We are committed to making our operations and our supply chain sustainable through reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, supporting a more resilient and healthier environment for our guests, team members and communities. Aligned with our Target Forward ambitions, we commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our enterprise by 2040 to reduce climate impacts across our operations and supply chain.
Our achievements to date
We are focused on cutting our GHG emissions by driving energy efficiency, adopting renewable energy and eliminating waste. We’re also working with our suppliers to support their decarbonization efforts.
Our climate policy
We expect the long-term effects of global climate change will be widespread and unpredictable. That understanding informs our comprehensive climate policy and goals, which are designed to keep Target competitive within the retail industry and are accompanied by internal execution strategies and management plans.
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 33 greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2017 levels by 2030. 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 scope 1 and scope 2 targets.
Engage suppliers to prioritize renewable energy and collaborate on solutions that protect, sustain and restore nature.
Plan to have at least 50% of the energy used in strategic and joint business plan partners’ 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 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 emissions1 across our enterprise (scopes 1, 2 & 3).
Greenhouse gas emissions
In 2022, we reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our own operations (scope 1 and 2) by 34.9% from 2017. While Target’s supply chain (scope 3) emissions have increased by 12% from our 2017 baseline, in 2022, we reported an 8% decrease from 2021, our first year-over-year reduction since setting our goal.
Our net zero goal is ambitious, and we recognize the challenge ahead in reducing emissions while still growing our business.
Our emissions reduction strategy centers around adopting renewable energy, driving energy efficiency and implementing other sustainable practices. Our internal Sustainable Building Council, a cross-functional team within Target Properties, coordinates sustainability strategies and helps develop priorities and roadmaps to meet our long-term goals.
To reduce our impact and achieve net zero emissions in our owned operations, we are transitioning to natural (100% 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 130+ stores certified or pending certification 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).
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 have achieved our goals to support renewable energy by increasing the number of buildings with rooftop solar panels to 500 by 2020 and source 60% of electricity from renewable sources for operations at our U.S. stores and distribution centers and are now working toward a goal to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources for operations.
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
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. In addition, we began offsetting our jet travel in 2019 through our ongoing partnership with Arbor Day Foundation.
We are also making progress on our electric vehicle (EV) charging program, which began in 2013. By collaborating with organizations such as Tesla, Electrify America, EVgo, and ChargePoint, over 1,800 charging spaces are now available for our guests and team members to use across 200 Target sites as of the end of FY2022.
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.
Supplier collaboration to deliver on our scope 3 commitments
We take a multi-faceted approach to emissions reductions and focus on our highest carbon impacts. Our supply chain partners are joining us 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.
We are supporting our suppliers in calculating their carbon footprint and setting science-based emission reduction targets, so that they have the ability to measure and report progress as we work together to transition to a low-carbon economy. 64% of our suppliers (out of 80% by spend), equating to 483 suppliers, set science-based scope 1 and 2 goals as of the end of FY2022, an increase from the reported 32% in 2021. As of 2022, our suppliers have reported improvements in their scope 1 and 2 emissions relative to the 2017 baseline, which led to 13.2% reductions.
As part of our Target Forward ambition to partner across the value chain to design solutions that eliminate waste, we are committed to eliminating problematic plastic in our packaging, in service of our work to reduce climate impacts across our operations and supply chain. Our suppliers also play an integral role in helping Target achieve our waste reduction, recycling and reuse program goals.
Strategic partnerships focused on reducing Scope 3 emissions
In September 2022, Target joined a coalition of 18 cargo owners and customers by signing the Aspen Institute’s Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) 2040 Ambition Statement to accelerate the transition to zero carbon maritime shipping by 2040. Joining coZEV is an important part of accelerating our work to create a more sustainable, circular supply chain that furthers the health of our business and the global community.
In November 2022, Target became a lead funder for Aii’s Fashion Climate Fund spurring the Fund’s mission to unite industry stakeholders, mobilize climate action, and meet the fashion industry’s ambition to halve carbon emissions by 2030. Target, an original founding partner of Aii, joins PVH Corporation, Lululemon, H&M Group, H&M Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation.
In 2022, we initiated a Target-led program, in partnership with Schneider Electric, called Supply Chain Renewables Initiative (SCRI). The program aims to engage and educate Target’s suppliers on procuring renewable energy, with a particular emphasis on off-site renewable energy power purchase agreements. This program includes educational content, stakeholder meetings and market sourcing activities to support reductions in supply chain emissions via the acceleration of renewable energy adoption. Through SCRI, we are engaging suppliers to prioritize renewable energy, while working toward our goal to have at least 50% of the energy used in strategic and joint business partner-owned operations come from renewables by 2025.
Target is also engaged, alongside other major companies, in the Nebraska Soil Carbon Project, a five-year, $8.5 million project to support Nebraska farmers in advancing soil health techniques. Target also provided an additional $1.7 million in collaboration with MBOLD, The Nature Conservancy and Hormel Foods, to encourage Minnesota farmers to adopt regenerative farming practices.
Climate-related risks and opportunities
To further enhance our climate strategy, we are addressing climate-related risks and resilience in our buildings and other properties. As we further build out our net zero goal roadmap, we will continue to evaluate our climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Our sustainability team periodically engages independent third-party consultants to conduct risk and opportunities assessments that align with TCFD and assess:
Transition risks encompass what may occur as a result of a transition to a low-carbon economy.
Physical risks include both acute and chronic risks, such as natural disasters (acute) and longer-term impacts of a shift towards a warming climate (chronic).
Opportunities considered relate to Target’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
A multi-disciplinary set of upstream, downstream, and supply chain business functions across the organization works to understand each risk and opportunity type as it may manifest for Target. We use these findings to inform our risk mitigation approach and make targeted enhancements to our resilience strategy at the individual store/facility level.
What are scopes?
Our greenhouse gas emissions are broken down into three categories, called scopes.
- Scope 1: Emissions generated from Target facilities.
- Scope 2: Emissions from energy we purchase to power Target facilities.
- Scope 3: Emissions generated from the entire supply chain, such as the creation of the products and services we sell.
CDP Reports — Climate
Each year, Target discloses our efforts to CDP, a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts:
Looking for Target’s disclosures related to leading frameworks and standards? Our Reporting & Progress page has our latest reporting and downloadable metrics.
Meet our partners
Meet the partners helping drive our climate and energy goals:
1 Metrics for renewable energy consumption and scope 1 and 2 is for domestic (U.S.) operations that we have operational control of under The Climate Registry General Reporting Protocol, with the exception of our wholly owned subsidiary Shipt, Inc. (“Shipt”).
2 To calculate the percentage of renewable electricity in Target’s operations, we evaluate both the amount of renewable electricity from Target’s projects and the renewable electricity in the grid. This total renewable electricity is then compared to Target’s total electricity use per the following equation: Target’s Renewable Electricity % = (Target Renewable Electricity Projects + Renewable Electricity in the Grid) / Target Electricity Use.
3 From retail purchased goods and services.