We’ve Been Setting and Meeting Goals for 25 Years


We’ve Been Setting and Meeting Goals for 25 Years


We’ve Been Setting and Meeting Goals for 25 Years


Goals & Progress

Setting goals to drive Sustainability progress is nothing new at 3M. We have been setting global environmental goals since 1990. A strong part of our company history, these goals have helped dramatically reduce our own environmental footprint and established us as a leader in environmental stewardship. 

Moving forward, we are proud to expand beyond our own operations by focusing more on supporting the Sustainability goals and needs of our customers and our communities. While we recognize the importance of what we do in our own operations, and will continue to improve accordingly, we see that far greater impact can be realized when we partner to understand and overcome the challenges we face in partnership with others.

We approach our Sustainability goals and strategy by:

  • delivering excellence in operations and across our supply chain; 
  • innovating to improve lives with our customers and partners; and,
  • enriching our communities where we live and work. 

When we think about our customers, partners, and communities, and our mutual challenges and needs, we see a shared opportunity. In addition to environmental challenges, we recognize the connectedness of social challenges we face in pursuing a better world. Our ambition, working collaboratively, is to realize a world where every life is improved – where natural resources are reliably available, people everywhere have access to education and opportunity, and communities are safe, healthy, connected and thriving. 

We have framed our goals and plans for the next 10 years around shared global challenges, toward realizing that world in the future. Recognizing the interconnections and overlap of the commitments we’re making and their impact on multiple challenges, we have organized our efforts by the primary challenge each goal is working to overcome. Unless otherwise noted, all goals are global, have a 2015 baseline, and a 2025 end date. 
We invite you to learn more and to join us on this journey toward improving every life.


  • Raw Materials

    Raw Materials

    Respect our planet’s resources and reimagine waste as a nutrient to ensure we have abundance for future generations.

    Goal: Invest to develop more sustainable materials and products to help our customers reach their environmental goals. We recognize some of our greatest positive impact can be realized by helping our customers improve their environmental footprint. For that reason, an increased focus on delivering more sustainable materials and components is core to our innovation and Sustainability strategy.

    Goal: Reduce manufacturing waste by an additional 10%, indexed to sales. We’ll continue to drive ‘zero waste’ thinking with our product designs and process technologies, as well as waste reduction work at our manufacturing operations. Now in its 40th year, our Pollution Prevention Pays program has prevented over 2.0 million tons of waste and saved $1.9 billion since 1975, and will continue to play a significant role in our operations in the future.

    Goal: Achieve “zero landfill” status at more than 30% of manufacturing sites. In addition to our waste reduction goal, we plan to increase repurposing, reusing and recycling of potential waste materials to divert from landfill disposal.

    Goal: Drive supply chain Sustainability through targeted raw material traceability and supplier performance assurance. To continue to advance important environmental and social expectations of our suppliers, we’ll use a comprehensive risk-based approach to engage critical supply chains for collaboration and improvement.

  • Water


    Promote clean water for everyone, everywhere so that every person, business and community has the water they need to thrive.

    Goal: Reduce global water use by an additional 10%, indexed to sales. Building upon our previous 42% reduction in water usage between 2005 and 2014, we will continue to improve in managing and conserving water across our global manufacturing footprint by driving water reduction and conservation process and technology changes within our operations.

    Goal: Engage 100% of water-stressed/scarce communities where 3M manufactures on community-wide approaches to water management. Partner with local communities to advance water recycling and conservation. Ultimately, we aim to help these communities build and manage their own efforts toward access to clean water into the future.

  • Climate and Energy

    Climate & Energy

    Transform the way the world uses energy because it impacts the climate, and the climate impacts everyone.

    Goal: Improve energy efficiency indexed to net sales by 30%. Energy efficiency improvements will address rising energy use, costs and climate impacts. Building on our 50% improvement in energy efficiency between 2000 and 2014, a 30% energy efficiency improvement will keep our global energy use nearly flat over the next 10 years, as the Company grows.

    Goal: Increase renewable energy to 25% of total electricity use. Nearly 800,000 MWh of renewable energy use will be added globally. The primary sources of renewable energy will be wind and solar.

    Goal: Ensure GHG emissions at least 50% below our 2002 baseline, while growing our business. 3M is in a leadership position due to our early actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions more than 10 years ago. Between 2002 and 2014, we voluntarily achieved a 64% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to continuing that leadership for another 10 years, even as we grow the company in order to help our customers address the issue of climate change.

    Goal: Help our customers reduce their GHGs by 250 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions through use of 3M products. While 3M has made significant GHG emission reductions across our global operations, we realize we can make far greater contributions by helping our customers reduce their GHG emissions through the use of our products. In 2014 alone, about 15 million metric tons of CO2 were avoided for our customers through use of 3M product platforms. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 3.1 million cars.

  • Health and Safety

    Health & Safety

    Improve the health and safety of people worldwide so we can all focus on what matters most to us.

    Goal: Provide training to 5 million people globally on worker and patient safety. Proper use of health and safety products is critical to infection prevention, personal safety and overall health. Building on our existing customer education program, we seek to help educate individuals on worker and patient safety in both healthcare and industrial settings.

  • Education and Development

    Education & Development

    Support empowerment and enrichment to provide people everywhere the opportunity to live life to its fullest.

    Goal: Invest cash and products for education, community and environmental programs. We will continue to invest in increasing access for people worldwide to science, technology, engineering, math and business skills, and to improving lives through investments in environment, health and safety programs. Cash, in-kind donations, sponsorships, and volunteerism will remain core to our 3Mgives strategy. Since 1953, we have invested $1.4 billion in cash and product donations in 3M communities.

    Goal: 100% participation in employee development programs to advance individual and organizational capabilities. Our employees are encouraged and supported to pursue areas of interest and develop career paths and opportunities aligned with those interests. Moving forward, we seek to formalize an individual development plan with every employee.

    Goal: Double the pipeline of diverse talent in management to build a diverse workforce. Increasing women and diversity in every region in which we operate is a core part of our Sustainability strategy. We recognize that doubling our diverse talent in management will help build a diverse pipeline for executive leadership as well.

Recent Accomplishments

  • 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 we earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® award for our worldwide energy-conservation efforts. This was the 10th consecutive year 3M received the honor, an industry first. We were also once 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.
    • 3M’s Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program celebrated its 39th anniversary in 2014. In those 39 years, the program has prevented more than 2.0 million tons of pollutants and saved nearly $1.9 billion (USD) based on aggregated data from the first year of each 3P project.
    • 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 $80 million in global cash and in-kind product donations in 2014. View more 3M Community Involvement.
    • 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.

    For more information on recent accomplishments please view our 2015 Sustainability Report.

Other 3M Sites: