Targeting renewable energy

Lawrence Aylward
Editor In Chief
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Target is focusing on inclusivity with its store brand apparel lines.

"Sustainability.” It’s a big word, and it comes with a lot of responsibility. Sustainability is about:

• reducing food and packaging waste;

• using leftover food to help feed the poor;

• reducing the carbon footprint;

• removing undesirable chemicals and ingredients from food and beverage products to make them healthier;

• ensuring that suppliers and producers practice environmental stewardship and animal husbandry;

• offering products that are inclusive for all people;

• and treating employees fairly and with dignity while compensating them adequately.

Sustainability, simply, is responsibility on myriad levels associated with products and services.

In the next several issues of Store Brands Today, we'll look at what several grocery retailers are doing to be more sustainable. These vignettes may focus on one or only a few things that retailers are doing. In most cases the retailers are doing much more and have made sustainability a significant component of their every-day businesses.

Today, we look at Target.

To lower its carbon footprint, Minneapolis-based Target aims to have all of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. The goal, announced in June, applies to all of Target’s domestic operations including stores, distribution centers and offices.

According to the company, its businesses currently generate approximately 22% of their electricity requirements from renewable sources. Target is investing in a variety of projects that produce energy through such renewable resources as the sun and wind.

“We’ve been on a multi-year journey to operate our facilities more sustainably and setting this ambitious goal is an important milestone,” says John Leisen, Target’s vice president of property management.

In addition, Target continues to upgrade its facilities to make them more sustainable. It will have rooftop solar panels on 500 of its locations by 2020. The retailer is also installing electric vehicle charging stations at more than 100 sites across more than 20 states. LED lighting, now in place across nearly all stores, has reduced the chain’s energy usage by 10% annually.

On the product front, Target is focusing on inclusivity with its store brand apparel lines.

We strive to design products that serve a variety of guests — regardless of size, body type, skin tone or abilities,” says Jennifer Silberman, Target’s vice president of corporate responsibility. “Our intention is to offer products and experiences that reflect the diverse makeup of our guests. The goal is to make guests feel comfortable and confident when wearing our apparel brands.”

In 2018 Target introduced a women’s lifestyle private brand, Universal Thread, which includes an assortment with multiple fits, silhouettes, lengths, rises and sizes.

“We developed this brand based on interviews with nearly 1,000 women from around the United States who told us they dreaded shopping for new clothes and that, oftentimes, what they wanted was not offered for their body type,” Silberman says.

Target’s Cat & Jack adaptive apparel line is made especially for kids and toddlers living with disabilities to make it easier for families to dress their kids in the morning. The retailer’s design team created 40 different items that have features such as side and back snap and zip closures and hidden openings for abdominal access. The line is also made with extra-soft, comfortable and durable cotton knits.

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