Target Introduces A Sustainable Product Standard

Target BagsThis past week Minneapolis retailer Target announced their new Target Sustainable Product Standard, the standard was developed over the last two years in partnership with industry experts, vendors and NGOs, and is designed to help establish a common language, definition and process for qualifying what makes a product more sustainable. According to Target the move is an important step toward greater transparency, which they hope will lead to more sustainable and innovative products.

“Using the UL Transparency Platform, powered by GoodGuide, Target will collect information from vendors and evaluate a product’s qualities against set criteria.”

Beginning this month, Target will ask vendors representing 7,500 products in household cleaners, personal care and beauty, and baby care to complete the assessment. Each product in these categories will be assigned up to 100 points based on the sustainability of ingredients, ingredient transparency and overall environmental impact.

“Currently, there is no widely accepted industry standard by which vendors and retailers can judge the environmental impact and sustainability of products,” said Dara O’Rourke, co-founder and chief sustainability officer of GoodGuide, one of the world’s largest sources of information on the health, environmental and social impacts of consumer products. “With the Target Sustainable Product Standard, Target will help push the industry toward consensus on what sustainable standards should be and create incentives for innovation in this highly competitive space, ultimately broadening the sustainable product selection for their guests.”

“We were thrilled to be a partner in developing the Target Sustainable Product Standard,” says John Replogle, president and CEO, Seventh Generation. “We know more and more Target guests want greater transparency about the ingredients in the products that they’re purchasing. This tool will help us showcase the authenticity of our products while pushing for industry-wide clarity around what really makes a product sustainable.”

As the Product Standard rolls out and matures, it will inform Target’s merchandising and product-placement decisions. And, in 2014, Target will develop a standard for cosmetics and will begin assessing products in that category as well.

Source: A Bullseye View



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.