Today’s Solutions: September 28, 2023

While you can currently buy sustainable products at Target, such as compostable cutlery, cleaning products in glass bottles, and shoes that can be sent back for recycling, the retail giant plans to go further and make all the products in its stores circular by 2040.

That goal is part of its wider sustainability strategy called Target Forward,’ which has three main objectives: to design and elevate sustainable brands, to eliminate waste, and to push for equity and opportunity across the company in its communities nationwide. The ultimate aim is to reach zero waste in its US operations and net zero in both direct and indirect emissions by 2040.

What’s more, another part of the current plan is to increase its Black team member representation across the company by 20 percent by 2023. the Target Forward initiative builds upon sustainability steps the company has previously taken, such as pledging to source 100 percent of its electricity from green sources by 2030.

As reported by Fast Company, Target’s goal for its own brand products to be designed for circularity doesn’t necessarily mean “circularity” in the most rigorous sense. Instead, the company will design its products so that they are “more durable, easily repaired, or recyclable,” and using materials that are regenerative, recycled, or sourced sustainably.

The efforts will also include some customer-education elements that would inform shoppers about ways they can divert products that have reached the end of their life away from the trash bin.

“A great example is packaging,” says Amanda Nusz, Target’s senior vice president of corporate responsibility. “What we think about is how to deliver packaging that is compostable, recyclable, or to just remove the packaging, and make sure that the guests understand by the label the packaging they ended up [with].” Shoppers can also bring things to Target stores for recycling.

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