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Flipping the Switch to 100 Percent Renewable Electricity at 3M

Thursday, February 28, 2019 12:28 am CST

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When 3M's 12,000 employees walk into their office buildings and research labs at the company's global headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., it may not look or feel different – but it is very different indeed.

That’s because the entire 409-acre campus is now powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The switch went into effect March 1 and is the first step in a commitment to move 3M’s entire global operations across more than 70 countries to 100 percent renewable sources of power.

As part of the global goal, 3M is joining RE100, a global leadership initiative that brings together influential businesses committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity for its worldwide operations. 3M has announced an interim target to source at least 50 percent of its total electricity from renewables by 2025.

“3M is flipping the switch to becoming powered 100 percent by renewable energy,” said 3M CEO Mike Roman when he announced the news. “We are continuing to step up our leadership toward a more sustainable future – in our own operations, and in solutions for our customers.”

Committing to wind and solar sources of power is part of 3M’s strategic focus on science for climate, with the aspiration to innovate to decarbonize industry, accelerate global climate solutions and improve the company’s environmental footprint. The commitment will help decrease greenhouse gases produced by 3M, already down 68 percent since 2002.

“By joining RE100 and switching to 100 percent renewable electricity globally, 3M is building sustainability into its business growth strategy and showing the two go hand in hand,” said Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group. “Seeing such a large manufacturer commit to ‘go all in’ on renewables to produce sustainable new products is an encouraging step forward. Big brands like this can influence positive action from other companies and customers and accelerate the clean energy transition around the world.”

With this commitment, 3M will become the largest company in partner Xcel Energy’s Midwest service area of nine states to move to 100 percent renewable electricity. The majority of the power for 3M’s headquarters will be supplied by Xcel wind farms located near Pipestone, Minn. Additional power will come through the wind projects that are part of Xcel’s Windsource program and solar sources.

“We applaud 3M’s leadership in making a bold commitment to 100 percent renewable energy,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “Xcel Energy is proud to partner with 3M, because we both share a drive to innovate and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.’’

This initiative builds on 3M’s recent announcement that every new 3M product will have a sustainability value commitment.

Learn more about 3M Sustainability.

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