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.




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.

A message from our CEO

  • Inge Thulin CEO

    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. We recognize the unique and inspiring opportunity we have: to grow our enterprise while making the world stronger, safer and healthier.

    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. Last year, in fact, 3M products helped our customers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 13 million tons.

    Our commitment to Sustainability extends to our own operations, and has for decades. In 1975 we launched a pioneering program called Pollution Prevention Pays, which empowers 3Mers to find creative ways to make our company more efficient. This initiative continues today, and has led to 15,000 projects that have prevented two million tons of air, water and waste pollution.

    Last year we also continued to make progress on our 2025 Sustainability Goals, which we laid out three years ago. These include investing in sustainable materials, increasing energy efficiency and water management, and doubling 3M’s pipeline of diverse leaders. Additional achievements from 2017 include:

    • We convened customer conversations focused on Sustainability, and embedded Sustainability into our business strategies globally.
    • We invested more than $70 million to support education, environmental and other programs in our communities.
    • We launched 3M Impact, a skills-based service program that sends 3Mers to communities around the world to help solve a pressing need.
    • We received the prestigious Catalyst Award for our leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion, while receiving 100 percent scores on the LGBTQ Equality Index and Disability Equality index.

    Going forward, we will continue to invest in developing products that help our customers reach their goals, while increasing our own Sustainability efforts in accordance with the United Nations Global Compact and its principles.

    Thank you for joining us in this journey toward improving every life.

    Inge G. Thulin
    Chairman of the Board,
    President and Chief Executive Officer

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