Target’s Sustainability Efforts are Sprouting — and Supporting Our Future Growth

  • Apr 15, 2024
A banner with the Target logo surrounded by illustrations of flowers and leaves.

This Earth Month and every month, we celebrate the ways that sustainability makes our business and communities stronger — and helps us deliver a more joyful, meaningful experience to guests. From the design of our owned brands to the energy that powers our nearly 2,000 stores, we’re making thoughtful choices through our Target Forward sustainability strategy to benefit people, the planet and our long-term growth.

All year long, Target takes a holistic approach to sustainability — finding ways to infuse sustainable practices throughout our operations while inviting our guests to engage in ways that are most meaningful to them. Whether it’s delivering programs like our car seat trade-in events, offering electric vehicle charging stations at 200-plus stores, or evolving our owned brands to include more sustainable solutions, together, our collective actions are driving down emissions and sustaining our business for years to come.

Amanda Nusz Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Our work in action

Some of the newest ways we’re using our size and scale to make a positive impact?

A model wearing a beige Universal Thread t-shirt.
A dispenser of Everspring soap.

Owned brands go full circle

We’re springing toward our goal of designing all our owned brand products for a circular future by 2040 with Universal Thread and Everspring. Both are slated to hit the milestone in 2025. We’re already making progress with the launch of two Universal Thread products made with yarn blended with fibers collected from used garments and manufacturing scraps. Learnings from the shrunken crewneck T-shirt (shown here) and cami, developed in partnership with the nonprofit Accelerating Circularity, are helping us scale up our efforts.

A smiling baby sits in a car seat.

Car seats get a new life

Our guest-favorite car seat trade-in event — happening this April 14-27 — provides the opportunity to trade in old car seats for a 20% off coupon toward a new car seat or select baby gear. It’s also a way for guests to make a sustainable choice: So far, we’ve recycled over 2.6 million car seats, or 39.7 million pounds worth. Even better: We’re using some of the materials collected from the trade-in to create new products and materials, including select Brightroom crates — providing another boost to our circularity efforts.

A guest holding a Target bag plugs a Tesla charger into his electric vehicle.

Charged up for EVs

We’re continuing to expand our electric vehicle charging network, which includes more than 1,800 spaces across more than 220 stores — and counting. It’s one of the many ways we’re working toward our goal to be the market leader for creating and curating inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences for our guests by 2030.

An overhead view of the solar panels on Target’s Wilton distribution center.

Plugged into renewable energy

As part of our journey to hit net zero emissions across our enterprise by 2040, we’re investing in numerous projects across the country. This includes building the largest rooftop solar array in the state of New York on our distribution center in Wilton. Going live this year, the 7.5-megawatt system will provide enough watts of electricity to power over 1,200 homes annually and will eliminate Target’s electric bill at the site.

Our store in Vista, California, is our first store designed to be net-zero energy — incorporating both rooftop and parking lot canopy solar panels. With its over 3,400 solar panels now fully operational, it is successfully producing over 100% of the site’s energy needs. As of last year, more than 580 of our sites across the country have rooftop solar — with even more to come.

We’re also investing in other forms of renewable energy through our purchasing agreements. In Texas, we’ve partnered with Swift Current Energy to buy power from its Castle Gap Wind project, supporting our goal to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources for our operations by 2030.

A semi trailer with the Target logo and Bullseye image.

A more sustainable supply chain

Across our supply chain, we’re exploring ways to operate more efficiently and sustainably, including reducing emissions. For example, last year, we cut more than 35 million miles by sending fewer but fuller trailers of product to our distribution centers and our stores. And our facilities that take online orders packaged at our stores and sort them for delivery are combining multiple deliveries in local neighborhoods, which further cuts down on the miles our packages travel to reach guests.

We’re also making a positive impact at Target’s first owned and operated returns center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The returns center takes overstock, clearance, guest returns and damaged merchandise from our stores and distribution centers and sorts them for recycling, returning to our vendors and resale. What’s especially great? It reduces how much damaged product ends up in landfills and could teach us more ways to reuse materials in new products designed for circularity.

A sign at a cart corral in front of a Target store says “Bring your bag.”Photo credit: Nicholas Pizzolato

Partnering up

To achieve our bold goals, we are embracing the power of partnership:

  • In support of our net zero commitment, we’ve partnered with Schneider Electric, which is educating and supporting our suppliers to tap into renewable energy through our Forward Renew program.
  • As we work to reduce our plastics footprint, we continue to serve as a Founding Partner of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, a retail industry collaboration managed by the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners to eliminate single-use plastic bag waste.
  • Reflecting our belief in the power of energy efficiency and affordability, Target has received ENERGY STAR’s Partner of the Year award for sustained excellence in energy management, which recognizes businesses that improve the energy performance of their operations and help reduce energy use through product assortment — for the ninth year in a row. You’ll find ENERGY STAR-rated products at your local Target, too.

This is just a sampling of the amazing work taking place in support of our Target Forward sustainability strategy, led by teams across Target. Check out these other ways we’ve been moving toward a more sustainable future.

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