Corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Target seems to be in line with the elements of citizenship (protecting the environment, corporate philanthropy) governance (ethical business dealings) workplace environment (safety, satisfaction, morale, loyalty, health and wellness) is identified by Chan (6-11). The firm reports commitments and progress in four domains including environment (improved owned-brand packaging sustainability), team member (increase health assessments), education (increased TCOE giving) and volunteerism (increased volunteer hours) (Target Corporation 4-10).
This is in line with Bowen’s definition of CSR as ‘obligations that companies and businesses should pursue through established policies, to guide decision making and lead to desirable actions with regards to positive societal values and objectives’ (6). More importantly, the report on Target’s CSR activities, assessed through standards set by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) indicates a well-prepared, comprehensive report that adheres to set GSSB standards including the reporting principles (stakeholder inclusiveness and clarity) as well as the use (and making claims of use) of GRI standards for sustainability reporting (GSSB 8, 14). For instance, clarity is depicted through links (Learn More), illustrations (appendix A), summarized details as well as minimal jargon while stakeholder inclusiveness is highlighted through references of how the firm has engaged with various stakeholders like team members (employees) and guests (customers) (Target Corporation 14-5).
Target also seems to adhere to sustainability reporting rules and directions in accordance with guidance on reporting required disclosures using references as well as other directions in report preparation under directives on section 2.6 and 2.7 (GSSB 19-20). For instance, the report itself incorporates direct links to more information using the red-lettered ‘Learn More’ at the end of short reports on major sustainability projects like those under sustainable sourcing of palm oil and the Thanks a Billion teacher campaign (Target Corporation 18, 26). The information is also publicly available and readily accessible as per the directions while presentation of information current to specific year and two more past years like in the double education support report as well as identification of future short and medium-term goals like reducing water use by 10 percent per square foot in Target stores by 2020 are in line with GRI directive 2.7.1 (Target Corporation 9, 19).
Further, though the firm dedicates a whole chapter (14 pages) to an assessment of GRI Index, the firm fails explicitly indicate that the report is prepared in accordance with GRI Standards: Core or comprehensive option as indicated under directive 3.1 (Target Corporation 30-43, GSSB 22-3).