Are TJ Maxx And Marshalls Sustainable And Ethical – A Close Look

Introduction – Are TJ Maxx and Marshalls Sustainable and Ethical

Is TJ Maxx sustainable and ethical? Is Marshall’s sustainable and ethical? TJ Maxx and Marshalls, have managed to make a name for themselves by providing high-quality merchandise at discounted prices. These off-price retail giants, both subsidiaries of TJX Companies Inc., have built their reputation on delivering exceptional value to consumers.

TJ Maxx and Marshall’s have built a reputation for value

In recent years, TJ Maxx and Marshalls have released data highlighting their strides towards becoming more environmentally friendly. They have undertaken a range of initiatives, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and embracing renewable energy, to diverting waste from landfills and protecting biodiversity. In this article we examine these claims closely and objectively.

We dissect the sustainability efforts of these two retail powerhouses, drawing on their most recent corporate sustainability reports. As part of the TJX family, the actions of TJ Maxx and Marshalls contribute to the broader sustainability strategy of their shared parent company.


TJ Maxx and Marshalls, both subsidiaries of TJX Companies Inc., have been central figures in the American retail landscape for decades, with both brands expanding their footprint internationally over time.

Founded in 1976, TJ Maxx has become one of the largest off-price retailers in the U.S. The brand’s philosophy is centered on offering brand-name and designer goods at significantly lower prices than traditional department stores. Today, TJ Maxx operates in countries including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, and Poland, in addition to its substantial presence in the U.S.

Established twenty years prior to TJ Maxx, in 1956, Marshalls carved out a similar niche in the retail market, providing high-quality, brand-name and designer goods at discounted prices. Initially a U.S.-based operation, Marshalls has expanded its reach to include locations in Canada and Puerto Rico. The products offered by Marshalls span a similar range as TJ Maxx.

Despite their successes, both brands are tied together under the umbrella of TJX Companies. This commonality implies a shared corporate strategy and value system.

TJ Maxx’s Sustainability Practices: An Overview of Progress in 2022

In its most recent corporate sustainability summary, TJ Maxx demonstrated its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Its practices in 2022 were aimed at reducing its carbon footprint, making use of renewable energy, managing waste, and scoring highly on external evaluations of its environmental impact.

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction: TJ Maxx achieved a significant milestone in its commitment to mitigate climate change, with a 28% absolute reduction in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from direct operations since fiscal year 2017 (FY17). This milestone marks the attainment of 50% of the company’s reduction target, which is a notable achievement.
  2. Use of Renewable Energy: Another important initiative is the company’s transition towards renewable energy sources. In 2022, 25% of the electricity used in TJ Maxx’s global direct operations came from renewable energy sources.
  3. Waste Management: TJ Maxx has also made considerable progress in waste management. A reported 67% of global operational waste was diverted from landfills in 2022.
  4. External Evaluations: An external affirmation of TJ Maxx’s sustainability efforts came in the form of a high score on the 2021 CDP Climate Change Questionnaire. The company received an ‘A-‘ score.

The above highlights reveal that TJ Maxx is dedicated to its sustainability practices, continuously seeking to lessen its environmental impact. The company’s initiatives in GHG emissions reduction, renewable energy usage, waste diversion, and high performance in external climate change evaluations show a strong commitment to preserving our planet.

Marshall’s Sustainability Report: A Proactive Approach towards Environmental Stewardship

Marshalls has shown remarkable commitment and proactivity towards mitigating its environmental footprint, according to its most recent corporate sustainability report. The company is actively working to tackle several key areas of environmental concern, including carbon reduction, flood prevention, pollution reduction, and protection of biodiversity.

  1. Carbon Reduction: Acknowledging climate change as a major challenge, Marshalls has implemented several initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. These include installing solar panels, setting science-based targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, carbon footprinting its entire product range, and using 100% renewable energy in all its production plants. Impressively, these initiatives have led to a 50% reduction in the company’s overall carbon footprint between 2008 and 2020.
  2. Flood Prevention: Marshalls is also focused on developing sustainable drainage solutions. Their permeable paving products have significantly contributed to flood alleviation, with an impressive record of preventing 322,000m³ of flood water.
  3. Pollution Reduction: Marshalls is aware of the need to limit harmful pollutants and improve fuel economy. It is committed to upgrading its fleet to limit exhaust emissions and exploring fuel alternatives. Additionally, the company is striving to increase the efficiency of its manufacturing processes.
  4. Biodiversity Protection: Operating quarries, Marshalls takes its responsibility towards the natural environment seriously. The company actively works on restoration projects and tree-planting initiatives. Marshalls has sustained a 14-year partnership with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The report also outlines key future priorities that Marshalls will focus on:

