3M to Embed Sustainability into Every New Product
Dec 5, 2018

3M launches approximately 1,000 new products each year, and, starting in 2019, 100 percent of them will have Sustainability built in: Every new product will be required to have a Sustainability Value Commitment that demonstrates how it drives impact for the greater good. 

This new, formal requirement is important because it embeds Sustainability into the pipeline that produces 3M's diverse global products. About one-third of 3M’s annual sales come from products created in the past five years, so the impact will expand greatly with each successive year. 

“Sustainability has always been at the core of 3M—but we’re looking to do more,” said Chief Technology Officer John Banovetz, who announced the new product requirement at the United National Climate Change Conference (COP24) on Dec. 5. “We are proud to formalize our commitment to this next step in innovating for a sustainable future.”

The new requirement is part of 3M’s commitment to Sustainability as a purpose-driven business and builds on our legacy of Sustainability leadership among global companies – and is the first goal of our new Sustainability focus that CEO Mike Roman announced Nov. 15.

Beyond 3M’s own operations, a primary reason for the goal is to help customers achieve their Sustainability goals. This new product goal creates even more opportunities to collaborate with customers on solutions that improve lives around the world.

“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 Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Gayle Schueller. “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.”

Examples of a Sustainability Value Commitment in new 3M products include recyclability, energy and water savings, responsible sourcing, renewable materials, and/or reuse appropriate for the specific product.

This commitment also includes products with a core purpose of helping to solve an environmental or social problem, such as improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving worker and patient safety in healthcare and industrial settings.

3M’s new product requirement will have a global impact, starting with our operations in 70 countries and the 200 countries where we sell our products. It will also help our customers reach their own Sustainability goals. Most importantly, it impacts 3M employees. When you work for 3M, you are changing the world.

3M will measure the progress and impact of this commitment and report on it annually.

Requiring Sustainability Value Commitments in all new products builds on 3M’s history of creating products that emphasize reuse, recycling and reduced resource use for 3M’s operations and for our customers. Here are a few examples:

For more information about 3M’s Sustainability commitment, please visit 3M.com/sustainability. 

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