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Sustainability Report Card

At 3M Sustainability has long been part of our core values, dating back to the 1970s when we launched industry leading environmental management programs.  Today, Sustainability serves to drive innovation in our manufacturing, in our products, and in new technologies.

We innovate with purpose and collaborate with our customers, partners and communities to take on shared global challenges – bringing value to both our business and our society.  We believe that by applying our science for good we can grow our business in a responsible way with a focus on long-term, sustainable solutions driving change for the greater good.

To that end, we remain committed to making significant investments in Sustainability-inspired innovation. In 2017 3M invested $1.9 billion in research and development, as we continue inventing and manufacturing cutting-edge Sustainability solutions.

We are a diverse company and therefore have the ability and expectation to deliver customer-driven solutions for many Sustainability challenges.  Three connected areas are core to the advancement of 3M: Sustainability inspired innovation, product stewardship, and operational Sustainability.  In partnership with our customers, 3M uses science every day to improve lives and help solve society’s toughest challenges – from clean air and clean water, to advanced health care and food safety.

How are we doing?

3M Global Scorecard SustainabilityIn 2015 we launched our 2025 Sustainability Goals.  2018 marks the third year of progress against our Goals, achievements to date include:

  • Total water consumption has decreased 37.2 percent between 2005 and 2017 (indexed to net sales)
  • Since 2002, we have achieved a 68.1 percent absolute reduction in the company’s greenhouse gas emissions (absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 location-based emissions)
  • On September 1, 2017, we entered our second wind energy agreement for 3M within the last two years. With this agreement, our total wind energy purchases now have reached 579 megawatt hours of wind energy or 17.9 percent of our company’s total global electricity use
  • Our waste (indexed to net sales) has decreased 26.4 percent since 2005
  • Last year, in fact, 3M products helped our customers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 13 million tons.

3M Food Safety’s Role

3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates and the Molecular Detection Assay 2 – Salmonella method can help lessen your environmental impact over using agar plates for testing in four key areas: water, waste, GHG emissions, and energy. Not only can you improve your lab’s efficiency and precision, but you can help to create a more sustainable workplace.

Petrifilm Sustainability Statistics 3M Food Safety

A recent study compared the environmental impacts of 3M Petrifilm Plates with traditional agar methods, on aspects including raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, use and disposal (results shown left). Full results can be found here. Converting from agar to 3M Petrifilm Plates does more than that, a study of 292 food processing plants showed:

  • Cut labor costs by an average of 45%
  • An average increase of 80.5% in QA personnel
  • 7 hours of technician time saved per day.

With reliable and accurate testing methods, confidence in operational effectiveness is combined with minimizing impact. Your lab can help to meet the Sustainability goals of your company. 3M Petrifilm Plates offer a more sustainable alternative than traditional agar methods. Calculate your Sustainability savings.

In another study that examined reductions in primary energy demand, blue water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from the 3M Molecular Detection Assay 2 – Salmonella method demonstrated substantial reductions in environmental impacts compared to ISO 6579 method. It was also proven to:

  • use 77% less water and energy
  • emit 76% less greenhouse gas
  • produce 83% less waste

Find out how much more you can be with the 3M™ Molecular Detection Assay 2 – Salmonella method. Learn more here. 

We work to continually prove that eco-friendly testing methods are easily attainable, and a priority for all parties involved. At 3M we are committed to improving our business, our planet, and every life.

*Bureau Veritas (BV) provided independent third-party verification of 3M’s 2017 environmental data (volatile organic compound emissions, water, waste, environmental compliance metrics, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions) included in this 2018 Sustainability Report.