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Target Outlines 2016 Environmental Goals

Target plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent per sales dollar by 2016, under goals announced yesterday.

The Minneapolis-based retailer also plans to reduce the amount of operating waste it sends to landfills by 15 percent, and reduce water use by 10 percent per square foot, both by 2016.

By that year Target plans to reduce GHG emissions by 10 percent per square foot and earn the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label for at least three quarters of its buildings. Right now only 100 of its nearly 1,750 stores are Energy Star-certified.

And the company it will improve the efficiency of inbound shipping to its distribution centers by 15 percent, and outbound shipping from the centers by 20 percent.

“These goals demonstrate Target’s commitment to superior energy efficiency, and most importantly, to continuous improvement in facility operations to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Alyssa Quarforth, Energy Star’s national program manager for commercial property markets. “Target’s portfolio-wide approach to tracking energy performance exemplifies how benchmarking can drive improved energy efficiency and carbon reductions.”

Target’s existing green practices include rooftop solar systems and energy-efficient lighting. The retailer has stopped selling farmed salmon, and was ranked first on Greenpeace’s seafood scorecard.

Target offers a five-cent discount to customers reusing bags, and offers recycling services to consumers in all its stores. The company says it has kept 63 million bags out of landfills.

In September California prosecutors alleged that Target illegally sent hazardous products to landfills.

In October Target and Wal-Mart removed lead-tainted toys from their shelves following advice from the Center for Environmental Health.

More information on Target’s environmental initiatives is available here.

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