- Target has unveiled "Target Forward," a three-pronged climate justice and diversity effort. "We want our guests to turn to Target first when they think about sustainability," Amanda Nusz, Target's senior vice president of corporate responsibility, said in a June 22 press release.
- Target leadership seeks to operate "a net-zero enterprise" by 2040. Per the release, this means "zero waste to landfill in its U.S. operations," and net zero emissions in its operations and supply chain.
- The company has also renewed its commitment to diversity with Target Forward, pledging a 20% increase in Black team member representation by 2023. This announcement follows a Workplace Diversity report published September 2020. Target's audit of employee roles (by race and gender) revealed a cavernous leadership gap for people of color.
Sustainability-wise, "Target Forward" is on-brand for the retailer.
Its 2021 announcement builds on Target's 2019 climate goals, which focused on reducing carbon emissions from Target facilities, their energy sources and "the entire supply chain." To assist, Target hired sustainability consulting firm Anthesis — whose clients include Cisco, 3M, Johnson&Johnson, Gap and Unilever. Target followed through on its 2019 commitment to join the United Nations' Business Ambition for 1.5° C, a collective which aims to limit "global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels."
With racial diversity, however, Target hasn't quite hit the bulls-eye on internal diversity commitments.
The company, based in Minneapolis, has taken protestors who, in reaction to the murder of George Floyd, looted Target stores in stride. Amid protests, Target launched REACH, its Racial Equity Action and Change initiative, in summer 2020. According to its website, Target was a founding member of the OneTen coalition, an alliance of companies seeking to "train, hire and advance 1 million Black Americans in the Twin Cities." Likewise, Target and the Target Foundation committed $10 million to "address inequality" in Minneapolis and "affect long-term change through national social justice initiatives."
But a 2020 Workforce Diversity Report indicated a long road to racial equity. A key takeaway is that Target's management is overwhelmingly White at every level. While 50% of its core employee base are people of color, 61% of managers, 71% of officers, 75% of leadership and 54% of the board directors are White. Aside from the Forward announcement, Target's diversity and inclusion goals include improved BIPOC advancement and reduction of turnover for employees of color.
"It's imperative for both the health of our business and of our planet that we embrace new ways to move forward," Target CEO Brian Cornell said in the 2021 press release. "We know sustainability is tied to business resiliency and growth, and that our size and scale can drive change that is good for all."