Ship It Zero Coalition & Medical Professionals Demand Target Address Shipping Pollution

Dozens of Health Care Experts Join Webinar, Deliver Letter to Minneapolis-Based Target Corporation
Date: July 12, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS – Today, the Ship It Zero coalition will deliver a letter from dozens of medical professionals to the Target Corporation, calling on the retail giant to take action on its ocean shipping pollution. The delivery coincides with an informational webinar at 1EST which will feature medical and climate experts, impacted community members, and organizers, all of whom will share their insights on the extensive public health impacts of port pollution from ocean shipping. Ship It Zero has invited executives from the Target Corporation to attend to hear directly from those most impacted, but it’s unclear if Target will show up. 

To attend the webinar, please register here.

Kendra Ulrich,

“Target imports its goods on cargo ships fueled with some of the dirtiest fossil fuels on Earth, which pollutes our oceans and our climate, and causes serious health impacts for people living in nearby port communities. While its competitors, Amazon and IKEA, have taken steps to tackle their ocean shipping pollution, Target has so far remained silent. It’s past time for Target, as one of America’s top importers, to become a leader on zero-emissions shipping.”

The Ship It Zero campaign, led by environmental advocacy organizations and Pacific Environment, is calling on some of the nation’s largest maritime importers — including Target, Amazon, IKEA, and Walmart — to transition to 100% zero-emissions cargo shipping vessels by 2030. This goal will ensure the shipping industry does its fair share in protecting port  and coastal communities’ health and helping to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, the target scientists say is needed to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis. 

Dawny’all Heydari, Pacific Environment:

“Health care experts agree: air pollution emissions have real impacts on coastal and port communities. Dirty emissions from ocean cargo ships pose serious risks to public health, including death from cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as causing childhood asthma. Black and brown communities living near large industrial ports are impacted the most. If Target really cares about equity, justice and public health, it needs to show us. Target: stop shipping your goods on dirty ocean ships.”

In November 2021, the Ship It Zero released its Shady Routes report, taking an in-depth look at four major retail companies that import goods into the United States — Walmart, Target, Amazon, and IKEA — and maps their often-hidden relationships with the fossil-fueled cargo carriers they hire to transport their goods. The report shows the routes favored by the four companies, the emissions impacts of those routes, and how the ongoing cargo shipping backlog has saddled U.S. port communities with increasing rates of pollution.

Dr. Mark Vossler, President, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility:

“Now that human health impacts from our use of fossil fuels are fully understood, we have no rational course of action but to reduce our dependence rapidly and decisively. Reducing emissions from cargo shipping needs to be part of the solution.” 

Chris Chavez, Deputy Policy Director, Coalition for Clean Air:

“Communities near ports, freeways and railyards subsidize the goods movement industry with their health. We don’t need to choose between a strong economy and healthy communities. Both government and business need to commit to and take action to make clean goods movement a reality.”

William Kuehl, Chair of the Board of Social Justice and Outreach at First Congregational Church of Christ of Long Beach:

“The three great loves Jesus taught us are Love of Children, Love of Neighbor, and Love of Creation. That is why I am involved with Ship It Zero.”

Dr. Heather Price, Faculty, North Seattle College/Climate Justice Faculty Institute:

“Target and other companies that depend on shipping are in a unique position to demand and implement zero carbon shipping, for the health of their employees and for the people who live near ports. The time for dirty shipping is over. It’s time for truly clean, zero-carbon shipping. Everyone benefits when shipping is electrified: human health and climate. Target, please be a part of the solution for addressing human health and fossil-fueled climate change.”