For more than 40 years, 3M has been a leader among global corporations in Sustainability actions and measures, beginning with the creation of our groundbreaking 3M Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program in 1975 and leading to a broad portfolio of sustainable products today. Since 1975, the 3P program has prevented more than 2.1 million tons of pollutants and saved nearly $2 billion (USD).
At 3M, we seek a variety of sustainable solutions including ones that promote energy conservation and clean energy infrastructure, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gasses, and improve air quality. 3M is in a leadership position in these categories due to our early actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. For example, between 2002 and 2015, 3M voluntarily achieved a 69 percent absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, our company has also reduced VOC emissions by 99 percent, indexed to net sales, since 1990.
One example of a project that contributed to these goals was the Critical and Chronic Care Solutions Division’s efforts to scale-up a medical tape made with a solvent free adhesive that still meets customer requirements. The project was implemented via a collaborative effort between lab and manufacturing teams in St. Paul (Minnesota), Neuss (Germany), and Kamen (Germany). 3M’s solventless adhesive manufacturing process eliminates the need for solvent treatment process, which reduces energy requirements for the process and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and VOC emissions. The team was recognized with a 3P award for their innovative and cost saving approach to pollution prevention which resulted in reducing CO2 emissions by more than 3800 metric tons per year.