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Berkeley/Boston, June 22, 2021 – Target Corporation, a Fortune 50 general merchandise retailer, announced a new goal Tuesday to reduce its use of virgin plastic 20% by 2025 across its own brand frequency products as part of a new sustainability strategy, Target Forward. Food and beverage, household cleaning, personal care, and beauty are categories included in this shift.
The announcement comes after Green Century Capital Management° and As You Sow withdrew a shareholder proposal that urged the company to reduce its plastic footprint.
“We’re pleased with the scope and level of ambition of Target’s new plastic elimination goal and hope it is just the beginning of the company’s journey toward reducing its absolute plastic packaging footprint,” said Annalisa Tarizzo, shareholder advocate with Green Century. “Nothing we use for a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our rivers and oceans for hundreds of years—especially when we don’t really need it.”
Target’s announcement is one of many made by major corporations over the past six months around virgin plastic reduction. Green Century has secured commitments with Coca-Cola* and Mattel,* and As You Sow has secured similar commitments with Keurig Dr. Pepper,* Mondelez,* PepsiCo* and Walmart.
“This wave of corporate virgin plastic reduction commitments is good progress, but there is more work to be done,” said Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow. “Significant cuts in absolute plastic use will be necessary to effectively stem the tide of plastic pollution entering our oceans and waterways.”
With 40% of plastic production going toward packaging, reduction commitments from major retailers and consumer goods companies are a vital step in stemming the flow of plastic pollution entering the ocean. According to the definitive Pew Charitable Trusts report, Breaking the Plastic Wave, existing solutions can reduce plastic pollution flowing into oceans by 80% by 2040. The report calls on the consumer goods sector to reduce plastic demand by one-third through elimination, reuse and new delivery models. In order to reach that goal, thousands of companies will need to make large cuts in plastic use.
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are the first family of fossil fuel free, responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of March 31, 2021, Target Corporation comprised 1.05%, 0.56%, and 0.00%; The Coca-Cola Company comprised 0.00%, 1.22%, and 0.00%; Mattel, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.04%, and 0.00%; Keurig Dr. Pepper, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.11%, and 0.00%; Mondelez International, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.47%, and 0.00%; PepsiCo, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 1.11%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 6/21