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Big-box retailer Target this week released its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, highlighting where the company landed with its 2016 goals and looking ahead at new commitments built around products, team, communities and the planet.
“We’re committed to making our business economically, environmentally and socially sustainable,” said Jennifer Silberman, Target’s VP for corporate social responsibility. “And beyond that, we have an opportunity to transform the guest experience beyond the register in a way that unlocks long-term business value. With the power of our team, and our scale as one of the country’s largest retailers, we hope to be a catalyst for change across the industry.”
Specific to grocery, Target reports these milestones for 2016:
- A 139 percent increase in organic food offerings, with a commitment to continue to expand its organic offerings.
- Delivery of 162 enhanced packaging designs that include less packaging, more recyclable packaging and use of recycled content in packaging.
- 68 percent completion of its goal to remove artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners and colors from all own-brand children's items by the end of 2018, including such products as mac and cheese, fruit snacks and animal crackers. Many of Target’s kids’ items are already free of these ingredients, as well as added artificial trans fats and high fructose corn syrup.
- Expansion of its Archer Farms coffee assortment from four to 25 direct trade options.
Other highlights include what Target calls one of the most comprehensive chemical strategies in the retail industry, focusing on driving transparency and ensuring proactive chemical management and innovation across every product the company sells, throughout business operations.
Also last year, Target launched its “I’m Fine” campaign to reduce the stigma around mental health and explain Target resources, which include free counseling to support team members in any aspect of their life. Target also expanded its time-off policies to provide team members paid time off for use for well-being activities.
The company granted nearly $40 million to more than 50 wellness organizations across the country during 2016 to help youth and families build lifelong healthy habits.
Target added rooftop solar panels to 157 new sites in 2016, ending the year with 350 sites with rooftop solar in total, helping it to earn nine industry awards for operational efficiency and sustainability. Further, Target signed an agreement for 100 megawatts of renewable wind energy with Solomon Forks, a wind farm based in Kansas. This wind deal offset 9 percent of the retailer’s energy usage with clean energy.
Looking forward, Target is rethinking its approach to CSR and aligning future priorities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.