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03/17/2022

Target in milestone net zero energy store

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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target net zero
The Vista store has been outfitted with 3,420 solar panels across its roof and newly installed carport canopies.

Target Corp. has unveiled its most sustainable store to date — one that will produce more renewable energy than it needs to power its operations.

The store, a retrofit of its existing location in Vista, Calif., is the retailer’s first net-zero energy store, and will serve as a testing site for sustainability-minded innovations, providing insights to help inform future Target store designs.

The site will generate renewable energy through 3,420 solar panels that have been installed across its roof and newly installed carport canopies. It is expected to produce up to 10% more renewable energy annually than it needs to operate. It can transmit the surplus each year back to the local power grid. (Target has applied for net-zero energy certification from the International Living Future Institute.)

The building also features numerous innovations to further reduce emissions, such as powering its HVAC heating through rooftop solar panels instead of natural gas. Additionally, the store switched to carbon dioxide refrigeration, a natural refrigerant, that Target will scale chain-wide by 2040 to reduce its direct operations' emissions by 20%.

Recycling, donations and composting operations at the Vista store, alongside Target's other facilities, support the retailer's goal to divert 90% of its U.S. operations' waste away from landfills by 2030 as it aims for Zero Waste certification. Additionally, the Vista site offers electric vehicle charging spaces. (Target currently provides more than 1,350 spaces at 150-plus locations across more than 20 states.)

"We've been working for years at Target to shift toward sourcing more renewable energy and further reducing our carbon footprint, and our Vista store's retrofit is the next step in our sustainability journey and a glimpse of the future we're working toward," said John Conlin, senior VP of properties, Target. "Our new stores and remodel programs are designed to help achieve our sustainability goals as we test, learn and scale our innovations over time across our operations."

Sustainability Initiatives Underway
The store builds on the many ways Target has upgrading its stores and facilities to support the company's sustainability strategy, Target Forward. The retailer has committed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions enterprise-wide by 2040, and since 2017 Target has already reduced its direct operations' emissions by nearly 27%. One of the ways it intends to reach its net-zero goal is through sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources for its operations by 2030.

Target's offsite solar and wind energy contracts are helping the company move quickly toward its renewable energy goal, as it has secured additional partnerships that will allow it to purchase nearly half of its electricity from renewable sources later this year. Target also conserves 10% of its stores' total energy use by using LED lighting instead of conventional lighting.

Target said it continues to be a retail leader in solar with more than 25% of its facilities with rooftop solar, helping the company save millions annually in energy costs and reducing its emissions. Its Vista store is one of 542 Target buildings nationwide with solar installations. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recognizes Target as the top U.S. Corporate Onsite Installer with 255 megawatts of energy.