US retailer promises to be transparent about all its product ingredients in ambitous new CSR strategy

Target has announced a new product strategy to remove harmful chemicals in its entire value chain, operations and products. The new policy includes a commitment on transparency of chemicals used throughout its supply chain, and innovation in the commercialisation of safer chemicals.

The US discount retail store has nearly 1,800 stores across the US, 239 million sq ft of retail space, and 341,000 employees. It will build on its existing Sustainable Product Index, which was launched in 2014. It aims to achieve transparency in all its product ingredients by 2020, formulate products without phthalates, parabens and formaldehyde by 2020, and invest up to $5m in green chemistry by 2022.

Jennifer Silberman, chief sustainability officer at Target, said: “Our chemical strategy will be one of the most comprehensive in the US retail industry … It’s ambitious, but using our size, scale and expertise, we think we’ll be able to make significant progress. And we hope our robust approach will accelerate similar efforts across the industry.“

Target has emphasised the need for collaboration to achieve its goals. It will team up with vendors, supply chain partners, NGOs and other organisations across the industry to identify unwanted substances in products and operations and work towards developing safer alternatives. It has already collaborated with household brand Seventh Generation to work on consumer transparency.

Silberman said: “We look forward to working with our partners on further reducing the presence of unwanted substances in the homes and workplaces of millions of guests, and helping to enhance their health and well-being.” Irene Quarshie, vice president, quality and compliance, Target Sourcing Services, also emphasised the need to address the entire supply chain: “Part of knowing what’s in products is understanding where they come from and how they’re made. So we’ll build on our work in the responsible sourcing space to help us verify that supply chain processes are sustainable, as well as ethical and responsible, from beginning to end.”

Target will be monitoring its progress from February this year, and reporting on development in its Corporate Social Responsibility Report. See Ethical Corporation’s review of its last CSR report, Target’s year of hits and misses.

Irene Quarshie, VP responsible sourcing, of Target will be giving more insight on how Target will build more transparency and traceability into their supply chain at our upcoming Responsible Business Summit New York. Taking place on March 27-28, the event will host 250+ leading US brands sharing how to create a business of purpose and profit. Other brands leading the debate include; Dell, Ford Motors Foundation, Interface, PepsiCo, Infosys, Ecolab, VF Corporation, Zendesk, HSBC Bank USA plus many more. Click here for more information 

Target  Chemicals  parabens  green chemistry  plastics  supply chain 

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