Sourcing Ethically

We aim to provide great products at the lowest prices for our customers while respecting human rights. We are on a journey to continuously improve our ethical sourcing standards and processes and are working in close partnership with our suppliers, non-government organisations, trade unions and government representatives to ensure better working conditions in the countries and communities where we source.

We are committed to conducting business in accordance with our international obligations and in compliance with all applicable laws and we work with suppliers who share and follow our high standards of conduct in whichever country they operate.

Ethical Sourcing Program

We have joined Kmart Australia, our sister company within the Wesfarmers Group, to establish a combined Ethical Sourcing Program. The program represents a comprehensive compliance framework designed to ensure our suppliers meet the ethical sourcing standards as outlined in our Ethical Sourcing Code.

Please see a short video explaining how our Ethical Sourcing Program works.

English video

Chinese video

The Ethical Souring Program includes requirements relating to:

  • Communication of the Code
  • Grievance mechanism/worker hotline
  • Factory onboarding
  • Factory audits
  • Audit gradings
  • ILO Better Work Program
  • Critical non-compliances
  • Supplier transparency
  • High Risk designations
  • Our ethical sourcing audits are conducted by third party auditors. In FY 22, 10.5% of audits were announced, 86.7% semi-announced and 2.8% unannounced.

    To obtain a complete overview of the program, please see our Ethical Sourcing Program Supplier Manual.

    Target has established a scorecard system to assess supplier performance on quality, delivery, value and sustainability. Target forms strategic partnerships with those best performing suppliers for long term business growth.

    Target is a member of the Better Work program in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Our approach to audits and remediation is aligned with the Better Work methodology in these countries, including the active involvement of workers via independent worker-management committees and other mechanisms. 26% of our apparel factories are covered in the Better Work program, and 100% of these factories include trade union or worker committee representatives during assessment..

    Ethical Sourcing Code

    Our Ethical Sourcing Code (ESC) includes minimum requirements and expectations that all suppliers must meet as a condition of doing business with us.

    The ESC is based on our commitment to respecting the core labour standards established by the International Labour Organization (ILO), protecting and respecting human rights as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and promoting environmental sustainability.

    The ESC forms part of the contract with our suppliers and is supported by a rigorous audit program. We expect our suppliers to be honest and transparent in their dealings with us and to commit to making continuous improvements in their operations.

    The commitments outlined in the ESC are communicated to all employees via the Target Code of Conduct and form part of mandatory compliance training.

    Read our Ethical Sourcing Code here:

    Environmental Requirements

    As part of our Code, our suppliers must meet all relevant local and national environmental protection laws, and strive to comply with international environment protection standards including emission, waste, pollution, water, and forest protection. As part of our ethical sourcing audits, the following elements are assessed to ensure compliance:

  • an environmental policy and management system are in place
  • a person is designated with responsibility for environmental management issues
  • environmental permits have been obtained and are current
  • hazardous materials and chemicals are separated and disposed according to the law
  • wastewater is treated to meet legally required discharge standards and limits
  • training is provided to workers
  • remedial actions have been actioned, as required, to rectify any breaches identified.
  • Reporting

    We report on our ethical sourcing performance as part of the Wesfarmers Group Sustainability report. This includes the number of suppliers audited in the financial year and the number of critical breaches identified or reported. See here for our most recent ethical sourcing data.

    Modern Slavery

    Target Australia together with Kmart Australia opposes slavery in all its forms and reports on modern slavery risk mitigation processes within the Wesfarmers Group Modern Slavery Statement.

    Gender Equality

    Our suppliers must provide a working environment where workers are treated fairly and without discrimination. All conditions of employment must be based on an individual’s ability to do the job, and not on the basis of personal characteristics, such as age, race, ethnicity, colour, nationality, gender, religion, marital or maternity status, sexual orientation, disability, union membership or political beliefs. In FY22, there was no gender-based labour violation identified in the third-party assessment in our supply chain.

    We believe women deserve the opportunity to have a voice and reach their full potential, both in their work-life and home-life. That’s why we have committed to support health, education or professional skills training to at least 100,000 women in our supply chain by 2025. For further details, please refer to the Women Empowerment page here.


    Target Australia is a signatory of the following professional associations and industry partnerships in support of our human rights commitments. Progress updates and selected audit findings and reports linked to our supplier facilities (final factories, processing facilities and raw materials) can be accessed on these websites.

    Whistle blower/grievance mechanism

    Target has established a whistle blower/grievance mechanism that any person may use to report violations of our ethical sourcing code. Each of our factories is required to display a poster communicating details of the mechanism in a location that can be seen by all factory workers. Checks on poster compliance are part of the Target Audit checklist.

    In FY22, Target received six reports through the grievance mechanism. Each report is investigated and followed up in accordance with an investigation procedure deigned to ensure a speedy and adequate response (objective 30 days), as well as procedural fairness to the parties involved. Where the complainant’s identity is disclosed, they will be notified of the investigation outcome. All reports are escalated to the relevant General Manager and other leadership members as required.

    Report Violations

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