Target preps owned brands for a circular future

Retailer’s broad Target Forward sustainable strategy includes a plan to have 100% of its store brands be designed to eliminate waste, sourced sustainability, be recyclable and more.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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By the year 2040, Target will have 100% of its store brand products be designed for a circular future — eliminating waste, leveraging regenerative and recycled materials, sourcing responsibly, and creating products that are durable that can be easily repaired or recycled.

The strong commitment is part of the retailer’s latest sustainability strategy — Target Forward — that includes goals set around its owned brand packaging, product design, sourcing and inclusivity. The company said the program aims to elevate sustainable brands, innovate to eliminate waste and accelerate opportunity and equity. 

“As a company and a member of the global community, it’s imperative for both the health of our business and of our planet that we embrace new ways to move forward,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target. “We know sustainability is tied to business resiliency and growth, and that our size and scale can drive change that is good for all. Target Forward influences every corner of our business, deepens our collaboration with our partners and builds on our past efforts to ensure a better future for generations to come."


Among specific store brand goals outlined by the retailer:

  • By 2030, Target aims to be the market leader for creating and curating inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences; 
  • By 2040, Target plans for 100% of its owned brand products to be designed for a circular future, designing to eliminate waste, using materials that are regenerative, recycled or sourced sustainably, to create products that are more durable, easily repaired or recyclable;
  • By 2040, Target commits to being a net zero enterprise — zero waste to landfill in its U.S. operations and net zero emissions across both its operations and supply chain, inclusive of scopes 1, 2 and 3;
  • By 2030, Target aims to build a team that equitably reflects the communities it serves, beginning with its commitment to increase Black team member representation across the company by 20% by 2023;
  • Target and the Target Foundation will become even more deeply ingrained within communities, lifting up the voices and unique perspectives of community members to maximize the positive impact they can create together.

The retailer also highlighted that the new goals above are part of foundation already underway, such as its Universal Thread and Everspring private brands follow circular design principles and it accelerated its commitments to sustainable packaging in 2018 by signing the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

The company also last year established its Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee to create racial equity for Black team members. Additionally, in 2019, the retailer established science-based targets for emissions reductions and has projects in place that will result in purchasing nearly 50% of its electricity from renewable sources.

“We want our guests to turn to Target first when they think about sustainability,” said Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility, Target, and president of the Target Foundation. “We know that the only way to make that possible is by putting both people and the planet at the center of our efforts, as we co-create with our guests, our partners and the communities we serve.”