture production.
view the policy
more local recycling resources
Beyond your local Target store, find additional recycling resources through our partner, 1800RECYCLING.com. Visit the site and enter your zip code to find locations and services near you. Search recycling options for everything from electronics to paint and more.
improving packaging sustainability
We already exceeded our goal to make more of our owned-brand packaging designs more sustainable, and we’re not stopping there. In 2017, we announced five new sustainable packaging goals. Our teams and partners are using increasingly fewer materials overall, incorporating more recycled or renewable content, and reducing as much product waste as possible.