From Post-it Notes to the connected roads of the future, tens of thousands of products made by global company 3M are moving toward becoming even more sustainable. This week, at the United National Climate Change Conference (COP24), 3M announced its first formal requirement that a Sustainability Value Commitment will be included in all new products introduced beginning in 2019.
“Sustainability is at the core of 3M – but we’re looking to do more,” said John Banovetz, chief technology officer, 3M. “Today at COP24, we are proud to formalize our commitment to this next step in innovating for a sustainable future.”
The impact of 3M’s new product requirement is global in scale: 3M launches approximately 1,000 new products each year, with roughly one-third of its revenue generated from products released in the past five years. Beyond 3M’s own operations, a primary reason for the goal is to help customers achieve their own sustainability goals. This new product goal creates even more opportunities to collaborate with customers on solutions that improve lives around the world.
Examples of 3M’s Sustainability Value Commitment for new products include reusability, recyclability, energy, waste, water savings, responsible sourcing and/or renewable materials appropriate to the specific product, from the beginning to the end of each product’s lifecycle. This commitment also includes products with a core purpose of helping to solve an environmental or social challenge, such as improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving worker and patient safety in healthcare and industrial settings. 3M will measure progress and impact of this commitment and report on it annually.
3M invests approximately 6 percent of revenue into research and development, much of it for creating new products. The new requirement will take effect in 2019 and will apply to all five of 3M’s business groups: Health Care, Consumer, Electronics & Energy, Industrial and Safety & Graphics.