In 2021, we reduced GHG emissions from our own operations (scope 1 and 2) by 32% from 2017. The historic challenges and unique retail needs driven by the dynamics of 2020 had an undeniable impact on the growth of our business as we met increased consumer demand. Total sales increased by $12.2 billion, from $92.4 billion in 2020 to $104.61 billion in 2021, which contributed to a 4.5% rise year over year in scope 3 emissions.
Our supply chain partners are joining us on that journey to expedite the work already in place to lower our collective impact, including maintaining responsible sourcing, efficiency, increasing renewable energy use and monitoring raw materials programs. 52% of our top 80% of suppliers by spend have set emission reduction targets on their scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2023. As of 2021, our suppliers have reported net reductions in their scope 1 and 2 emissions equivalent to 5.2% of the baseline established in 2017.
Our net zero goal is ambitious, and we recognize the challenge ahead in reducing emissions while still growing our business.
Our climate policy & goals
Target acknowledges the scientific consensus that the climate is changing, that our business is contributing to that change, and that our supply chain, operations and guests will continue to be impacted by the effects of climate change.
Target’s climate policy and goals are designed to set a leadership example within the retail industry and are accompanied by internal execution strategies and management plans.
Explore our climate policy
Since we opened our first store back in 1962, we’ve aimed to make our products and operations more sustainable for our guests. By 2040, we commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our enterprise, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
In the near term, our goal is to reduce absolute scope 1, 2 and 3* greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2017 levels by 2030. (*From retail purchased goods and services.) We’ve also joined the Business Ambition for 1.5 and Race to Zero to help drive meaningful change across our sector and value chain and ensure that our emissions will contribute to no more than 1.5 degree warming.
In 2019, we set and validated science-based targets for emissions reductions across our operations and our supply chain — becoming a leader in U.S. retail.
Reporting and progress
We’ve also made a series of interim goals to measure and report our progress over time.
- 80% of our suppliers — by spend, covering all purchased goods and services — will set science-based reduction targets on their scope 1 and 2 emissions.
- Engage suppliers to prioritize renewable energy and collaborate on solutions that protect, sustain and restore nature.
- Aim to have at least 50% of the energy used in strategic and joint business partner owned operations come from renewables.
- Intend to leverage soil health practices to improve at least 1 million acres of land.
- Source 60% of our electricity from renewable sources for our operations.
- Source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources for our global operations.
- Achieve 50% absolute reduction in operations emissions (scopes 1 & 2) from a 2017 base year.
- Achieve 30% absolute reduction in supply chain emissions (scope 3) covering retail purchased goods and services from a 2017 base year.
- Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our enterprise (scopes 1, 2 & 3).
Sustainable operations and supply chain
We’re actively working to achieve our net zero targets in our owned operations by continuing to ramp up our use of renewable solar and wind power to offset energy used at our facilities, increasing the energy-efficiency of heating and lighting sources in stores, actively managing our refrigerant inventory and exploring new programs. In 2021, we achieved a 32% absolute reduction in operational emissions, as we work toward a 50% reduction by 2030. Our established projects and partnerships are anticipated to result in purchasing more than 50% of our electricity from renewable sources, well on our way toward 100% by 2030.
Explore Target’s sustainable operations efforts
With our supplier engagement program on climate, we are committed to supporting our supply chain partners through the journey of setting their science-based emission reduction targets and in driving action together, toward a low-carbon future. We take a multi-faceted approach to our emissions reduction approach focused on the highest carbon impacts, including engaging supply chain partners in our efforts and having aim to have at least 50% of the energy used in strategic and joint business partner owned operations come from renewables by 2025.
Learn more about our work to reduce our supply chain footprint
Supply chain sustainability: performance improvement projects
We participate in several industry programs that focus on energy efficiency to reduce emissions from our suppliers’ factories.
Two stakeholders have been particularly successful in driving sustainable energy use — as well as water efficiency — in our home and apparel supply chain: the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Apparel Impact Institute (Aii). These facility improvements programs adopted by our suppliers’ participating mills have identified cost-saving opportunities and have increased operational efficiencies, yielding strong results to date.
Our performance improvement programs foster improved carbon and energy management, and this includes:
- Apparel Impact Institute’s Clean by Design (CbD) program and Carbon Leadership Program (CLP).
- International Finance Corporation’s Vietnam Improvement Program (VIP) and Cambodia Improvement Program (CIP).
In 2021, 32 apparel and home facilities completed IFC and Aii programs across Cambodia, China, India and Pakistan. Collectively, these facilities achieved an average annual energy reduction of 14% and 17% average water savings. We will continue to engage with current factories participating in programming. We also completed the first cohort of Aii’s Carbon Leadership Program in Pakistan, aiming to partner with facilities in the long-term journey of decarbonization. In 2021, seven facilities performed carbon tech assessments, established long-term carbon targets and began implementing their action plans.