Responsible Resource Use

We’re constantly co-creating solutions with supply chain partners to bring guests the products they want while considering the environment. We also seek to use our scale to create systems with far-reaching positive results:

We put these approaches into practice by: 

  • Driving progress against goals to use lower impact materials in our products. 
  • Partnering to minimize environmental releases of fiber fragments and microplastics.  
  • Following internal and industry best practice standards regarding prohibiting use of unwanted chemicals. 

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Responsibly sourced commodities

We drive efforts internally and through our supply chain to source materials and commodities in increasingly responsible ways. 

Goals and commitments

  • We aim to have 50% of apparel, footwear, home and hardlines suppliers by spend achieve zero manufacturing waste to landfill. 
  • Sourcing 100% of our cotton more sustainably for owned and exclusive brand products by 2022 by participating in programs designed to improve cotton growing practices and working conditions. 
  • Sourcing all owned brand paper-based retail packaging from sustainably managed forests by 2022, and rolling out implementation of our Forest Products Policy to Threshold and Smith & Hawken brands by end of 2022.
  • Our seafood sustainability commitment to include best practice requirements for the use of transshipment in tuna supply chains.
  • Implementing an animal welfare policy; moving to source only cage-free shell eggs, pending available supply, by 2025; and by year end 2022, having 100% of Good & Gather brand fresh pork produced using open pen gestation systems. Good & Gather currently represents the vast majority of all fresh pork sold at Target. 
  • Moving toward the use of physically certified palm oil, with a goal for palm oil in our products to be certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) or an equivalent standard with a mass balance, segregated or identity preserved supply chain certification by the end of 2022.
  • Expecting our vendor partners producing both owned brand and national brand food and beverage items to meet or exceed our Food Animal Welfare and Animal-Derived Raw Material Product standards.
  • Target is a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) organization, and we adopted its wastewater guidelines to help reduce unwanted chemicals in the manufacturing process for Target’s products and to help prevent our suppliers from discharging wastewater into surrounding communities.

Standards and certifications

Third-party standards help provide confidence in the practices used in our supply chain and help encourage positive change. To guide sourcing decisions for our owned brands, our suppliers utilize certifications including:

We communicate sustainability-related information of interest to our guests using clear icons on product labels to highlight such certifications.

Biodiversity commitments, partnerships and collaborations

We have set commitments for responsibly sourcing raw materials to help preserve forests and the species that rely on them, and improve local communities and their livelihoods. Both our forest products policy and palm oil commitments explicitly exclude conversion of High Conservation Value or High Carbon Stock forest areas.  We are committed to relevant biodiversity partnerships, initiatives and disclosures.

As we continue to build out further partnerships, we want to recognize our current collaborations that are closely related to biodiversity: 

Partner Program
Arvind  Funding a program with our apparel supplier to help 500 cotton farmers in India adopt organic and regenerative farming practices over the next five years. 
BCI Farmers  Helping train farmers to use water efficiently, reduce their use of harmful chemicals and commit to respecting worker rights and well-being. 
Cotton LEADS  Purchasing LEADS-certified products, which address environmental impacts on land and soil, biodiversity and carbon footprint, and accountability throughout the supply chain. 
Earthworm Foundation  Partnering on our palm oil sustainability work, including our aspiration of traceability to the mill level in our palm oil supply chain. 
Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture  Supporting continuous improvement in U.S. commodity agriculture as an Associate Member and a partner on a Continuous Improvement Accelerator Project. 
FishWise  Partnering to monitor and continually improve the environmental sustainability, traceability and social impacts of farmed and wild-caught seafood. 
GreenBlue and its Sustainable Packaging Coalition  Developing a guide to verify responsible sourcing. 
The Nature Conservancy  Working as an implementation partner on initiatives to improve soil health and water stewardship. 
Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the American Forest Foundation  Helping develop the Forests in Focus platform to engage with forest owners and identify risks in forest product supply chains. 
U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB)  Representing the retail sector on the Board of the USRSB and helping develop goals, announced in April 2022, to make the U.S. beef industry more sustainable. 


Waste reduction efforts in the supply chain

We believe that while it is critical for the materials that go into a product to be sustainable, what happens to the waste material created in a product’s manufacturing process is equally important. We recognize that Target has the responsibility to ensure the manufacturing waste is treated with environmentally responsible methods. We make every effort and collaborate with our owned brand suppliers to eliminate and minimize waste by reusing materials, source reduction and recycling.

Work toward our ambition for key suppliers to achieve this goal is already underway in owned brand footwear. In 2019 and 2020, we co-created the Shoe Waste Factory program with the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America to drive continuous improvement in establishing waste management systems and divert waste from landfill. In 2021, 25 factories participated in the program, with 21 of those factories achieving zero waste to landfill — collectively diverting 5,602 tons of waste.  We will continue to work with participating factories to support their ongoing success, look to add additional factories to the program in the future and explore ways to use the footwear model to reduce waste across other owned brand categories.

We will continue to make every effort and drive collaboration in the industry to build a zero-waste supply chain, by:  

  • Partnering with industry peers and associations to scale up our zero manufacturing waste to landfill program. 
  • Developing best practices to reach zero waste by category, and promote industry adoption. 
  • Elevating awareness of zero waste management in the supply chain by providing training on zero waste strategies and procedures. 
  • Increasing waste data transparency and traceable rate. 
  • Driving demand for recycling and reuse materials and services. 

Audits and verifications

Our Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability audit program monitors the locations that produce our owned and exclusive brands, as well as those that produce national brand products for which Target is the importer of record. Environmental management indicators are part of our Standards of Vendor Engagement and are inclusive of, but not limited to: possession of the appropriate permits, proper waste management methods, safe chemical usage and responsible wastewater stewardship practices. Read more about audits and continuous improvement