Target, the eighth largest retailer in the United States, announced new climate targets on Wednesday that will both build on the company’s previous goals and lay out a new reduction target for the company’s entire supply chain.
In late-2017 Target announced that it had set a series of new climate policies and goals approved by the Science Based Targets initiative which included a commitment to source 100% renewable energy in its domestic operations. At the time, Target had already been well and truly on a path to sustainability as a three-time ENERGY STAR partner of the year and a top corporate solar installer as judged by the United States’ Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA).
“Target has long been committed to making our business more sustainable, which leads to a stronger, cleaner supply chain and operations, and a healthier environment for our team members and guests,” explained Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO, Target, speaking at the time. “That’s why we’re setting goals to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, and working with our industry partners, policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Fast-forward to this week, and Target has once again upped the ante on its competitors, announcing a new set of goals that will, primarily, serve to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the company’s entire supply chain, where 96% of its greenhouse gas emissions related to its business stems from. Target aims to unify its suppliers around these same goals — regardless of whether they are working the raw materials that create the company’s products or manufacturing and transporting those same products to Target shelves.
Specifically, Target has committed to reducing its absolute Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2017 levels by 2030 — this includes both direct emissions from the company’s operations (Scope 1 and 2) as well as the indirect emissions from their supply chain (Scope 3).
Additionally, Target has committed to ensuring that 80% of its suppliers will set science-based reduction targets on their own Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2023.
“Our new climate goals will reduce our carbon footprint from source to shelf, as we work alongside our partners within our supply chain to lower emissions and help create a better tomorrow,” said Brian Cornell, speaking Wednesday. “We have a responsibility to our guests and the environment to set high expectations and encourage ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, promoting positive change throughout the industry to have an even greater impact for generations to come.”
Target has partnered with industry expert Anthesis for guidance and direction as the company seeks to fulfill the requirements of the Science Based Targets initiative’s rigorous guidelines. In adding a Scope 3 greenhouse gas reduction target to their company policy, Target elevates itself to a climate leader in the United States.
“It’s vital for companies, particularly major retailers, to lower the emissions in their supply chain if they are serious about addressing their environmental impact,” said Dexter Galvin, Global Director of Corporations & Supply Chains at CDP, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners. “We applaud Target for setting ambitious goals covering their entire supply chain, and hope more companies can follow in their footsteps to boldly address and combat climate change, to create a thriving economy for people and planet.”
Target will continue to ramp up its investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency across its business, including projects such as installing LED lighting in all its buildings and benefiting from electricity generated by the 211 megawatt (MW) Stephens Ranch Wind Project in Texas. Target will also be adding solar rooftop panels at 500 locations by 2020.
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