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Sustainability at 3M

Commitment to Sustainability

Making the World a Better Place

"3M has a long history of commitment to sustainability. We helped pioneer practices that support economic, social and environmental sustainability. We've learned that these rational practices simply reflect a better way of doing things as a business. It's a natural thing to do. Sustainability enables us to meet our social responsibilities, reduce our impact on the environment and make our company stronger... More/Less

Our 3P program (Pollution Prevention Pays) is now in its 37th year, and we have generated many practical and innovative solutions to help create a better world for people everywhere. We have developed and implemented processes for impressive waste reduction and reduced energy usage. In addition, we actively engage in local community support, and our employees have generously donated countless hours in volunteer work in our local communities.

Our vision is to provide solutions that help make the world a better place today, while taking the steps to help future generations maintain that momentum.

Our sustainability strategy in the 3M Personal Safety Division is to drive activities across our businesses from product design, to manufacturing operations, to disposal to social responsibility. Our efforts will reflect corporate expectations and goals along with external market forces that are important to our customers and businesses." ~ Frank Little – Vice President and General Manager

A Cleaner World

Sustainability is Thriving at 3M - Waste Reduction, Improved Efficiency and Social Responsibility

In the United States alone, in 2011, the 3M Personal Safety Division eliminated over 700 tons of waste material from its manufacturing facilities. Much of this waste material has found practical uses as recycled material used in other products the company manufactures. In some cases, improved efficiencies and processes have eliminated waste materials all together.

In one manufacturing facility, over 5% energy reduction was achieved and 177 tons of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated.

In 2011, over a ton of food was donated to local food banks by 3M PSD employees, and thousands of man hours were volunteered to help raise awareness and money for a wide variety of charitable causes. In addition, 3M PSD employees in the U.S. raised over $500,000 for United Way, educational grants, youth programs, Habitat for Humanity and community outreach.

3M is Making a Difference

Re-Pelletizing Waste Polypropylene in Aberdeen, South Dakota

Environmental Protection:

The Aberdeen, South Dakota manufacturing facility has developed a process to regrind, extrude and re-pelletize waste polypropylene from respiratory product filtering media production. The pellets are then re-used in a variety of other 3M products. This process recovered 185,000 lbs of waste material in 2011 and 421,000 lbs year-to-date in 2012 (through August 2012) with cost savings of over $250,000 through August 2012.

Social Responsibility:

The Aberdeen facility lent a helping hand to the Aberdeen YMCA in support of its Youth Development Center by donating $75,000 to their efforts. In addition, the facility supported the Aberdeen Storybook Land Children's program with a donation of $20,000. Both donations were made possible by the 3M Foundation.

Also included in Aberdeen's community support efforts was $45,000 in support of non-profit organizations like Aberdeen Parks and Recreation, Math Counts Scholarships, Aberdeen Health and Human Services, Safe Harbor and Red Cross.

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Regrinding Earplug Scrap Material in Indianapolis, Indiana

Environmental Protection:

The Indianapolis, Indiana manufacturing facility has developed a process for regrinding earplug scrap material and extruding it into cord for attaching and connecting earplugs, as well as for use in other dampening materials. This process results in the re-use of over one hundred tons of waste material annually.

In addition, packaging initiatives have identified reductions in packaging materials that provide the elimination of over seven tons of waste material annually and cost savings of $88,000.

Social Responsibility:

Employees at the Indianapolis facility were very giving with their time and monetary contributions in 2011, volunteering their personal time for the 3M Cure Chaser Team and the development of a Women's Leadership Network to promote women's leadership within 3M and the community. Fifteen hundred pounds of food and $2,500 were donated by Indianapolis employees to the Gleaner Food Bank & Second Helpings organizations. Indianapolis employees raised over $15,000 for United Way.

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