Target is known for its exclusive own branded goods for everything from arts and crafts to clothing. Now the retailer is committed to making all of these products greener.
It said Tuesday it would develop more durable items that cut waste and encourage reuse by 2040.
Within that timeframe, Target plans to become a net zero company, which means it does not generate landfill waste in its U.S. operations and has net zero emissions in all operations and supply chain.
While these changes may not be immediately apparent to consumers, the retailer’s efforts are ongoing. Target said it had already launched a number of products and initiatives with sustainability in mind. For example, Universal Thread garments use sustainably sourced cotton and recycled polyester, and the Everspring cleaning product line uses 100% recyclable bottles and sprayers, compostable multi-surface wipes and 100% recycled paper.
“These standards are being worked on as we speak. You will see them everywhere now and in the future. And then when we bring new brands to market, that becomes more embedded in the look of that brand launch. “Said Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility for the retailer.
As it works toward that goal, Target needs to hit other benchmarks sooner. By 2025, all brands will use plastic packaging that is either recyclable, compostable or reusable.
By 2030, the company aims to be the market leader in creating and maintaining inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences, the company said.
Starting this fall, the company will look into single-use plastic bags as part of its Beyond the Bag initiative, which aims to develop retail bags that are less harmful to the environment.
Target is responding to growing consumer demand for more sustainable corporate products and practices.
According to the results of the EY Future Consumer Index, 72 percent of US consumers said that sustainability is more important or important in purchasing decisions. The survey gathered information from 1,001 US and more than 14,000 global respondents in May.
Consumers are so committed to sustainability that 30% more spend on sustainable and environmentally friendly products and 31% plan to buy more sustainable products in the next 12 months.
“We spent over a year gathering information and listening,” said Nusz. “It is a new era of sustainability for our company. Although it is not a new job, we want to create a fair and regenerative future together with our guests, our partners and the community.”
The goals Target announced on Tuesday build on its previous efforts. For example, in 2018 Target committed to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to avoid plastic waste by making it reusable, recyclable or compostable. The company has also started reducing its emissions and getting more electricity from renewable sources.
Other retailers are responding to consumer demand for products that are less harmful to the environment. Walmart partnered with ThredUp, a second hand seller of clothing, shoes and accessories, to offer used items for women and children on the Walmart website. ThredUp also has partnerships with Gap and Macy’s.
Adidas has a goal of making nine out of ten products sustainable by 2025, and Lululemon has launched a resale program that allows customers to buy and sell used items. This month it will expand the effort to its website. Levi’s has launched a campaign encouraging customers to wear their jeans longer and not throw them away.
“As a company and a member of the global community, it is imperative to the health of our company and our planet that we break new ground to move forward,” said Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell in a statement. “We know that sustainability is related to the resilience and growth of businesses, and that our size and scale can drive change that is good for everyone.”