Standards of Vendor Engagement

Target is committed to responsible and ethical business conduct. Respect for human rights and environmental stewardship are fundamental principles of our business practices and standards. We expect our domestic and international suppliers to share those principles and uphold our standards.

Our standards

We require all vendors, suppliers, third-party sellers, manufacturers, contractors, subcontractors and their agents (collectively, “suppliers”) to abide by the following standards and cascade them through their supply chain. Standards are applicable to all workers in production or non-production roles, including regular, piece-rate, casual, contract and foreign migrant/guest workers, as well as trainees, students, apprentices, part-time or temporary workers.

Ethical business practices

We seek business partners who adhere to the highest ethical standards in their business practices and their interactions with Target. Suppliers are expected to act in an ethical manner and comply with all applicable laws, regulations and Target’s Standards. Target does not allow any exchange of favors, money, gifts, entertainment or travel with our team members with the intent to influence business decisions. As with the other standards outlined, Target team members are held to the same standards and are strictly prohibited from engaging in solicitation of anything of value from business partners. Suppliers must conduct their business with a high level of integrity and maintain transparent and accurate records.

Unauthorized subcontracting

We do not tolerate unauthorized subcontracting. All production locations that fall within the scope of Target’s Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability Program must be disclosed to Target before production begins. All locations must be approved by Target in accordance with Partners Online requirements.

Grievance mechanisms

We require suppliers to implement effective grievance mechanisms to systematically receive, investigate and respond to issues raised and implement remedies to resolve them. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) defines an effective grievance mechanism as legitimate, accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, rights-compatible, based on engagement and dialogue, and used as a source of continuous learning.

No forced labor or human trafficking

We condemn forced labor and human trafficking and will not knowingly work with suppliers who engage in these practices or the use of incarcerated labor. All workers have the right to engage in work willingly, without surrendering identification and without the payment of fees. Workers have the right to freedom of movement and our suppliers must ensure it is afforded to them. Workers have the right to terminate their employment without penalty upon providing reasonable notice. Suppliers must also procure their raw materials and/or components for products solely from sources that do not utilize forced labor or engage in human trafficking.

No underage labor

We do not tolerate the use of underage labor and will not knowingly work with suppliers that utilize underage workers. We define underage worker as any individual younger than the local minimum working age or the age of 15, whichever is older, and/or those not abiding by the international standards as defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding age-appropriate work governing family farming. Suppliers must comply with all age-related working restrictions as set by local law and adhere to international standards as defined by the ILO regarding age-appropriate work.

Health and safety

Suppliers must provide a safe and healthy working environment for workers. We expect hazards to be assessed and appropriate safeguards to be implemented, monitored and trained to workers to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses. The safeguards must protect workers from exposure to toxic chemicals or materials, ensure life and building safety, and meet local laws. If suppliers provide residential facilities for their workers, they must be safe and sanitary.

No discrimination

We respect cultural and individual differences and believe discrimination should not be tolerated. Suppliers are expected to maintain a discrimination-free workplace and to employ legally eligible workers based on their abilities, rather than their race, color, sex, pregnancy status, gender identity, marital status, political opinions, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, social origin, national origin or any other characteristics unrelated to an individual’s ability to perform the work required by the job.

No harassment

We believe that all workers should be treated with dignity. Suppliers must not engage in, condone or tolerate physical, verbal, mental or sexual harassment against or among their workers.

Working hours and overtime

Suppliers must not allow working hours that exceed the applicable legal limit, or 60 hours per week, whichever is less. Regularly paid hours must not exceed 48 per week and overtime hours must not exceed 12 hours per week or the amount specified by local law, whichever is less. Only in exceptional cases may a person work more than 60 hours per week or more than six consecutive days. Overtime work must always be voluntary and paid at a premium rate. Workers must have at least one full non-working day in every seven-day period.


Suppliers must provide wages and benefits that meet or exceed local law requirements and are paid/provided in a timely manner. We encourage suppliers to commit to the betterment of wages and benefits to improve the lives of workers and their families in the communities where they live.

Freedom of association

We seek suppliers who productively engage workers and value them as critical assets to sustainable business success. This includes respecting the rights of workers to make an informed decision as to whether to associate or not with any group, consistent with all applicable laws.

Licenses and permitting

Suppliers must acquire and maintain all legally required environmental permits and business operating licenses necessary for the production of their products and operation of their facilities. We will not tolerate suppliers operating without valid current permits.

Environmental management and monitoring systems

Suppliers must have an environmental management system that identifies, characterizes, and inventories all operational and production impacts to air emission, energy, water, and wastewater. Impacts must be measured and tracked.

No illegal wastewater discharge

We will not tolerate suppliers with undersized, bypassed, or inoperable wastewater treatment systems. Suppliers must install and maintain appropriately sized wastewater treatment systems to ensure pollutants are at or below legally required levels.

Waste reduction and disposal

Suppliers must handle, store, transport and dispose of hazardous waste legally. We will not tolerate suppliers that engage in illegal waste dumping. We seek suppliers who demonstrate they actively work to reduce waste throughout the production process.

Energy and water use

Suppliers are expected to set clear goals to improve energy and water efficiency and document progress made toward achieving those goals.

Emissions to air

Suppliers must install and maintain appropriate air emissions control devices to ensure air emissions’ pollutants are at or below legally required levels.

Reporting misconduct

If you encounter what you believe to be a potential violation of local laws or regulations, Target’s Standards of Vendor Engagement or unethical behavior, you must report your concerns to Target by emailing or visiting Report anonymously, 24 hours a day, by calling the Integrity Hotline. The call is free and handled by an independent third party. Local language interpreters are also available.

  • U.S.: 1-800-541-6838
  • India: 000-800-100-1657
  • Bangladesh: (0) 9610-998509
  • China: 4001201894
  • Hong Kong: 800906528
  • Indonesia: (021) 50918413
  • Vietnam: 024 4458 3187 
  • Other non-U.S. locations, place a collect call to the U.S.: 1-470-219-7116

You can also write Corporate Compliance & Ethics, Target Corporation, 1000 Nicollet Mall #3110, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

We engage only the necessary partners and investigate every allegation received.

Retaliation of any kind against an individual who reports concerns in good faith violates Target’s principles and will not be tolerated. 

Applying Target's Standards of Vendor Engagement

This guidebook builds upon Target’s SOVE to provide detailed information on our expectations for ethical business practices, and for social, labor and environmental sustainability.

Applying the SOVE — Bengali

Applying the SOVE — English

Applying the SOVE — French

Applying the SOVE — Hindi

Applying the SOVE — Indonesian

Applying the SOVE — Khmer

Applying the SOVE — Korean

Applying the SOVE — Simplified Chinese

Applying the SOVE — Spanish

Applying the SOVE — Traditional Chinese

Applying the SOVE — Vietnamese