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Target Debuts New Climate Policy and Environmental Goals

Sustainability remains at the core of Target’s corporate ethos and the retailer is making a major move to combat climate change.

On Tuesday, Target announced a new climate policy and goals to further its environmental progress. As a two-time Energy Star partner of the year and supporter of global circularity efforts, Target’s new policy and goals align with those of the Science-Based Targets Initiative, an organization that enables U.S. companies to improve their sustainability outlook. With the new policy and goals, Target aims to cut back on carbon emissions, minimize water use, produce more eco-friendly products and foster a more sustainable supply chain.

“Target has long been committed to making our business more sustainable, which leads to a stronger, cleaner supply chain and operations, and a healthier environment for our team members and guests,” said Target CEO and chairman Brian Cornell. “That’s why we’re setting goals to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, and working with our industry partners, policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Efforts under the new policy address three different areas—emissions that come directly from Target facilities (Scope 1), emissions from energy Target purchases to power its facilities (Scope 2) and emissions generated through the manufacturing and distribution of products, guests using Target’s products, business travel and other indirect sources.

First, Target plans to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 2015 levels by 2025. To get there, Target said it will increase its use of renewable solar and wind power to minimize energy used at its facilities, boost energy-efficiency lighting and heating in stores and actively regulate its refrigerant inventory.

On a production level, Target plans to implement projects in its owned brand manufacturing hubs, so it could cut two million metric tons of Scope 3 emissions annually by 2022. Target is already making strides with this goal since it actively participates in the Clean by Design textile industry program and the Vietnam Improvement program, which both help factories become more sustainable in their natural resource use. Target intends to bring both programs to more of its facilities in the coming years.

Within a year, Target will also form another Scope 3 level, coupled with its Scope 1 and Scope 2 goal—which will help it achieve its commitment to the Science-Based Targets Initiative.

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[Read more on how Target is making it’s supply chain more sustainable: Target Sets Goal of 100 Percent Sustainable Cotton by 2022]

Along with these goals, Target is pledging to source 100 percent renewable energy in its domestic operations and will work with partners to achieve this goal over the next eight years. Target will bring this climate policy to life by increasing the adoption of renewable energy in its own operations and supply chain, engaging in energy and water efficiency, investing in innovations that support the transition to a lower-carbon transportation system, considering climate impacts in raw materials sourcing and supporting communities heavily affected by climate change.

In addition to these efforts, Target will also continue to collaborate with environmental organizations, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to minimize its carbon footprint and support a more circular apparel ecosystem in the future.