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Brief Published: 24 Mar 2022

Target Ups Sustainability Efforts with First Net-Zero Store

Target's new net-zero store in California

Taking on the mantle of ‘brand as service provider’ while furthering its Target Forward commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, American retailer Target has retrofitted its Californian Vista location with 3,420 solar panels. Billed as its first net-zero store, it will transmit a 10% yearly energy surplus back into the local power grid.

The mammoth footprint of big-box stores presents them with an opportunity to become renewable energy producers, taking an active role in combatting the climate crisis. By covering their roofs with solar panels, stateside superstores could generate enough electricity to power 7.9 million US homes annually (Environment America, 2022).

Renewable energy is central to Target’s sustainability goals – it intends to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. At the Vista location, solar panels cover the roof and newly installed carports, powering the store’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. In-store, it’s using a natural refrigerant for chilled and frozen foods to limit emissions, and floor lighting has been replaced with less power-intensive LEDs.

The carport solar panels double as canopies for shelter and shade for those using the brand’s Drive Up kerbside collection service, which grew by another 80% last year following a 700% spike during the first 12 months of the pandemic (Pymnts, 2021). See Last Mile Innovations, publishing on April 4, for more on this topic.

Target has applied for net-zero certification for the store from US-based sustainability non-profit International Living Future Institute. John Conlin, senior vice-president of Target properties, reveals that the brand plans to roll out the features to other stores.

For a similar solar service from Ikea, with the addition of consumer-facing subscription sales, see The Brief.

See also 360° Superstore Super-Innovators in Sustainable Store Design 2021 and our Climate Spotlight, publishing on April 6.