With every product that 3M designs, we aim to improve lives through science. If we have improved the businesses and lives of our consumers, we could say that we have done our job. But we don’t stop there.
At 3M, we believe that the planet we live on is just as important as the people that reside in it.
If we don’t take care of our Earth today, we will not have the resources to create such innovative products tomorrow. This is why we constantly scrutinize our practices to ensure that they are sustainable for decades to come.
At the core of our innovation practices are Product Responsibility Liaisons. These important members of our team evaluate the environmental, health, safety and regulatory (EHS&R) impacts of our products. They seek to minimize our impact on the Earth and act as champions of sustainability throughout the new product development process. They are vital in ensuring that 3M meets EHS&R requirements.
Our EHS&R standards are outlined by 3M policies, governmental regulations and customer expectations. From these three, our Product Responsibility Liaisons infuse sustainability into product innovation from concept to launch.
We don’t limit our sustainability efforts to certain areas of our work. We believe that it is key to everything we do. That is why we have Product Responsibility Liaisons responsible for every Business Unit or Country where 3M operates. They ensure that risk assessments are made and the resulting improvements are incorporated into product development.
Since 2001, we have been conducting Life Cycle Management assessments on all new products as part of our new product development process. These assessments include all stages of the product lifecycle including raw material selection, manufacturing, customer use and final disposal. We are constantly working to develop innovative products today with a keen eye on what we leave for tomorrow.
To this end, we are developing a new Sustainability Advantage Assessment tool which will assist product development teams in developing products with sustainability advantages which help to solve the sustainability challenges of our customers. The tool will allow teams to identify the global sustainability challenges and impact areas which are most relevant to their customers and market, then evaluate possible sustainability advantages for each challenge/impact area identified. Through this assessment, we will identify opportunities to solve our customers’ and our global sustainability challenges.