Announcing the next phase of The New England Food System Resilience Fund. Learn More

February / 2017

Target Announces Ambitious New Chemicals Policy

On January 25, Target announced a new chemicals policy, which expands on the work it has been doing for years with its Sustainable Product Index.

“Our chemical strategy will be one of the most comprehensive in the US retail industry, including all Target-owned and national brand products and operations, not just formulated products,” said Jennifer Silberman, Target’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “It’s ambitious, but using our size, scale, and expertise, we think we’ll be able to make significant progress. And we hope our robust approach will accelerate similar efforts across the industry.”

JMF grantee Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign has encouraged Target and other retailers to develop comprehensive policies to eliminate and substitute toxic chemicals.

Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director, said: “We congratulate Target on this bold new commitment. The company is showing real leadership on toxic chemicals within the retail industry and setting clear goals with concrete time frames.”

By working with suppliers to remove toxic chemicals like phthalates, perfluorinated chemicals, and flame retardants from products, Target will bring safer products into the shopping carts of millions of consumers. A growing body of scientific evidence has linked even low levels of exposure to these chemicals to chronic diseases on the rise.

Target includes fragrances in its transparency goal, which is a huge step forward according to safer chemicals advocates. Fragrances can contain harmful chemicals and consumers currently have no way to find out what they are.

Target’s new commitment to invest in research into safer alternatives will also further accelerate the development of safer products for all consumers.

Using its Retailer Report Card, Mind the Store is challenging other leading retailers, like Amazon and Costco, to join Target in using their market power to adopt comprehensive safer chemicals policies to tackle toxic chemicals that affect their customers’ health.