On December 5, at the United National Climate Change Conference (COP24), 3M is building on its legacy of Sustainability leadership and announcing its first formal requirement that a Sustainability Value Commitment will be included in all new products introduced beginning in 2019. From Post-it® Notes to the connected roads of the future, tens of thousands of products made by global company 3M are moving toward becoming even more sustainable.
The impact of 3M’s new product requirement is global in scale: 3M launches approximately 1,000 new products each year, with roughly one-third of its revenue generated from products released in the past five years. 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.
“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 invests approximately 6 percent 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.
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 core 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.
“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, Vice President 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 has 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 consecutive years.
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 their customers. Those products range from energy-saving cooling immersion fluids for data centers and window and solar film, to lightweighting vehicles and shipping materials for fuel efficiency, to water and waste-reducing cleaning solutions.