Sustainability is embedded firmly at the core of 3M and in the strategic planning process we use for every region, every market, and every business. In each of our business groups and regions we have dedicated Sustainability leaders who develop a relevant and well-informed strategy specific to their market demands and business goals.
Annually, like many companies, we go through a strategic planning process during which our divisions and regions develop their business strategies for the next few years. However, unlike others, we formally require that each plan address Sustainability factors relevant to their market needs and business opportunities.
R&D at 3M is a little different: we separate the R and the D.
First, the R. Scientists in our central laboratory are free to focus on pure research, in search of unscripted, unexpected opportunities for breakthroughs.
Our unique “15% Culture” gives them the freedom to follow their instincts. At the same time, our Tech Forum is a key enabler of collaboration. This self-directed, self-organized group unites 10,000-plus scientists and engineers who work together to solve problems across oceans and continents, regardless of which business they’re from. For the D, 3M development teams within each of our business groups draw upon our previously mentioned core technologies to create products for targeted markets and geographies.
Moving forward, we will expand beyond our own operations and focus more on 3M Sustainability goals and the needs of our customers and communities. While we recognize the importance of what we do in our own businesses, and will continue to innovate there, we see that far greater impact can be realized when we partner to understand and overcome the challenges we face together.
3M believes that good corporate governance practices serve the long-term interests of stockholders, strengthen the Board and management, and further enhance the public trust 3M has earned from more than a century of operating with honesty and integrity.
3M’s Board of Directors has adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines which provide a framework for the effective governance of the Company. The guidelines address matters such as the respective roles and responsibilities of the Board and management, the Board’s leadership structure, the responsibilities of the independent Lead Director, director independence, the Board Membership Criteria, Board committees, and Board and management evaluation.
The Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for overseeing and reviewing the Guidelines at least annually and recommending any proposed changes to the Board for approval. The Corporate Governance Guidelines, the Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, the charters of the Board committees, the Director Independence guidelines, and the Code of Conduct provide the framework for the governance of the Company and are available on our Web site at www.3M.com, under Investor Relations Governance.
At 3M, we continually evaluate our approach to potential risks facing the company. The concept of risk appetite and tolerance is an essential component of our strategic planning, and it’s the responsibility of our senior business leaders to plan accordingly.
It is our firm belief that good corporate governance practices serve the long-term interests of stockholders, strengthen the Board and management, and further enhance the public trust 3M has earned from more than a century of operating with uncompromising integrity and doing business the right way. Governance includes broad risk oversight by the Board and its committees. Risk analysis is reported to the full Board, the General Auditor, and Chief Compliance Officer. Both the General Auditor and Chief Compliance Officer are appointed by, and report to, the Audit Committee of the Board.
Through the years, 3M has built a reputation globally for taking an ethical approach to business. That said, with 91,600 employees and subsidiary operations in 70-plus countries, it’s no simple task to always do business the right way.
To make it as simple as possible, we have developed one Code of Conduct that applies globally. Our Code of Conduct Global Handbook summarizes 3M’s compliance principles and raises awareness of our core requirements for doing business "the right way, always and everywhere."
3M has long had business conduct principles based on the company’s core values. Those values have not changed over time. 3M conducts our business with uncompromising integrity. The Code is our guide for answering questions and providing direction when the right choice may not be clear.
Living by our Code of Conduct enhances our reputation and promotes trust with our customers, in our company and in the quality of our products.
3M's Code of Conduct defines how we live and work:
3M employees, including supervisors, managers and other leaders, are responsible for knowing and following the ethical, legal, and policy requirements that apply to their jobs and for reporting any suspected violations of law or the Code. Executives and managers are accountable for creating and promoting a workplace environment in which compliance and ethical business conduct are expected and encouraged.
At 3M, there is only one way to do business. The right way.
3M is committed to assuring human rights in our own operations and in any business that works on our behalf. Our Human Resources Social Responsibility Policy applies to all 3M employees, contingent workers, anyone doing business with or on behalf of 3M and candidates for hire at 3M. Our Global Human Rights Policy was adopted in 2013, and we became a participant of the U.N. Global Compact (UNGC) in early 2014, thereby committing to align our operations and strategies with the UNGC principles on human rights.
3M is committed to providing competitive market pay and comprehensive benefits. In addition to providing a professional work environment that promotes innovation and rewards performance, 3M’s total compensation for employees includes a variety of components for sustainable employment and the ability to build a strong financial future.
