Palm Oil Commitment

Current as of July 2023


Target recognizes that the ecosystem services provided by forests and other natural ecosystems around the world are irreplaceable and have a positive impact in supporting global livelihoods. We’re committed to working with our suppliers to protect forests and other natural ecosystems by helping eliminate deforestation and forest degradation from our value chain. We also strive to improve the livelihoods of workers, smallholder farmers and communities throughout our supply chain and aim to enhance safety, wellbeing and economic opportunity and eliminate forced labor. This commitment should be read in connection with Target’s Standards of Vendor Engagement, Human Rights Statement, and Deforestation Statement.

Target announced our first commitment to sourcing palm oil more sustainably in 2015. Most recently, we worked with our owned brand suppliers to transition to palm oil that is certified to a 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. We also worked with our suppliers to trace all palm oil to mill. Looking ahead, Target aims to increase the portion of segregated and identity preserved palm oil used in our products over time, we will report on our progress towards this aim annually in our reporting on sustainability and governance.

We recognize no single company alone can tackle the environmental and human rights issues within the palm sector, so Target works closely with our business partners and multiple NGOs and participates in industry and cross-sector initiatives aimed at sustainable transformation of the palm oil supply chain.


This commitment applies to palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivatives in Target’s owned-brand food, household cleaning, personal care, baby care, beauty, pet food and essentials, and candle products.

All palm oil in these products is 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.

Target aspires to these source products containing palm oil that are produced in accordance with the following key principles:

No Deforestation and No Peatland Development (NDPE)

  • By the end of 2025, 100% of our palm oil supply will be covered under the NDPE principles or within a timebound initiative that demonstrates progress to delivering them.
  • Palm oil cultivation must not cause deforestation of primary forests, areas of High Conservation Value or High Carbon Stock forest areas, and responsible expansion procedures must be adhered to.
  • New palm oil developments must not be planted on peat lands regardless of depth.
  • Application of RSPO Best Management Practices for existing palm oil farms on peat.
  • Consultation with experts in developing and implementing guidelines and models for conservation, rehabilitation of critical peat domes or peatland ecosystems or alternative uses in areas unsuitable for development conservation plans.
  • Land prepared for the planting or replanting of palm trees must not be prepared by burning as defined by the RSPO.
  • Progressive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from operations of existing mills and farms.

Human rights

  • Palm oil developments must proceed on the basis of free, prior and informed consent.
  • Workers, including women and migrant workers, must be provided wages, benefits and working conditions that are fair and in accordance with local law.
  • Suppliers must provide a safe and healthy working environment that complies with local laws and minimizes occupational hazards.
  • All workers have the right to engage in work willingly, in environments with hiring and employment practices in line with the Priority Industry Principles including, but not limited to, ensuring that all workers in the palm oil supply chain have freedom of movement, do not pay recruitment fees, and are not indebted or coerced to work.
  • Suppliers must comply with all age-related working restrictions as set by local law and adhere to international standards as defined by the International Labor Organization regarding age-appropriate work.
  • Suppliers must respect, recognize and uphold the rights of all workers including contract, temporary and migrant workers through compliance with the International Labor Organization’s core conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
  • Target seeks to support the inclusion of smallholders into sustainable palm oil supply chains and assist scheme and independent smallholders in achieving compliance with our policy.
  • Target has zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation, criminalization or violence towards human rights, environmental and land defenders.

Transparency & stakeholder engagement

  • Because of the environmental and social risks in certain palm oil supply chains, Target engages with suppliers and participates in initiatives to increase the sustainability of its palm oil supply chain.
  • Target will continue to collaborate with supply chain partners and industry stakeholders to leverage our collective scale, influence and expertise to promote sustainable palm oil. We will also continue to report annually on our progress through our reporting on sustainability and governance.
  • We expect the following of our suppliers: 
    • Must resolve all complaints and conflicts and remediate policy violations through a transparent, responsive and effective grievance mechanism that allows workers and other stakeholders impacted by supply chain operations to report concerns and violations confidentially and anonymously without fear of retaliation or retribution.
    • Promote greater transparency about the names and locations of palm producers, primary processing facilities and sourcing practices and proactively conduct due diligence on new suppliers to ensure policy compliance prior to entering the supply chain, including field-based assessments of any associated environmental and social risks, impacts and grievances.
    • Engage and collaborate with various stakeholders, including impacted Indigenous Peoples, local communities, workers, suppliers, peers, civil society, governments, RSPO and others to help transform the palm oil sector to align with NDPE principles at supply shed, landscape and jurisdictional levels.
    • Publish progress reports on at least an annual basis and disclose key metrics, time-bound implementation plans, progress, challenges and impacts.