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  • Sustainable Forestry

    3M’s Commitment to Sustainable Forestry

    3M is one of the most acclaimed companies in the world for its commitment to the environment.

    For more than 40 years, 3M has been a leader among global companies – having pioneered the concept of sustainability in its manufacturing processes, beginning with its groundbreaking Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) Program in 1975 to a broad portfolio of sustainable products today.

    We have also set aggressive environmental goals for our company to address climate change, water stewardship, air emissions, and waste reduction while increasing the recyclability and recycled content of our packaging.

    As a global company, we believe that we have a responsibility to society, in general, and especially to the communities in which we live and work. This includes protecting critical species and habitats. We have donated more than $20 million to The Nature Conservancy to safeguard critical biodiversity and habitat throughout the United States, China, Mexico and Brazil.

    Responsible Paper Sourcing

    As part of our overall sustainability efforts, we have had a long-standing commitment to responsible forest management. We source paper products from suppliers who we believe share our values and are equally committed to protecting forest areas.

    We have a defined policy for responsible sourcing of paper. It includes doing our part to ensure wood is legally harvested, using many recycled paper products, and protecting ecologically and culturally-significant forest areas1. We work closely with our suppliers in support of these policies. We expect them to supply us through the use of a chain of custody system, a forest management certification or equivalent.

    Like many other major companies, we support and recognize several forest certification programs. Based on independent research, consultation with experts, and benchmarking, we believe these third party, sustainable forest management certifications are credible mechanisms to demonstrate sustainable forestry practices.

    “There are a number of credible forest certification programs.” says Katie Fernholz, a 15-year forester and Executive Director of Dovetail Partners, Inc, a non-profit organization committed to environmental education. “These programs have robust requirements and meeting these requirements demonstrates a strong commitment to responsible paper procurement. 3M’s ongoing research of and support for responsible paper sourcing, combined with their global paper sourcing policy and sustainable product innovations, make them a great partner in efforts to protect, manage, and enhance the natural environment.”

    Sustainable Innovation

    3M continues to advance sustainable product development.  Just one example is our Post-it® Greener Notes and Post-it® Recycled Notes, which are made from 100% recycled paper, and the packaging for the Recycled notes is made of 100% recycled cardboard. We also offer Post-it® 100% Recycled Pop-Up Notes, Post-it® Greener Pagemarkers, and Post-it® Recycled Easel Pads. All Post-it® Notes are 100% recyclable. See more details in our Sustainable Solutions catalogue.

    Certain Post-it® brand and Scotch® brand products now utilize a revolutionary adhesive made primarily from renewable plants. This reduces the use of petroleum in the manufacturing process, which is better for the environment.

    All of these things together help preserve our world’s forests, reduce the impact of climate change and improve lives around the world. Working with our vendors, employees, customers and community stakeholders, we will continue to meet the needs of society today, while respecting the needs of future generations.

    1As defined in the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework goals by The Nature Conservancy



    A look back at significant milestones from 3M’s rich sustainability legacy.


    Product Spotlight

    Product Spotlights

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    Sustainable projects.

    Making a Difference

    Making a Difference

    3M has a commitment to connecting with people—our most valuable resource.

    Community works.

    Goals and Progress

    Goals and Progress

    3M reveals its targets and performance metrics for sustainability.

    Dashboard of data.