Sustainable Operations

We're designing new ways to make our business and supply chain more sustainable from beginning to end, and working to keep communities healthy and vibrant for our team members and guests. To make sure we leave our planet in better shape for future families, and as part of Target Forward, we commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our enterprise by 2040.

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We achieve our business milestones by designing and operating efficient buildings and spaces, using water, land and other 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.

Aiming to be a net zero enterprise

Reducing greenhouse emissions

We disclose our company's carbon emissions each year through the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), and we’re working toward our goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. To reduce our impact and achieve net zero emissions in our owned operations, we are transitioning to CO2 refrigerants, pushing innovation through energy efficient initiatives, and investing in renewable energy. We have joined with more than 50 food retailers in the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill program, working to reduce refrigerant emissions and transition to CO2 refrigerants that have less impact on the environment, and have 70+ stores certified to date. In 2022, we completed the remodel of T2165 Vista, CA, designed to be our first net zero energy store (a store that generates more energy than it needs to operate each year through renewable sources). 

And in 2023, we joined the Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, committing to reduce our scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 50% below 2017 levels by 2030. 

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 source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources for operations at our U.S. stores and distribution centers.

We’re increasingly meeting a portion of our energy needs with solar power. Currently, our stores that use solar power generate between 15 and 100% of their electricity from solar. In some instances, Target may not retain the renewable energy certificates for the energy generated from our rooftop solar power. In those cases, Target may sell the renewable energy certificates to other entities and thus transfer the rights to characterize that electricity as renewable.

We’ve also signed contracts for several large renewable energy projects across the country that, once operating, will achieve more than 60% of our 100% renewable electricity goal. These agreements are part of our commitment to renewable energy, and we are continuing to grow our portfolio of offsite solar and wind projects to ensure we meet our goals.

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 continue to support the electrification of transportation by installing electrical vehicle charging at our properties celebrating the achievement of our goal to add EV charging at more than 100 properties. In addition, we began offsetting our jet travel in 2019 through our ongoing partnership with Arbor Day Foundation.

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 make our buildings more energy efficient. More than 1,500 of our stores have already earned ENERGY STAR certification (that’s more than 80% of our U.S. buildings), and feature sustainability initiatives such as LED lights, high efficiency HVAC equipment and energy saving controls. 

Moving toward zero waste in operations

Ways we are reducing waste

A sustainable future requires eliminating waste and keeping resources and products in use for as long as possible. To make a sustainable impact, we believe the 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.

One recent example of our commitment to zero waste and circularity: When our Los Angeles store updated its aging solar panels, we partnered with Decom Solar LLC to recycle the old equipment. Decom Solar worked with Solarcycle to recycle and process the old panels and reintegrate the materials back into the supply chain.

And in 2022, Target’s Hawaii Flow Center in Mililani, Hawaii, became its first building to be certified under the TRUE Zero Waste certification program, which is dedicated to measuring, improving and recognizing zero waste performance.

Community vitality

Enhancing existing and new stores with site site and building design amenities inspired by the local community, we will also grow responsibly as we expand our store portfolio.

Site and building design amenities may include some or all of the following features depending on the location and conditions of each unique store site:

  • New or restorative native landscaping, safe, well-lit parking lots, easy auto, bike and pedestrian access, connections to mass transit, EV charging stalls, storm water management, natural daylighting, using locally sourced materials, and local nature inspired exterior and interior biophillic design.
  • As we build more stores in convenient locations for guests, especially in suburban, dense suburban, and urban areas, we’ll continue to focus on responsible growth and re-purposing old buildings where guests live and work, and near mass transit.

Water management  

Across our stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations, we’re taking action to reduce water scarcity, improve water quality outcomes and manage stormwater flows. 

We recognize the importance of disclosure and participate in the CDP Water Report. This gives us an opportunity to disclose our water risks and opportunities and how they both inform and align with our position and actions. We’ll continuously seek to improve Target’s position on water quantity and water quality within our U.S. building operations, prioritizing areas and communities with the biggest impact. 

The best way to reach our ambitious goals is by avoiding, reducing and then restoring energy sources. For example:

  • We’re working toward a commitment to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources for our global operations.
  • We’ve installed rooftop solar panels at more than 570 locations.
  • We’ve installed 1 million+ low-wattage LED light fixtures in our stores.