Target announces new corporate waste, recycling goals

The retail company says it exceeded its 2020 goal to divert 70 percent of its retail waste from landfills.

Target, Minneapolis, released its "2018 Corporate Responsibility" report July 18, which highlighted an array of growth areas the company is pursuing. The company’s initiatives were segmented into four key categories: Empower Teams, Serve Guests, Foster Communities and Design Tomorrow.

As part of its Design Tomorrow initiative, the company outlined a number of waste and recycling goals for the future, as well as targets that the company has already hit.    

Some of the highlights include:

  • Target exceeded its 2020 goal to divert 70 percent of its retail waste from landfills through reuse or recycling ahead of deadline. The company has set a new goal to hit 75 percent diversion by the end of 2018.
  • Target adopted The Consumer Goods Forum's Food Waste Resolution, committing to halve the company’s food waste within its operations by 2025.
  • In 2017, Target launched an organics recycling program at 66 Target store locations. Building upon the learnings from those locations, the company plans to expand the program to 209 additional stores (including four distribution centers and one food distribution center) in 2018, totaling 307 Target locations. In addition, the company composts organic waste at its corporate headquarters. In 2017, Target composted 582,000 pounds of organic waste.
  • In 2017, Target’s electronics recycling program recycled more than 4.2 million pounds of electronics.
  • The company is working closely with its suppliers and other partners to eliminate expanded polystyrene—foam packaging that is difficult to recycle.
  • As part of the company’s work with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Charlottesville, Virginia, Target is continuing to look for ways to add the How2Recycle label to its owned-brand product packages. The label is an industry standard that lets consumers know exactly how to recycle a piece of packaging.
  • As the first retailer to join The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, Target says it is continuing to invest to increase access to curbside recycling in communities.
  • The company has joined industry efforts to create more demand for recycled packaging. This includes the Materials Recovery for the Future Collaborative, a project working toward a vision that all flexible packaging can be recycled.

“This work is a journey—and while we have a long way to go, I’m proud of our progress,” Target CEO and Chairman Brian Cornell says of the report. “Every action we take that strengthens the health and vitality of the communities where we live and work is a step forward in building a better, brighter future for Target, the people we serve and the planet we all share.”

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