Target Ups its Climate Change Goals with Solar Rooftop Panels, New LED Lights in Stores

Target Ups its Climate Change Goals with Solar Rooftop Panels, New LED Lights in Stores

Improving on greenhouse gas emission reduction goals established in 2017, Target plans to change store lightbulbs to LED and add rooftop solar panels to 500 stores by 2020, among other efforts.

Target has changed its bullseye for climate goals by expanding and ramping up on its initial plan set in 2017. The Minneapolis-based retailer intends to reduce all categories of greenhouse gas emissions, through strategies that include changing store lightbulbs and adding solar rooftop panels.

Target also wants to unify its suppliers around similar goals so that reductions are applied across the entire supply chain.

“Our new climate goals will reduce our carbon footprint from source to shelf, as we work alongside our partners… to lower emissions and help create a better tomorrow,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell.

Target’s emission reductions plan includes three categories, or scopes: emissions generated from Target facilities (Scope 1), from energy purchased to power facilities (Scope 2), and from the whole supply chain including product creation (Scope 3).

By 2030, Target plans to reduce all three emission types by 30 percent below its 2017 levels. It’s also committing to 80 percent of its suppliers setting reduction targets on their own Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 2023.

Efforts to reach its goals are already under way. In fact, three years ago Target completed the installation of a 262-foot-tall wind turbines in Lubbock, Texas. Target says the turbines offset the electricity use of 60 area stores.

Target stores nationwide will now be changing building lights to LED bulbs. Solar rooftop panels will also be added to 500 locations by 2020.

To reach its goals and help suppliers reach theirs, Target is enlisting the water conservation-focused Clean by Design initiative; the Apparel Impact Institute, a collective that helps fashion industry entities scale programs to reduce their energy, chemical and water use; and the resource efficiency-focused Vietnam Improvement Program.

Target has also enlisted sustainability solutions consulting firm Anthesis to help reach its goals and ensure company efforts meet the requirements of the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), an organization that keeps companies aligned with the Paris Agreement.

“We have a responsibility to our guests and the environment to set high expectations,” said Cornell, “[and promote] positive change throughout the industry to have an even greater impact for generations to come.”

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