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90,000 employees helping solve some of the world's biggest challenges, connected by a single ambition.


Sustainability at 3M

Addressing the challenges facing our global community today requires persistence, creativity and a child-like curiosity.  We’re on it. 

Learn what 3M is doing about it.



  • 3M and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    Learn just a few of the ways our goals at 3M are #improvinglives in accordance with, and in support of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.  

  • Sustainable by Design

    Learn how our internal design workbook, Compass, guides 3M designers to address sustainability issues throughout the innovation process.

    Sustainable by Design
  • New 3Mers bring a buzz to campus.

    3M is taking steps to help honey bee populations by planting bee habitat and by bringing two colonies to the headquarters in Saint Paul.

    New 3Mers bring a buzz to campus. New 3Mers bring a buzz to campus.
  • Sharing a Common Goal: Improving Every Life

    See the goals 3M has set for the next 10 years toward improving our business, our planet, and every life.

    Sharing a Common Goal: Improving Every Life Sharing a Common Goal: Improving Every Life


Our Strategy


  • Building on our long-standing leadership in environmental stewardship and commitment to customer-inspired innovation, we are focusing our Sustainability strategy on overcoming the global challenges that serve as barriers to improving every life. This means addressing challenges like energy availability and security, raw material scarcity, human health and safety, education and development, while keeping our vision for growth in mind.


    • 3M Technology Advancing Every Company
    • 3M Products Enhancing Every Home
    • 3M Innovation Improving Every Life


Goals and Progress


  • The only thing we like better than a great idea is great results. When it comes to sustainability, excellence lies in the evidence. From cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 57% to using less water and releasing fewer pollutants, our sustainability efforts are paying off. Read more.

Message from Our Chairman


  • Inge Thulin CEO

    Since 1902, 3M has been improving lives. Social and environmental stewardship is central to who we are and is embedded throughout our vision:

    • 3M Technology Advancing Every Company
    • 3M Products Enhancing Every Home
    • 3M Innovation Improving Every Life

    With operations in more than 70 countries — and 55,000 products sold across nearly 200 countries — we are intricately woven into the global economy and deeply invested in humanity. No one is ever far from a 3M product, which empowers us to make a difference city by city, village by village and person by person.

    Rapid communication advances are quickly merging our world into a global community with shared values. Together, we face uncertainties surrounding energy availability and climate change, water quality and availability, raw material scarcity, education, development, and human health and safety.

    It’s clear that these global dynamics are challenging the sustainable growth of future generations, which is why 3M is using its greatest assets — ideas and innovation — to address these challenges.

    With industries ranging from healthcare to electronics to automotive, we invent technologies that make daily life easier, safer and more fulfilling. Some of the recent ways in which we’ve applied our ideas and innovation for a more sustainable future include the following:


    • In 2014, for our worldwide energy-conservation efforts, we earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® award. This was the 10th consecutive year 3M received the honor, an industry first. We were also, again, listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – a credit we’ve had since its inception in 1999.
    • We have developed and launched an increasing number of sustainability-focused products, including energy-efficient films for tablets, Post-it® Greener Notes, air-barrier building solutions, Envision® graphics films, 360 Encompass™ health information system, and an energy-saving, award-winning LED technology.
    • The continued success of our Pollution Prevention Pays program, which has prevented nearly 2 million tons of air, water and waste pollution, and the reduction of our global greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent from 2002 to 2013 on an absolute basis (even as the company sales grew 30 percent over the same period of time).
    • Ongoing support to protect and restore vital ecosystems around the world. By working with partners such as The Nature Conservancy, the 3M Foundation has provided more than $21 million to preserve more than 1 million acres.
    • More than $61.6 million in global cash and in-kind product donations in 2013.
    • In early 2014, we joined the United Nations Global Compact. While 3M has always acted in accordance with the core values represented by the Compact, we are proud to formalize our commitment to its 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environmental and anti-corruption and to grow our partnership with the organization.

    As we celebrate our accomplishments, we recognize the magnitude of the global challenges we are all looking to address. This will not be easy, and it will require shifts in how we operate, how we make long-term decisions and how we collaborate. But we firmly believe that, by working with our customers and partners, and by empowering people to exercise their own creativity and passion, we can drive the transformational changes necessary for the success of both business and society.

    3Mers are a committed team, 89,500 strong, poised to help create a more sustainable future. We intend to do this by designing products that support our customers’ sustainability efforts, embedding sustainable practices across our supply chain, and, perhaps most importantly, joining together with a shared purpose.

    I am proud to be a 3Mer committed to this effort and excited about the role 3M can play in helping everyone, everywhere, live a better life.

    Inge G. Thulin
    Chairman, President and CEO

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