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  • Water Stewardship

    Water Stewardship Intro

    Tracking our Progress

    Clean water is elemental and essential for life. And meeting increasing global water demand with a diminishing supply is one of the world’s most pressing issues. We continue to work toward reducing our water consumption and toward releasing fewer pollutants in the water.

    3M Global Water use at Manufacturing Facilities Chart

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    Releasing fewer pollutants

    We’ve been reducing the release of pollutants into water systems for more than three decades through our Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program. In addition, certain wastewater receives a high degree of treatment to reduce its environmnetal impact, and we continually invest in projects and equipment that will make our wastwater clearner still.

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    Cutting consumption

    In general, our production processes are not water intensive. However, we recognize that water use is an important global issue. That’s why we launched a formal program to track and manage water use on a corporate level in 2005. We’re working to reduce our water consumption through recycling and improvements to our buildings and manufacturing processes.

    In 2010, we set a new goal to develop water conservation plans for 3M facilities when they are located in water scarce and stressed areas. Last year we developed plans for all of our locations in those areas. 

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    Water Stewardship Reductions

    Using Reverse Osmosis

    In 2007, employees in Sumare, Brazil, implemented a project to reduce water use by nearly 16 million gallons of water and $200,000 annually by using a reverse osmosis process to treat and reuse wastewater.

    $200,000 Reduction Annually by WasterWater Reuse

    Transforming Wastewater

    3M India’s Bangalore facility treats its wastewater on-site and uses the sanitized water to irrigate its grounds. Doing so reduces the facility’s water use by 1.5 million gallons annually and cuts water costs by half.

    Reducing water use by 1.5 Million gallons in India

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


    Product Spotlight

    Product Spotlights

    3M’s propensity to innovate is our most effective way to promote change.

    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.