Forest Landscape

Sustainable Forestry

3M has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

View current progress report

3M’s commitment to sustainable forestry

  • Forest Products Sourcing Policy document.

    3M has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, from the Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program that began in 1975, to our increasingly ambitious Sustainability Goals which center around 3M’s Strategic Sustainability Framework of Science for Circular, Science for Climate, and Science for Community.

    We have set aggressive environmental goals to address climate change, water stewardship, air quality, and waste reduction, and are working to increase recyclability, recycled content and renewable materials in our products, solutions, and packaging. In addition to these commitments, 3M consistently works to improve the environment — and support responsible forestry and conversation — through corporate giving and volunteerism efforts.

    As a diverse global company, we know 3M can drive significant impact when we deliver on our promises to advance science, society, and sustainability — and we’re always trying to do more. Learn more about 3M’s Sustainability efforts in our Sustainability Report.

Enviromentally pristine body of water surrounded by mountains with pine trees growing on the slopes.

3M responsible sourcing message from our leadership

Responsible forest products sourcing

  • As part of our overall sustainability efforts, we have had a long-standing commitment to responsible forest management. We source forest products from suppliers who we believe share our values and are equally committed to protecting forest areas in their own supply chain. As a diverse global company and sustainability leader, 3M is well-positioned to positively influence practices throughout our forest products supply chain. Because we do not own or manage forest land, we developed our Pulp and Paper Sourcing Policy in 2015 to set standards of excellence for our suppliers and their suppliers through all tiers of supply, and in 2022, expanded it into the 3M Forest Products Sourcing Policy.

    The 3M Forest Products Sourcing Policy is designed to ensure all Forest Products going into our wood based products and packaging comes from sources that protect forests and respect the rights of workers and people who live in or may depend on forests for their livelihood. 3M will only accept forest products that can be fully traced to each actor in the supply chain all the way back to the forest source, is proven to be obtained legally, and is protective of high carbon stock forests, high conservation values, and workers’ and indigenous peoples’ rights.

    Certification: 3M expects our suppliers to know the forest certification status of the material they purchase and of the entities in their supply chain, and to disclose certification information to us upon request. 3M’s policy expectations and guidelines are consistent with many forest certification standards, but our Policy does not require certification. Certification in and of itself is not the objective of our Policy, but it is one useful tool to help verify what is happening on the ground. Please refer to Forest Products Sourcing & Legal Harvesting Law of our 3M Supplier Direct for more explanation and how we believe our Policy compares to the major global forestry certification schemes.

  • 3M supply chain graphic: forest sources to pulp mills to paper mills to coaters/converters to 3M.

    Supply chain traceability

    We work with our suppliers around the world to map our global forest product supply chain down to the forest source. We collect and analyze supply chain traceability and Due Diligence Management System information. Many suppliers need to go through several layers of their supply chain to get more information on source of harvest. Depending on factors such as location and language barriers, their position in the supply chain, and current knowledge of their upstream operations, this can be a challenging and lengthy process. We have discussions with our suppliers to educate them on the importance of responsible sourcing and forestry practices and understanding their supply chains, as well as setting reasonable goals. These discussions have led to stronger partnerships, engagement, and responses.

  • 3M supply chain Due Diligence Management System: Values, Transparency, Transformation, Validation, Report

    Assessing policy conformance

    With the help of our partner Earthworm Foundation (EF), we have conducted field assessments across all regions, covering millions of hectares. Some of those assessments reviewed Tier 2 pulp mills and were also attended by a Tier 1 supplier.

    In addition to field assessments, 3M evaluates supplier conformance through a Policy Scorecard process. 3M’s participation in supplier field assessments along with detailed evaluations of a supplier’s overall conformance to our policy, enables us to participate actively in developing solutions and advancing conversations about responsible sourcing and sustainable forestry.

  • 3M Forestry world map

    Collaboration on transformation

    3M works together with various partners, including EF and American Forest Foundation (AFF), as well as through our supply chains, to enhance responsible forestry via various on-the ground projects. The supply chain information that we receive from our suppliers is used to help us assess risk, prioritize further supplier engagement, and determine where we conduct field and landscape assessments, as well as engage in transformation projects.

Forestry resources

aerial view of a forest

“When we decided to develop a Paper Sourcing policy, it was easy to formulate a strawman, but it was a real challenge to get to a robust and enforceable policy. 3M was instrumental in positively challenging Loparex to make sure our policy had all the requisite elements. Today we have a policy in place that we are proud to hold ourselves and our suppliers accountable to and this would not have been possible without the help of 3M.”

— Director of Corporate Sourcing

Metrics 2023 YE:

  • blue world icon

    global spend engaged

  • green tree icon

    spend fully traceable to forest source

  • yellow hectares grid icon
    million hectares assessed

  • light green trees on roll of paper icon
    million hectares in transformation projects