About the Report

About Report, Report Scope and Boundaries

  • Report Schedule and Period

    Current Issue: May 9, 2017
    Next Issue: Scheduled for May 2018
    Previous Issue: May 10, 2016

    Prior to 2010, 3M’s Sustainability Report was a fully integrated website. Therefore, copies prior to 2010 are not available.

    This report provides a summary of the activities in fiscal year 2016 (January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016).

  • Organizational Boundaries

    This report covers 3M’s owned manufacturing facilities and leased facilities worldwide, including joint ventures (if greater than 50 percent 3M ownership) and partially owned subsidiaries (if greater than 50 percent 3M ownership) where 3M has full operational control. Acquisitions are included in data sets once legally owned and fully integrated onto 3M systems.  All data included in the report is global data unless otherwise specified. Any significant organization changes are identified in the Annual Report 2016 and 2017 Notice of Annual Meeting & Proxy Statement

  • Data Collection, Adjustments and Verification

    The data provided in this report through facts and figures is based on activities during 3M’s fiscal year 2016. For some performance indicators, the previous year’s data is provided to allow for annual comparisons.

  • Report Data Collection

    Due to the size and geographical extent of our operations, it is at times difficult to obtain all data points. Therefore, to the extent possible, limitations and assumptions are stated as information in the report. The data reported in this report has been reviewed for accuracy and completeness, including the reliability of the systems used to obtain the data.

    Unless noted below, corporate staff have also verified the implementation of policies and management systems through audits and self-reporting systems.

    • Financial Data: Financial information referenced in this report is collected and reported in accordance with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission through the Annual Report 2016.
    • Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Data: The EHS data in this report is related to release to the environment, safety performance, management systems implementation and regulatory compliance. Data collection systems are in place at applicable sites to track and collect environmental, health and safety data through the corporate-wide EHS reporting systems (e.g., Environmental Targets Database, Worldwide Incident Management System, etc.).
    • Social Data: The data related to employee metrics, metrics, social practices, and community programs has been derived from various databases from within the Human Resources and 3Mgives organizations. This data has been reviewed and verified by the departments responsible for maintaining the internal reporting systems.
    • Responsible Sourcing Systems and Data: The policies and management systems implementation in this area has been reviewed and verified by the departments responsible for maintaining the internal reporting systems.

    Sites acquired by 3M are integrated into 3M programs and reporting systems via a prioritized functional integration schedule. Timeframe for integration varies depending on subject matter reporting requirements and site systems prior to being acquired; however, on average integration ranges between one to three years.

  • Base Year and Other Adjustments


    3M’s Annual Report 2016 and Investor Relations website document any changes to financial data. Several of 3M’s environmental goals are normalized per net sales. 3M does not adjust sales data for inflation.

    3M generally does not adjust its base-year environmental metrics data to reflect changes in 3M’s organizational structure. As a result, 3M sets environmental targets that are normalized or indexed to production (tons emitted or net sales) to ensure the environmental progress we report publically is not unduly influenced by changes to our organizational structure. However, in the case of our greenhouse gas emissions data, 3M follows the World Resource Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development GHG Protocol. Consequently, we readjust our greenhouse gas emissions base-year data in the case of business acquisitions and divestitures.

    In every case, 3M adjusts base-year and other years’ data if data collection methods change or data errors are identified. Any significant changes in the measurement methods and/or data values applied to key environmental metrics from previous years are documented within the report. Significant changes are defined by 3M’s Sustainability Report as changes greater than five percent of the original data point.

    Reporting year 2015 total propane values reflected in this report are 15.4 percent lower than previously reported in our 2016 Sustainability Report. This change is due to a data error being identified during an internal audit due to a facility using incorrect conversion factor when inputting data into the Corporate system.

    Between 2005 and 2010, 3M adopted a holistic definition of waste to drive the company’s waste reduction efforts toward more sustainable solutions, such as pollution prevention.  3M’s waste reduction goal and progress during this period included recycling. In 2011, 3M returned to a more conventional definition of waste that considered recycling as neutral (contributing neither toward total waste nor toward good output). 

    3M’s 2025 goal program utilizes 2015 as the base-year.  Starting with this program, waste disposed and waste by disposal type does not include waste-to-energy.  Total hazardous and total non-hazardous includes waste-to-energy.  

  • Data Verification

    Internal Verification: 3M has conducted an internal verification of the information provided in this report. The objectives for our assurance process included:

    • Accuracy and completeness of data
    • Reliability of systems used to measure and record data
    • Reliability of ratios compiled from underlying data
    • Adherence to the GRI G4 Reporting Guidelines
    • Implementation of internal policies and related management systems as reported
    • Presentation of a complete and fair picture in the report as a whole

    Third-Party Verification: Bureau Veritas [“Assurance Provider”] provided independent third-party assurance for this report covering activities January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.  Bureau Veritas provided moderate level of assurance in accordance with AA100AS-2008, Type 2. Bureau Veritas’ assurance letter can be found in the report under Assurance Statement.

Global Principles and Guidelines

  • Global Reporting Initiative

    The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a network-based organization that includes representatives from business, government, labor, third-party advocacy groups and academia. The GRI organization has developed a framework for sustainability reporting. Following the GRI Sustainability framework advances two important objectives: transparency and the ability to compare results from one organization to another. 3M has developed this report using GRI G4 Guidelines. The following GRI index outlines where specific GRI reporting elements and indicators are addressed in the report or other reporting sources including the Annual Report 2016, 2017 Notice of Annual Meeting & Proxy or other noted sources on 3M’s Investor Relations website.

    Our material aspects are identified in the GRI Index and reflected in our 2025 goals with focus on raw materials, water, climate and energy, health and safety and education and development. 3M self-declares the 2017 report as “In Accordance-Core.”

  • United Nations Global Compact Communication on Progress

    The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. 3M committed to the UN Global Compact principles in early 2014. This report includes an index of our Communication on Progress implementing the 10 principles as well as alignment with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the content of this 2017 Sustainability Report.  

  • Global Reporting Initiative Reporting Guidelines

    3M has developed this report using the Global Reporting Initiatives’ G4 Guidelines. The GRI Index table outlines where specific GRI reporting elements and indicators are addressed in the report.

  • UN Global Compact Principles and UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

    Refer to the GRI Index table for cross-references of content in this report with the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact, as well as alignment with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

  • Contact 3M

    It is through collaboration and partnerships that 3M can accelerate Sustainability in our company to improve every life.  You can contact 3M Sustainability at Sustainability@mmm.com.

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