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Target asks vendors to rate products for environmental, health effects

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Target will begin rating thousands of cleaning, health and beauty and baby care products for their environmental and the health effects.

  Starting this month, Target is asking vendors of 7,500 products to score the items. The scores will be based on factors such as the presence of ingredients linked to cancer and the use of environmentally friendly packaging and animal testing. Each product will be assigned up to 100 points.

  Kate Heiny, who leads Target's sustainability effort, said the ratings - which initially will not be shared with shoppers -- will help provide manufacturers incentives to drive innovation and produce more sustainable products.

  "Products that pass a minimum threshold set by Target will have access to merchandising and marketing assets and that could include ad space or product placement," she said.  

Heiny would not say if the ratings would figure in Target's decisions about which products to carry. Next year, the ratings effort will cover cosmetics.