  1. Reduce absolute emissions by 15% by 2025 (from a 2018 base year)
  2. Set an internal carbon price
  3. Update product carbon footprinting
  4. Conduct environmental risk profiling
  5. Maintain a focus on biodiversity
  6. Achieve Euro 6 standard for the fleet

This comprehensive sustainability report reveals that Marshalls is not just reactive but proactive in mitigating its environmental footprint.

To their credit, both TJ Maxx and Marshall’s have released sustainability reports

Rating TJ Maxx And Marshall’s As Sustainable, Ethical Businesses


Both TJ Maxx and Marshalls demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their business practices.

TJ Maxx has significantly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, with a 28% absolute reduction since FY17. It sources 25% of its electricity from renewable energy sources, diverts 67% of its operational waste from landfills, and has earned an A- score on the CDP 2021 Climate Change Questionnaire.

Similarly, Marshalls has implemented initiatives that have led to a 50% reduction in its overall carbon footprint between 2008 and 2020. It uses 100% renewable energy in all its production plants, which aligns with its carbon reduction mission. Furthermore, its commitment to flood prevention through the development of permeable paving products shows that it is proactive in its efforts to adapt to climate change.


Both companies seem to embody ethical business practices in their operations. TJ Maxx’s high score on the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire shows a dedication to transparency in reporting its environmental impact, which is an ethical business practice.

Meanwhile, Marshalls’ commitment to reducing pollution by upgrading its fleet and improving fuel economy demonstrates a respect for public health and the environment. Furthermore, Marshalls takes its responsibility towards the natural environment seriously, actively working on restoration projects and tree-planting initiatives while partnering with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Comparing TJ Maxx And Marshalls With Other Sustainable And Ethical Brands

There are several popular sustainable, ethical, and low-carbon brands in the market, such as Patagonia, Everlane, and Eileen Fisher. Comparing TJ Maxx and Marshalls with these more sustainable brands reveals differences in transparency of supply chain practices, policies on fair labor conditions and wages, and environmental commitments, including carbon reduction measures.

While TJ Maxx and Marshalls have taken steps to improve sustainability, consumers should be diligent in researching the brands they support and choose those that align with eco- and carbon-conscious values.

Eco-Friendly Tips For Shopping At Discount Retailers

To further contribute to a greener lifestyle while shopping at discount retailers, consider the following tips:

1. Choose quality over quantity: Favor durable, high-quality clothes that will last longer and have less environmental impact.

2. Reuse and recycle clothing items: Extend the life of your garments by repairing or upcycling them or donating them to thrift stores or charities instead of throwing them away.

3. Participate in take-back programs and clothing swaps: Join local exchange events to share and find pre-loved items without purchasing new clothes.

Conclusion – Are TJ Maxx and Marshalls Sustainable and Ethical

Companies such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls have provided impressive summaries of their efforts towards environmental sustainability. Still, it is always essential to remember the possibility of greenwashing, a practice where a company may overstate or misrepresent its environmental efforts to appear more environmentally friendly than it truly is.

Third-party verification can serve as a valuable tool in assessing the true sustainability efforts of a company. These external bodies can independently evaluate a company’s environmental actions, ensuring that their practices align with their reported achievements. For example, TJ Maxx’s A- score on the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire and Marshalls’ carbon emissions targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative are examples of third-party assessment, providing additional credibility to their sustainability claims.

It’s also important to consider the actual impact of the sustainability initiatives undertaken. A company might transition to renewable energy sources, but if it simultaneously increases its overall energy consumption, the net positive effect may be diminished.

Finally, the companies’ future goals and the feasibility of those goals should be taken into account. Setting ambitious targets is commendable, but these targets should also be realistic and based on sound science.

In conclusion, while both TJ Maxx and Marshalls have shown a promising commitment to sustainability, third-party assessments would further validate their efforts, and a comprehensive, critical examination of their practices is necessary to guard against potential greenwashing. The battle against climate change requires authentic, impactful actions, not just well-intentioned promises.

Staff Writer
+ posts

Leave a Comment