Target Tests First Net-Zero Energy Store

    3420 Solar Panels Generate Renewable Energy And Reduce Emissions

    Target’s Phoenix DC solar energy site produces nearly 3000 MWH of energy a year. (Image Courtesy Of Christian McBeth, Target Corporation)

    Target Corporation (Target) announced its most sustainable store to date, as the site will generate more renewable energy than it needs annually to operate and will test multiple innovations to reduce the building’s emissions. The Vista, California, store’s retrofit and new features will inform Target’s investments in new stores and remodel programs that support its long-term growth and help guide the retailer’s efforts to achieve its sustainability goals.

    The store will generate renewable energy through 3420 solar panels across its roof and newly installed carport canopies. The site is expected to produce up to a 10% energy surplus each year that it can transmit back to the local power grid. Target has applied for net-zero energy certification from the International Living Future Institute. The building also features elements to further reduce emissions, such as powering its HVAC heating through rooftop solar panels instead of natural gas. Additionally, the store switched to carbon dioxide refrigeration, a natural refrigerant, that Target will scale chain-wide by 2040 to reduce its direct operations’ emissions by 20%.

    “We’ve been working for years at Target to shift toward sourcing more renewable energy and further reducing our carbon footprint, and our Vista store’s retrofit is the next step in our sustainability journey and a glimpse of the future we’re working toward,” said John Conlin, senior vice president of properties at Target. “Our new stores and remodel programs are designed to help achieve our sustainability goals as we test, learn, and scale our innovations over time across our operations.”

    Sustainability Efforts Underway

    The Target Forward strategy builds on the ways the company innovates through its stores and facilities to support the company’s sustainability strategy. The retailer has committed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions enterprise-wide by 2040, and since 2017, Target has already reduced its direct operations’ emissions by nearly 27%. One of the ways it intends to reach its net-zero goal is through sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources for its operations by 2030.

    Target’s offsite solar and wind energy contracts are helping the company move quickly toward its renewable energy goal, as it has secured additional partnerships that will allow it to purchase nearly half of its electricity from renewable sources later this year. Target also conserves 10% of its stores’ total energy use by using LED lighting instead of conventional lighting.

    More than 25% of Target’s facilities use rooftop solar, helping the company save millions annually in energy costs and reducing its emissions. Its Vista store is one of 542 Target buildings nationwide with solar installations. Target is the top US corporate onsite installer with 255 megawatts of energy.

    The recycling, donations, and composting operations at the Vista store, alongside Target’s other facilities, support the retailer’s goal to divert 90% of its US operations’ waste away from landfills by 2030 as it aims for zero waste certification. Target is already diverting 80% of its operational waste. Additionally, the Vista site offers electric vehicle charging spaces, as the retailer provides more than 1350 spaces at over 150 locations across more than 20 states.

    “Target continues to be a top corporate solar user, and we’re excited to see Target double down on its clean energy commitments with new solar carports and energy-efficient buildings through this sustainable retrofit,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO at SEIA. “We commend the Target team for their leadership and commitment to sustainable operations as the retailer continues to raise the bar for how companies can invest in their business and create a more sustainable future.”