New in sustainability: Target Forward looks to the future

Post-pandemic, consumers care far more about sustainability than they did prior. Being home with all of your waste for weeks on end was quite a wake-up call for many. So, companies had to step up to meet this new consumer need. If a company isn’t keeping up with the times, then they have already fallen behind. The latest company to make a move towards sustainability is Target. 

Target has called its new initiative Target Forward, and the plan has clearly laid out goals. George Draper Dayton had the thought almost a century ago that we all should try to be a positive impact on the world around us. Now, Target is still aiming to meet that expectation and evolving to do so. As stated in Target’s article about Target Forward, the vision is to “Co-create an equitable and regenerative future with our guests, partners and communities.”  

This is a great task to take on, but Target has thought through how the company will get there. The main goal has been split up into three ambitions that will help reach the goal. First, Target will be designing and innovating sustainable brands. This isn’t a brand new idea for Target, as this ambition has already been in motion for years. With sustainable items from stainless steel travel mugs to sustainably sourced lipgloss, there are products for everyone to add to their grocery lists.  

Next up, Target is innovating to eliminate waste.  There are a handful of products already sold at Target that aim to do this, like bio-degradable cleaning products and reusable Tupperware. Target’s 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report has a great Q & A with Target’s Vice President, Amanda Nusz. She gives a little insight into the thought process behind Target’s sustainability initiatives. In the interview, she shows how much thought has been put into Target’s sustainability. Target is aware of how much of an impact on the environment a large retailer like them has, so they know where they source from matters. 

The last ambition Target has stated as a stepping stone to their vision is accelerating opportunity and equity. This has included increased wages, job protection, and hiring practices to make the employees of a store show the demographics of the community they are in. Target is working with local communities to reach its goals, as well as donating volunteer hours to help other organizations meet their goals, too. 

When it’s all said and done, Target’s goal is to have zero waste by 2040. Yep, you read that right. Zero. This means that there will be no waste in landfills from Target, nor will there be emissions from Target facilities. A company with as much market space as Target making an initiative like this is great news for the environment. Every small step made by each store is multiplied by hundreds when you consider there are almost 2,000 Targets in the United States.  

So, how can you help? Target makes it easy to shop sustainable items, and there will be an even larger selection to choose from in the coming years. Most of all, shop with a purpose. Buy the items that you need and that you will use, and skip the ones you can do without. A little effort from everyone goes a long way, and Target is making it easy to do your part. 

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