To increase employee empowerment and enrich communities across the globe, 3M is expanding its 2025 Sustainability Goals with a new commitment: Provide 300,000 work hours of skills-based volunteerism by 3M employees to improve lives and help solve society’s toughest challenges.
“NGOs, universities and social enterprises around the world face resource constraints to address the environmental and social challenges in their communities,” said Gayle Schueller, 3M Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. “With this new goal, we’re empowering our employees to give back beyond 3M products and technologies, as well as traditional volunteerism, by leveraging their professional skills to help organizations reach their goals.”
To reach 300,000 hours, the company is expanding 3M Impact, a skills-based service program that sends 3Mers from around the world to an international location where the need is great, and the work is relevant to our businesses. There, for two weeks, they collaborate with nonprofit organizations, social enterprises and government agencies focused on social and environmental issues or other pressing needs.
3M also offers domestic volunteer opportunities through 3M Impact Local (enabling employees to collaborate with organizations dedicated to enacting positive change in their own 3M communities) and 3M Impact in a Day (a half-day service hackathon connecting 3Mers with local nonprofits seeking functional expertise on a specific project).
In addition to assisting groups and organizations in need, 3M Impact volunteer opportunities are designed to support the components of 3M’s Strategic Sustainability Framework, advancing its commitments to Science for Circular, Science for Climate, and Science for Community.
For example, some past 3M Impact projects include designing a structured STEAM curriculum for students aged 7-12 in China, analyzing the potential for material and energy recovery through waste management in Morocco, and developing a scalable business model for a sustainability transport company in Colombia.
3M’s 2025 Sustainability Goals were established in 2015 and have become increasingly ambitious over time. The new skills-based volunteerism pledge brings the number of 2025 Sustainability Goals to 15 and builds upon additional sustainability commitments by 3M, including its legacy Pollution Prevention Pays program, membership in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 for circular economy, The Climate Group’s RE100 for renewable energy, and 3M’s own Sustainability Value Commitment requiring every new 3M product to demonstrate how it drives impact for the greater good.
The new 3M Impact goal, as well as 3M’s progress toward its 2025 commitments and recent sustainability achievements, will be shared by Schueller during her participation in the annual UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, in Madrid, Spain, from Dec. 2-13.