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Target Unveils Sustainable Product Standard

October 15, 2013

Begins with personal care, household cleaning and baby care; cosmetics in 2014.

Target’s recently announced Sustainable Product Standard will initiate with the personal care, beauty, household cleaning, and baby care product categories. 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.
 
According to the mass market retailer,  the Target Sustainable Product Standard was developed over the last two years in partnership with industry experts, vendors and NGOs. Using GoodGuide’s Ul Transparency Platform, Target will collect information from vendors and evaluate a product’s qualities.
 
As the Product Standard rolls out and matures, it will inform Target’s merchandising and product-placement decisions. In addition, the retailer said it will develop a standard for cosmetics and will begin assessing products in that category in 2014.

According to Target, products will receive a score from 0 to 100 (100 being the top score). The more sustainable products will be identified by Target standard and rewarded with program incentives. Following the full-assortment assessment, Target will recommend best practices. Target says it plans to use this first phase to learn with our vendors how to improve our entire selection of products.
 
A more detailer looked at the scoring parameters can be found here.
 
“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," said John Replogle, president and CEO of 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."
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