There’s a massive climate polluter hiding in your shopping bag
Retail giant Target must move to zero-emissions ocean shipping and help transform the cargo industry from a fossil fuel laggard to a climate and public health champion.
The supply chain crisis and shipping delays spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic have uncovered a huge climate polluter that often flies under the radar: the global shipping industry. 90% of world trade is moved through ocean shipping, and right now most cargo ships are powered by toxic, bottom-of-the-barrel fuel that creates massive climate emissions, pollutes the ocean, and threatens the public health of our port neighbors.
Even more shocking? The global shipping industry could slash its emissions tomorrow if it wanted to — zero-emissions cargo ships will be on the water by early 2024, and in the meantime efficiency measures and a much cleaner fuel already exists. Industry executives just need the right incentives (read: pressure) to choose to invest in clean shipping.
Ship it zero
This is where Stand.earth and our allies come in. Together with our friends at Pacific Environment we launched the Ship it Zero campaign. We’ve identified one of the ocean shipping industry’s most powerful customers — retail giant Target — and are launching a campaign calling on Target to use its market power to transform the cargo industry from fossil-fuel laggard to a climate and public health champion.
A crucial moment
We’re, uh, targeting Target because the company is a huge polluter, it’s lagging behind other retail giants, and because we know Target executives care about public opinion, especially when it comes to children’s health. Many of Target’s top decisionmakers sit on boards for Children’s Hospitals and public health organizations — the hypocrisy that their ocean shipping is increasing childhood asthma cases and other serious health issues in port communities cannot be missed.
With the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) coming up in just a couple weeks, this is a crucial moment to shine a spotlight on the company’s massive ocean pollution. Target is the third biggest retail ocean shipping importer in the US. If the iconic company makes a strong commitment to zero-emissions shipping, it’ll make huge waves through the entire cargo industry (pun intended).
When we fight, we win
We’ll be honest: challenging billion-dollar companies like Target can feel like a daunting task. Heck, we never said that this work was going to be easy.
But this is exactly the kind of challenge Stand was created to take on. We’ve gone toe to toe with some of the biggest and most powerful corporations in the world before, and won. Already, we’ve worked with our partners at Pacific Environment to secure clean shipping commitments from retail behemoths Amazon and Ikea as part of our bigger Ship it Zero campaign.
We’ve shifted global brands like Levi’s, Victoria’s Secret, and Starbucks, and we can’t wait until Target is added to our list.
Stand.earth is an international nonprofit environmental organization with offices in Canada and the United States that is known for its groundbreaking research and successful corporate and citizens engagement campaigns to create new policies and industry standards in protecting forests, advocating the rights of indigenous peoples and protecting the climate. Visit us at www.stand.earth and follow us on Twitter @standearth.
Learn more about the Ship It Zero coalition at shipitzero.org.