Target Shares Inaugural ESG Progress Report

The Minneapolis-based retailer shared details about the steps it's taking towards meeting its Target Forward ESG agenda.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Target Forward

Target Corp. has shared details on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress in a new, inaugural report.

First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, the report takes an in-depth look at progress made toward the Target Forward sustainability strategy, as well as other priorities including cybersecurity and governance. In the report, Target said the number of private and exclusive brands is up to over 50, helping to contribute to $104.6 billion in total sales for the retailer last year.

“As I reflect on a year that was marked by tremendous growth and continued volatility, one thing never wavered: the Target team’s commitment to care,” says CEO Brian Cornell. “The care I see from our team strikes me as both a differentiator in our industry and an outstanding asset in addressing the great social and environmental challenges of our time. Applying our business strengths in service to people and the planet is also making our business more innovative and resilient and positioning us for continued growth.”

On the environmental side, Target saw an absolute reduction in operational emissions of 32% and also retrofitted its first net zero energy store. The company also introduced Target Zero earlier this year, which empowers guests to more easily shop for products with packaging designed to be refillable, reusable or compostable, or made with recycled content or plastic alternatives.

For its employees, Target enhanced its total rewards package to create greater equity and opportunity. A new starting wage range of $15-$24 per hour was set, and a new debt-free education program and medical plan extension were undertaken.

In regards to DEI, Target highlighted its commitment to spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses over the next three years, as well as its $100 million commitment to help fuel economic prosperity in Black communities across the U.S. during the same time period. As such, the retailer became a founding supporter of the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, which offers free tuition to Black leaders, designers and engineers.

“Our work through Target Forward coincides with our commitment to accountability as we work to create positive change,” said Amanda Nusz, SVP of Corporate Responsibility at Target, and President of the Target Foundation. “One year after the launch of Target Forward, I’m proud that dozens of initiatives are already underway to drive progress toward our goals, fueled by our team and, critically, participation from our vendors, suppliers and community partners.”