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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. Since 2019, 100% of our projects entering the new product commercialization process have included an SVC as required by our SVC sustainability goal.

Key impacts

  • Research & development

    In 2023 we invested $1.8 billion, or 5.6% of our sales, into R&D. 3M has earned more than 133,500 patents over the years, a testament to the strength of our innovation engine. And a quarter of our intellectual property sits in manufacturing — giving us a competitive advantage across all of our businesses.

  • Product stewardship

    The 3M product stewardship framework incorporates a robust life cycle approach to identify risk, assure compliance, and manage the EHS profile of every 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 significant events are reported monthly to executive leadership.

Additional information