Traceability & Transparency
Target’s responsible sourcing strategy is grounded in our commitment to increased supply chain transparency and to embracing opportunities to drive positive change.
We are committed to taking care of the resources we have today and reducing the impact our product manufacturing has on workers throughout the supply chain and on the environment. Additionally, it is our mission to verify that everything we source for Target is produced ethically and in accordance with all applicable laws and our policies.
Our initiatives are grounded in traceability to enable holistic engagement between people and planet. Target works with our business partners to conduct supply chain mapping and enable our ability to track the journey from raw materials to finished product. We aim to achieve full visibility not only to where our raw materials originate, but also across our suppliers throughout each tier of our supply chain, their locations and how those locations may evolve over time. To accomplish this, we have increased our requirements further back in the supply chain through location disclosure and material tracing.
Target’s Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability Location Disclosure audit program aims to assess whether the products we source are produced ethically and in accordance with laws and our SOVE.
All business partners that fall into one of the below categories are required to comply with Target’s Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability Location Disclosure audit program:
Target owned brand products and packaging.
Target-exclusive products and packaging.
Nationally branded products and packaging for which Target is the importer of record.
Our Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability Location Disclosure audit program covers all final production and select raw material finishing and processing facilities. Facilities that manufacture or convert raw materials for these products must be disclosed. All disclosed manufacturing locations must conduct regular audits and have them approved in accordance with our industry-aligned audit protocol.
Mapping the supply chain & global factory list
We publish a list of all tier 1 factories that produce our owned brand products, national brand products where Target is the importer of record, as well as tier 2 fabric, trim, packaging, apparel textile mills and wet processing facilities. The increased transparency creates meaningful opportunities to enhance responsible and sustainable production practices. This list is subject to change and updates are made on a quarterly basis.
We support and are represented on the Board of the Open Apparel Registry (OAR), an open-source tool that creates unique IDs for apparel and footwear factories to facilitate collaboration and data-sharing. Every quarter, we upload our updated global factory list to the OAR platform.
We support the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE)’s Green Supply Chain Map initiative. Using credible, publicly available data, IPE’s Map provides both real-time performance data and historical trend information related to air pollution emissions and wastewater discharge for manufacturing facilities. Target contributes by sharing our supplier factory list and maintaining updates for use in IPE’s mapping efforts. Map users can click the Target logos to access information on those factories’ environmental performance and sustainability efforts.
Measuring the impact of materials
We are a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a group of more than 250 brands, retailers, suppliers, nonprofits and NGOs who work to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products around the world.
The coalition’s first major project was to create The Higg Index, a suite of tools to help the industry measure the impact of the value chain in a standardized manner across the industry. In 2012, Target began asking factories producing Target-brand products to use the Higg Index self-assessment. The results are part of our business partners' annual scorecards. In 2020, Target began to require the Higg FEM self-assessment for all factories in scope of our Responsible Sourcing Program as a part of doing business with Target.
Tier 2 environmental oversight
At Target, our Standards of Vendor Engagement include environmental sustainability standards which are applied within our merchandise supply chain to ensure our partners are achieving and sustaining a high level of environmental performance. To apply these standards, we go beyond our tier one suppliers to also work with our tier two soft home textile and apparel suppliers. We’ve taken initial steps to map Target’s tier one and tier two soft home textile and apparel suppliers as published within our global factory list.
Currently, all tier one and tier two soft home and apparel textile suppliers disclose environmental impacts related to their production using the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Facilities Environmental Module (FEM). Target also holds tier two soft home and apparel textile suppliers accountable by using the Higg FEM verification process to audit and ultimately elevate their environmental performance. Those results are subject to third party verification and are mapped against the applicable environmental sustainability standards to ensure compliance and to promote excellent environmental performance within our supply chain.
To help our suppliers source responsibly while minimizing harm to the planet and supporting communities, we have developed policies and programs, including material tracing programs for key materials like cotton, palm oil and seafood. Our key material prioritization is based on risk criteria and in service of achieving our ambitious Target Forward goals.
Cotton: We focus on cotton due to its prevalence in our assortment, the regulatory requirements surrounding cotton and our commitment to source cotton more sustainably for owned brand and exclusive national brand products.
Palm Oil: We are supporting our palm oil sustainability work to trace palm oil to the mill level. Given the challenges upstream in this supply chain, understanding where our business partners source palm oil is essential.
Seafood: Our sustainable seafood commitment, which is framed around Monterey Bay Seafood Watch’s ratings, applies to all fresh and frozen seafood and shelf-stable tuna items as well as owned brand pet food. Focusing on traceability in seafood supply chains is critical due to the challenge of monitoring vessels on the high seas and the prevalence of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing.
Learn more about our approach to responsible resource use.
Transparency in supply chains disclosure
Driven by our Target Forward vision, we are committed to a sustainable and inclusive supply chain that is just and equitable for all workers. Learn how our Just & Equitable Supply Chain (JESC) goals work together to improve working conditions and about our commitment to respecting the human rights of our team members, guests and workers in the supply chain and people in the communities in which we operate.
Our commitment to supply chain transparency can be found in our annual Transparency in Supply Chains disclosure: