Letter grade = B
Total points = 76.5 out of 130
Target was awarded a B grade, receiving 76.5 points, the second highest score of any retailer evaluated. Target developed a “Sustainable Product Index” (SPI) in 2013, which was updated and expanded in 2015 and again even more recently in 2016. Target has flagged more than 2,000 chemicals of concern for reduction and elimination. The SPI has been applied to personal care, baby care and cleaning products, and in 2016 the company expanded it for the first time to also address cosmetics. In 2016, Target made other significant improvements to its policy: 1) Expanded the list of chemicals subject to its policy, particularly those restricted in cosmetics in the European Union and Canada; 2) Significantly improved its evaluation of suppliers’ transparency practices, including a new way for Target to evaluate fragrance ingredients against its restricted substance list; and 3) Added criteria pushing suppliers to disclose its “palette list” of fragrance ingredients, allergens in fragrance and nanomaterials. With these improvements, Target has developed the most robust criteria for evaluating suppliers’ disclosure practices.
Opportunities for improvement: Target can continue to improve its safer chemicals program by setting public quantifiable goals with clear timelines for reducing and eliminating chemicals of high concern, reporting on its progress in working with suppliers to reduce chemicals of high concern, developing guidance for suppliers on evaluating alternatives, and expanding the policy to other chemically intensive products such as apparel, electronics, and furniture. Target should become a signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project and pilot it with key private label suppliers.