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Target outlines 8 new sustainability goals


Amid a slew of news from Target headquarters on Monday, the retailer also announced that, as part of the White House’s climate pledge, it would be working toward eight new sustainability commitments.

The company has had success so far when it comes to sustainability, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 9% since 2012 and eliminating more than half a million metric tons of carbon dioxide from its buildings.

The commitments are for the company to achieve the following benchmarks by 2020:

  • Get 80% of its buildings Energy Star certified, which it says will reduce an amount of greenhouse gas emissions equal to 1,895 passenger vehicles (Currently 75% of its U.S. locations are Energy Star certified.);

  • A 10% reduction in energy intensity per square foot, which would reduce energy use by the equivalent of 25,000 homes’;

  • Add solar panels to the roofs of 500 stores, which would be an upgrade from the approximately 100 stores with rooftop panels that can generate a third of a building’s energy;

  • Expand investment in offsite renewable energy to complement solar panels and reduce emissions;

  • Introduce hydrocarbon-free refrigerants at food distribution centers and refrigerated display cases;

  • A 10% per square foot reduction in water use across all stores — something the company has been working toward, reducing use by 13.1 percent per square foot since 2009;

  • Reuse or recycle 70% of retail waste, which the company is currently working toward by partnering with such programs as Feeding America and encouraging waste sorting to find compostable waste; and

  • Grow its Natural Resources Defense Council Clean by Design program, which has seen some Chinese textile mills report an average of 9% water savings and as much as a 22% reduction in energy.

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