At 3M, we recognize that growth of our company is directly related to growth of our people. Our science not only impacts our customers around the world, it makes a difference in the way we work.
Engaged employees, we believe, are more satisfied with their work, tend to stay longer, and are more productive and committed. So we foster and reinforce behaviors that support engagement on many levels, including networking and collaboration, diversity and inclusion, and focus on the quality and the impact of the growth journeys.
3M's strategy to "Build high performing and diverse global talent" leverages the strength of our people to implement other 3M strategies, namely "Gain profitable market share and accelerate market penetration everywhere" and "Expand relevance to our customers and our presence in the marketplace."
Our employees are encouraged and supported to pursue areas of interest and develop career paths and opportunities aligned with those interests.
Injuries and illnesses have declined since 2006. And we’re working to push them even lower.
As a company that makes a vast array of products designed to protect workers, 3M is front and center in the global effort to bring new science and innovation to workplace safety. At the same time, as an enterprise with 91,600 employees working around the world, we are always taking steps to advance the safety of our employees.
Since 2006, due to these diligent efforts, worldwide lost time rates have decreased 49 percent for 3M employees.
In 1975, 3M formalized its commitment to environmental stewardship when the company’s Board of Directors adopted the 3M Environmental Policy. This policy established the framework for our approach to responsible environmental management and conservation of resources, emphasizing prevention of pollution at the source.
Since then, we have created supporting policies using a needs-driven process. When we identify potential risks to the environment, health, and safety of our employees, products, and communities, we take steps to modify processes and standards that address these risks. Our strategy and resulting actions are demonstrated in our environmental policies, positions, and standards.
We are committed to complying with all environmental requirements and regulations. 3M global operations are subject to environmental laws and regulations, including those pertaining to air emissions, wastewater and stormwater discharges, hazardous substances or materials of concern, and the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes. These laws and regulations are enforceable by national, state and local authorities around the world.
3M's strategies for sustainable development encompass the pursuit of customer satisfaction and commercial success within a framework of environmental, social and economic values. The company continues to make significant investments to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations; and our products with sustainable attributes help customers reduce their environmental footprint and help to meet their Sustainability goals. Always, 3M believes environmental policy and regulations should be guided by science-based decision making.
The world’s population is growing larger, living longer, and consuming more -- which puts a strain on finite natural resources. To address this challenge, 3M continuously looks for ways to recover, reuse and recycle by-products and other waste material. We are moving from recyclable to renewable materials in our product and package design. (To learn more about this in our Innovation Management section.) Improving our raw material usage through product design and operational considerations provides cost benefits throughout our supply chain, in material use, energy, and transportation efficiency.
Water is the most valuable natural resource for life and thriving ecosystems, therefore, our planet’s consumption must be nurtured and thoughtfully managed. We recognize that reducing water consumption in our operations and improving water quality are important elements of optimizing our environmental stewardship. Quantitatively, the availability of water must meet the needs of current and future consumer demands. In addition, water quality must comply with local regulations and be reliable in the long term.
Water is an important component for the manufacturing and support systems of several of our products. Because of this, 3M continues to actively understand, manage and work toward reducing our corporate water footprint while providing innovative solutions to our customers.
We respect our ecological and ethical responsibility and have a vested interest in preserving and improving water availability and quality relative to our operations and the communities we serve.
We are transforming the way we use energy. Because energy impacts climate, and climate impacts everything.
Through the years, 3M has been a proactive leader in addressing both the challenges and the opportunities presented by climate change and energy conservation.
Our proactive leadership is best defined by five areas of action:
3M is actively engaged in public policy development to address climate change and endorses voluntary approaches to GHG emissions management. 3M, as a science-based company, supports the proactive approach of GHG emission reduction targets and will continue to strive toward the achievement of our four existing climate and energy related goals.
We understand that our Sustainability impacts extend beyond our own operations. By purchasing raw materials and services from small and large companies all over the world, we participate in a global, complex, supply chain. And it doesn’t stop there. Our suppliers have their own suppliers, extending back to the original source of each material we use.
At each step in the supply chain, there are benefits (like employment and community-building) as well as the potential for negative impacts (like pollution or unsafe or unfair labor practices). Our commitment is to maximize the positives and mitigate the potential negatives by aligning our supplier expectations with our own corporate values. We expect our suppliers to be transparent about their environmental and social practices, provide improvement ideas and work with us to transform our shared supply chain when needed.
Learn more about how Sustainability is embedded firmly at the core of our business; from our own operations, to how we collaborate with customers.