3M announced today a broad range of environmental sustainability goals, with targets encompassing climate, water use and water quality. According to the company, 3M expects to invest approximately $1 billion over the next 20 years to reach its new goals.
3M’s new goals include achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, reducing water use by 25% at its facilities by 2030, and returning higher quality water to the environment after use in manufacturing operations. The company stated that its investments will help advance waste reduction and pollution control programs, reduce water usage, and acquire and apply best available technology.
3M Chairman and CEO Mike Roman said:
“As we grow 3M, we will lead in environmental stewardship, social equity and justice, and corporate governance. 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. Today’s 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 also outlined several initiatives and interim targets it will pursue on the road to achieving its new commitments. 3M said that it expects to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2040 in its own operations, and will work collaboratively with customers, governments, and global partners to reduce emissions beyond its own operations.
“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. 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.”
In terms of water initiatives, the company announced plans 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, enabling the return of higher quality water to the environment after its use in manufacturing operations. On the road to its 2030 water use goal, 3M is targeting a 10% reduction in water use by 2022, a 20% reduction by 2025. Overall, the company expects to reduce its overall water usage by 2.5 billion gallons per year.
“We are proactively reviewing our manufacturing facilities, going plant by plant to make investments and updates that will go beyond what is required, and at the same time further improve our operations. We are applying 3M technologies at a broad scale, which allows us to do more to reduce, restore and reuse the water in our manufacturing processes. We are offering our experience and expertise to communities so we can help others achieve better water quality.”