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Target tells its suppliers: Cut your carbon emissions

The retailer has laid down the gauntlet to companies
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Target store inside

Target is looking to use its considerable weight as one of the largest retailers in the U.S. to get the companies that fill its shelves to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Minneapolis retailer has announced the latest phase in its climate policy, which it launched in 2017 with a pledge to reduce its own greenhouse gas levels by 25 percent of 2015 levels by 2025.

The new phase doesn't just involve Target's stores and delivery services, but also the entire supply chain that provides the Bullseye with the products it sells.

Target says that 96 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in its business come from the companies who supply it with the likes of clothing, food, toys, beauty and home products.

It's giving its suppliers until 2023 to set out a plan for how they will reduce their emissions by 30 percent by 2030. 

By 2023, it hopes 80 percent of its suppliers will have set "science-based reduction targets."

Target has also said it now aims to reduce its own emissions by 30 percent of 2017 levels by 2030.

Target will help suppliers transition to renewable energy sources as part of its plan, and is partnering with the Apparel Impact Institute to implement energy-saving improvements in suppliers' factories.

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Target is already involved in a sustainability drive in Vietnam, where it's working with local apparel and textile producers to improve their efficiency and reduce costs.

"Our new climate goals will reduce our carbon footprint from source to shelf, as we work alongside our partners within our supply chain to lower emissions and help create a better tomorrow,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell.

"We have a responsibility to our guests and the environment to set high expectations and encourage ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, promoting positive change throughout the industry to have an even greater impact for generations to come."

Target's emission plans come amid a wider global movement to reduce greenhouse gases so as to limit global temperature rises to below 2C, in an attempt to mitigate potentially catastrophic impacts from climate change.

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