Panoramic view a large lake with a shore lined with trees and mountains in the backdrop at sunset.


Improving water availability and quality

  • At 3M, we strive to use technology and expertise to promote a future of “water circularity” — a future where water stress is eliminated, resources are circulated, and nature is regenerated. We work with water leaders in communities where we operate to help improve water availability and quality, with aspiration toward a net positive water impact.

    As a signatory of the UN CEO Water Mandate and a leading member of the Water Resilience Coalition, 3M’s strategy aligns with the six core focus areas outlined by the Mandate and follows UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).

Progress toward our water goals

3M has taken action to decrease total water consumption by 52.8% between 2005 and 2022 indexed to corporate-wide net sales.

  • Icon of a water droplet.
    16.8% toward our goal to:

    Reduce global water usage by the following amounts: 10% by 2022, 20% by 2025, and 25% by 2030, indexed to sales1

  • Icon of a water droplet with two recycling arrows circling it.
    Ahead of schedule in installing state-of-the-art filtration technologies toward our goal:

    For 3M’s global manufacturing operations, enhance the quality of water returned to the environment from industrial processes by 2030.2,3 Our initial focus is on implementing state-of-the-art water purification technology at the largest water use locations globally and having them fully operational by 2024

  • Icon of three people with a water droplet above them.
    17 identified manufacturing sites toward our goal to:

    Engage 100% of water-stressed/scarce communities where 3M manufactures on communitywide approaches to water management by 2025

  1. Expands our previous commitment, which aimed to reduce water use by 10% between 2015 and 2025. 2019 is the baseline measurement year.
  2. By improving the weighted average of priority constituents, including select metals, BOD,COD, cyanide compounds, fluoride, total nitrogen, oil & grease, PFAS, TDS, TSS, sulfate, and others.
  3. Water used by manufacturing or industrial processes, including all water use not defined as domestic (sanitary, cafeteria, etc.).

Key impacts in 2022

  • We tracked and reported global water usage data for manufacturing sites that produce more than 4.54 metric tons (10,000 pounds) of product per year. Advances in our data analytics capabilities are expanding visibility, accuracy, and opportunity for innovation in our monitoring and measurement efforts.

    We’re ahead of our 2022 water usage goal with a reduction of more than 10%, and we continue to engage with the Water Resilience Coalition to help define net water positive and drive progress as a member of the leadership committee.