Our Challenge

Water is a precious natural resource, with water scarcity impacting over 2 billion people worldwide, and 1.1. billion people lacking access to freshwater. As a large retailer that uses a significant amount of water in producing our products, we accept our responsibility to minimise our water impacts.

Most of Target’s water usage is in the production of clothing, towel and bedding products, with the largest proportion in raw materials – in particular cotton – and the wet processing facilities used in production, such as fabric mills and dying facilities.

Our Approach

In 2018, Target joined the Better Cotton as one aspect of our response to water scarcity. Better Cotton seeks to encourage cotton farmers to work on continuous improvement in water efficiency and management.

We also joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and aim to use the HIGG Index facilities management tool to capture total water usage data for 100 per cent of wet processing facilities used by our strategic supplier factories for clothing, towel and bedding products by July 2023. This data will be used to inform long-term Kmart setting and to develop water efficiency improvement plans in partnership with our suppliers, such as investments in water-saving technologies and processes.

In 2022, we commissioned a water footprint assessment of our clothing supply chain to further understand our water impacts and risks as first step in developing a comprehensive long-term strategy.

Our Progress

Drawing on our water footprint assessment, the table below summarises Target’s Blue Water footprint in the past year at different level of our clothing supply chain.

Apparel Supply Chain Stage Blue Water Footprint (m3)
Raw Material Extraction 90,467,588
Raw Material Processing 19,596,896
Fabric Production 22,634,140
Finished Product Assembly 1,411,579
Grand Total Blue Water Footprint 134,110,203

In the next year, we plan on conducting a risk assessment to further understand our impacts at a country and basin level, with the intention to finalise a strategy and set new long-term targets.

In addition, as part of Kmart Group, we continued implementation against our existing 2023 target. To-date, 41 per cent of wet processing facilities have been confirmed as implementing a water efficiency plan.

*Blue Water is the volume of surface or groundwater evaporated, incorporated into products, or returned to other catchments or the sea.

** Strategic suppliers are long-term suppliers that account for more than 50% of total order volume for our own brand clothing, towel and bedding products in the past 12 months.

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