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.

Summary of Target’s Grade


12 out of 15

Oversight: Assigned corporate management responsibility
12 out of 15 points


8 out of 20

Policy: Adopted a retailer safer chemicals policy
8 out of 20 points

6 out of 10

Disclosure: Requires suppliers to report use of chemicals in products to retailer
6 out of 10 points

8 out of 10

Action: Reduced or eliminated chemicals of high concern within the last three years
8 out of 10 points
safer alternatives

2.5 out of 10

Safer Alternatives: Evaluates safer alternatives, avoids regrettable substitutes
2.5 out of 10 points

10 out of 15

Transparency: Demonstrates a commitment to transparency and public disclosure
10 out of 15 points

0 out of 10

Chemical Footprint: Evaluates its chemical footprint
0 out of 10 points
third-party standards

5 out of 10

Third-Party Standards: Promotes credible third party standards for safer products
5 out of 10 points

Extra Credit


5 out of 5

Dialogue: Engaged in safer chemicals dialogue with the Mind the Store campaign
5 out of 5 points
joint announcement

0 out of 5

Joint Announcement: Public commitment demonstrated through joint announcement
0 out of 5 points
continuous improvement

10 out of 10

Continuous Improvement: Show continuous improvement by steadily expanding safer chemicals policy
10 out of 10 points
safer products

5 out of 5

Safer Products: Program to promote safer products in stores and/or on website
5 out of 5 points

5 out of 5

Collaboration: Actively participates in collaborative process to promote safer chemicals
5 out of 5 points

Letter grade = B

Total points = 76.5 out of 130