Target Works toward a Sustainable Future

The Lempert Report
November 08, 2013

Target is taking big steps to a more sustainable future

Target is taking big steps to a more sustainable future. The retail giant recently announced its Sustainable Product Standard, which was according to the company, developed over the past two years and “in partnership with industry experts, vendors and NGOs”, it's a system that will help establish a common standard, definition and process for what makes a product sustainable. Beginning this month Target will have vendors representing 7,500 products in household cleaners, personal care and beauty, and baby care to complete an assessment and each product in these categories will be assigned up to 100 points based on the sustainability of ingredients, ingredient transparency and overall environmental impact. A perfect score will be earned by products that:

  • Contain no ingredients with high level of health concern such as carcinogenic, developmental or reproductive toxicants, endocrine disruptors, or have other serious adverse health effects. (50 points)
  • Have a complete ingredient list that is publicly available and disclosed in a way that allows each chemical’s health and environmental impacts to be assessed. (20 points)
  • Were not tested on animals during development or production. (5 points)
  • Use packaging that sends minimal, if not zero, waste to landfill. (20 points)
  • Contain no ingredients that are labeled as hazardous to the aquatic environment. (5 points)

While Target is not the only company to have branched out in this way…. Walmart released a similar standard in 2012…we applaud this effort. Targets' partnership with GoodGuide gives the system a boost and this could set a standard for offering consumers discounted yet sustainable products. Sorting through the wealth of products available, it can be tough for consumers to efficiently pick out products that are good for their wallets, good for their families and good for the environment. Working on a system like this is a great way to help consumers make smart decisions.