Target has transformed one of its California stores into its most sustainable store yet.
Powered primarily by solar energy, the new exterior design of its Vista, California site is the latest innovation from the Minneapolis-based company as it moves forward with executing its sustainability strategy.
The store, located about 40 miles north of San Diego, now has 3,420 solar panels on its roof and newly installed carport awnings. Target said its new design will generate more renewable energy than it needs annually to operate and will test several innovations to reduce emissions from the building. The retailer said it expects to produce up to 10% excess power each year from this design and feed it back to the local power grid.
Target also said the building now has features to further reduce emissions, such as having its HVAC heating powered by rooftop solar panels, instead of natural gas. Additionally, the store switched to refrigeration using carbon dioxide, a natural refrigerant, which Target will scale the chain by 2040 to reduce emissions from its direct operations by 20%.
Target said it has now applied for net zero energy certification from the International Living Future Institute.
“We have worked for years at Target to shift to renewable energy sourcing and further reduce our carbon footprint, and the renovation of our Vista store is the next step in our journey towards sustainability and a glimpse into the future towards which we work,” said John Conlin, senior vice president of properties at Target. “Our new stores and renovation programs are designed to help us achieve our sustainability goals as we test, learn and adapt our innovations over time across all of our operations.”
This isn’t the first time Target has used solar power to power its stores. The retailer said more than 25% of its facilities have rooftop solar panels to offset energy costs and reduce emissions. Its Vista store is one of 542 Target buildings nationwide with solar installations, and the retailer said the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recognizes it as America’s top on-site installer with 255 megawatts of power.
“Target continues to be a leading user of corporate solar power, and we’re thrilled to see Target doubling down on its clean energy commitments with new solar carports and energy-efficient buildings through to this innovative and sustainable renovation,” added Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO. of SEIA. “We commend the Target team for their leadership and commitment to sustainable operations as the retailer continues to raise the bar on how companies can invest in their business and create a more sustainable future.”
The news is the latest move by the big-box retailer as it builds on its “Target Forward” sustainability strategy. With the plan, the retailer pledged to achieve net zero company-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, and as of 2017 Target said it had already reduced emissions from its direct operations. nearly 27%. One of the ways it intends to achieve its net zero goal is to source 100% electricity from renewable sources for its operations by 2030.