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Innovation management

3M science drives our business forward

  • As we advance, we leverage our Technology Platform of Sustainable Design, which features our capability to weave sustainability into the design of our products, processes, and packaging. Ultimately, we deliver science-based solutions and innovative growth platforms that help move us, our customers, and the world toward a more sustainable future.

    3M uses and combines our technologies in unique ways across the company, creating new products and new lines of business. As we do this, we strive to ensure all 3M products entering the new product commercialization process have a Sustainability Value Commitment that demonstrates how the product drives impact for the greater good.

Progress toward our innovation goal

  • Icon of a checkbox checked.
    100% of our goal to:

    Require a Sustainability Value Commitment (SVC) for every new product1

  1. For projects passing a ‘gate’ in our new product commercialization process; an SVC describes how the product drives positive impact for our stakeholders in alignment with our Strategic Sustainability Framework.

Key impacts in 2022

  • Research & development

    We invested $1.9 billion, or nearly 5.4% of our sales into R&D. 3M has earned more than 132,000 patents over the years, a testament to the strength of our innovation engine. Over the past five years, 3M has earned an average of close to 3,500 patents per year.

  • Product stewardship

    The 3M product stewardship framework incorporates a life cycle management (LCM) approach to identify risk, assure compliance, and manage the environmental, health, and safety profile of every product. Our New Product Introduction (NPI) process provides the robust framework to develop products from idea to launch. A key deliverable of NPI is the Sustainability Value Commitment for each new product. 

    3M is committed to continually improving our chemical management processes and procedures as we seek to innovate responsibly in the best interest of our communities and the environment. The design, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of 3M products are guided by our Product Safety, Quality, and Stewardship Principle (PDF, 71.4 KB), Chemicals Management Policy (PDF, 90.8 KB), and Product Change Management process. 

    3M is also committed to defining, documenting, tracking, investigating, correcting, and communicating product stewardship incidents. Our Product Stewardship (PS) Significant Event Standard outlines transparent, consistent governance processes surrounding significant events and aligns with the Product Safety, Compliance, and Stewardship Policy (PDF, 78.1 KB). PS events are reported monthly to executive leadership.

Additional information