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Target Outlines New Chemical Strategy Across Products and Processes

Target has unwanted chemicals in its bullseye.

The mass market chain announced  a sweeping new chemical strategy Wednesday that covers its entire value chain, operations and all products. The goal is to be transparent, proactive and innovative when it comes to managing chemicals and, where necessary, developing alternatives.

“[Our chemical strategy is] ambitious, but using our size, scale and expertise, we think we’ll be able to make significant progress. And we hope our robust approach will accelerate similar efforts across the industry,” Jennifer Silberman, chief sustainability officer, Target. “Ultimately, we want to bring all stakeholders together to innovate and champion a consistent, industry-wide approach to greener chemistry.”

The company plans to implement the strategy in stages, with complete adoption by 2022. It is working with its vendors and supply chain partners to provide healthy products and to take the guesswork out of shopping for its customers.

By 2020, the first phase will be complete. It will encompass two goals: First, achieve transparency for all ingredients in categories like fragrance, beauty and personal care, and also offer beauty, baby care, personal care and household cleaning products that are free of phthalates, propylparaben, butyl-paraben, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-donors and NPEs.

By 2022, the company will ensure textiles are perfluorinated chemical and flame retardant free. Also by this time, Target plans to invest $5 million toward green chemistry innovation.

“Part of knowing what’s in products is understanding where they come from and how they’re made,” said Irene Quarshie, vice president for quality and compliance at Target Sourcing Services. “So we’ll build on our work in the responsible sourcing space to help us verify that supply chain processes are sustainable, as well as ethical and responsible, from beginning to end.”

Target will keep track of its progress and inform the community in its annual corporate Social Responsibility Report.