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3M to spend $1 billion to accelerate climate goals

3M will invest about $1 billion over the next 20 years to accelerate the company’s new environmental goals, which include carbon neutrality by 2050 and reducing water use by 25% at its facilities.

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    (photos: 3M)
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 'Taking action now to bend the curve'
   3M chair and CEO Mike Roman


“As we grow 3M, we will lead in environmental stewardship, social equity and justice, and corporate governance,” said 3M chairman and CEO Mike Roman. “We are taking action now to bend the curve on carbon emissions and water use, and improve water quality. Our investments will make us more effective and efficient and drive growth. [The] announcements demonstrate again how 3M applies science to improve lives to help shape the world through cleaner air, better water quality, and less waste.” 

The company, a manufacturer of graphics & signage materials, says long-term investments will help advance waste reduction and pollution control programs, reduce water usage, and acquire and apply best available technology. 

Carbon Neutral by 2050 

 By applying science and technological expertise, 3M expects to further reduce carbon emissions, aiming for a 50% reduction by 2030, an 80% reduction by 2040, and 100% carbon neutrality in its operations by 2050. 

“We are bringing our innovation to bear on the climate challenges we all face, so we can more rapidly bend the curve on carbon emissions and water use,” said Roman. “Since 2000, while continuing to grow our company, we’ve significantly reduced our greenhouse gas emissions, our global headquarters is completely powered by renewable electricity, and we are advancing our goal of reducing waste globally by targeting it at the source—working to eliminate single-use plastics and converting more facilities to zero landfill status.” 

Reducing Water Use and Improving Water Quality

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 3M is committed to reducing water use at its worldwide manufacturing facilities over the next decade. 3M is taking immediate steps to drive reductions in water use in the coming months and over the longer-term: a 10% reduction in water use by 2022, a 20% reduction by 2025, and a 25% reduction by 2030.

3M expects to install state-of-the-art water purification technology by the end of 2023 and be fully operational by 2024 at all of its largest water-using locations. This will enable the company to return even higher quality water to the environment after its use in manufacturing operations. The company will use its expertise and advanced technology to remove impurities from the water it uses. 

3M expects to reduce its overall water usage by 2.5 billion gallons (about 9.5 billion litres) per year. The new commitments build upon the company’s existing 2025 goal of engaging with all of the water-stressed/scarce communities where it manufactures on community-wide approaches to water management. 

 3M products that drive positive environmental impact around the world include: 

  • •Recycled content and plant-based materials: 3M is helping expand the supply chain and demand for recycled materials by making products with post-consumer recycled content and leading plant based material innovation in iconic everyday products like, Scotch tape, Post-it Notes, and Scotch-Brite sponges. 
  • •Energy efficient buildings: 3M window film solutions help keep the heat out and the cool air in, making buildings more efficient and reducing the energy needed to heat and cool the places where people live and work. 
  • •Renewable energy: 3M films, tapes, and adhesive technologies help solar panels capture more light, increasing efficiency, and help protect wind turbine blades against weathering and harsh environments, ultimately enhancing reliability, extending life, and improving the performance. 
  • •Improving indoor air quality: Filtrete room air purifiers and heating and cooling solutions help capture airborne particles, including dust, lint, pet dander and bacteria, reducing indoor air pollutants and making homes and workplaces safer.