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How we identify human rights and environmental risks and opportunities

Target conducts human rights and environment risk assessments and due diligence on an ongoing basis, with a formal review conducted every two years. These assessments are used to identify key material impacts and trends, opportunities for improvement, and to inform long-term target setting, strategy and action plans.

This risk assessment and due diligence includes:

  • Industry peer benchmark analysis and gap analysis using international standards and indexes, such as the Global Reporting Initiative, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Corporate Human Right Benchmark, Fashion Transparency Index, Baptist World Aid Fashion Report and Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs
  • Interviews and meetings with experts, such as international brands representatives, speciality consultants, trade unions, membership organisations (e.g. Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Better Work), academics, non-government organisations (NGO) and government
  • Human rights risks assessment workshops led by renowned global experts and drawing on frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Product life cycle assessments to understand and quantify impacts along the value chain, such as water and greenhouse gas
  • Third-party audits of supplier factories and facilities against international labour and human rights standards
  • Assessment of supplier environmental performance using recognised industry tools, such as the HIGG Index and ZDHC Gateway
  • Participation in academic and NGO research studies and forums.

We prioritise identified human rights and environment risks and opportunities by considering factors such as: scale of impact and opportunity; country-by-country needs analysis; and our ability to influence change.

How we partner with worker and producer representatives, and gender experts

Given the scale and complexity of many sustainable development challenges, working in partnership with others is at the heart of everything that we do. As part of our risk assessments and due diligence, Target understand the importance of working in partnership with worker and producer representatives, and gender experts. For example:

  • Through the ACT Living Wage partnership we are in formal partnership with IndustriALL Global Union and work at both a global and national level with IndustriALL and its union affiliates on action plans to promote freedom of association, collective bargaining and responsible purchasing practices.
  • To support our work on more sustainable cotton, we are member of the Better Cotton Initiative and are in regular dialogue with Cotton Australia, the peak body for Australia's cotton growers. We use these strategic partnerships to discuss and mitigate material human rights and environmental risks, such as modern slavery and water scarcity.
  • As part of the Better Work program, women worker representatives in our factories in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia are integrated into worker-management committees to ensure that women workers are provided adequate voice in identifying and addressing human rights challenges
  • With our partners BSR, we are sponsoring the translation of the HER Essentials program into two local languages in India (Hindi and Tamil) to accelerate the digital delivery of the health and wellbeing program to women workers across India.
  • We support research projects such as the Oxfam Australia and Monash University study - ‘Shopping for a Bargain’ - on responsible purchasing practices in Bangladesh, aimed at identifying improvements in brand purchasing practice that would support higher wages and benefits for women workers over the long-term.
  • Assessment of supplier environmental performance using recognised industry tools, such as the HIGG Index and ZDHC Gateway
  • Participation in academic and NGO research studies and forums.

How we report progress

Our material human rights and environment topics are organised by theme and published on our website, along with measurable targets and action plans. We aim to provide annual progress updates on our website and via the Wesfarmers Sustainability Report.

For further information on our sustainable development program, please contact Rick Lambell, Head of Sustainable Development, rick.lambell@target.com.au.

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