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3M stands up for sustainability

Company announces new commitment during global climate conference.

BY HBSDealer Staff

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M rolls out about 1,000 products each year. And beginning in 2019, all new product introductions will include a sustainability value commitment.

Examples of 3M’s sustainability value commitment for new products include reusability, recyclability, energy, waste, water savings, responsible sourcing, and/or renewable materials appropriate to the specific product, from the beginning to the end of each product’s lifecycle. This commitment also includes products with a purpose of helping to solve an environmental or social challenge, such as improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving worker and patient safety in healthcare and industrial settings. 3M will measure progress and impact of this commitment and report on it annually, the company said.

3M made the announcement at the United National Climate Change Conference. “Sustainability is at the core of 3M—but we’re looking to do more,” said John Banovetz, chief technology officer, 3M. “Today at COP24 we are proud to formalize our commitment to this next step in innovating for a sustainable future.”

3M says it invests about 6% of revenue into research and development, much of it for creating new products.

The new requirement will take effect in 2019 and will apply to all five of 3M’s business groups: Health Care, Consumer, Electronics & Energy, Industrial and Safety & Graphics.

“As a large and diverse global science company with customers spanning many industries and global markets, we have the opportunity to make an even greater impact in sustainability,” said Gayle Schueller, VP and chief sustainability officer, 3M. “We’ve made such significant progress on the 2025 sustainability goals we set in 2015 that we’re raising the bar. The new product goal is an example of the aggressive targets we’ll be setting in coming months as part our strategic focus on empowering science for circular, climate and community.”

3M points to a long-standing commitment to Sustainability from the Pollution Prevention Pays program that began in 1975 to 3M’s 2025 sustainability goals that include water, climate, and energy targets. 3M has long been a recognized leader in sustainability and has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 19 straight years.

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