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Environmental Health and Safety

Protecting our social and physical environment is one of 3M’s core values. At 3M Brookings, we achieve this through our commitment to proactive environmental management.

Managing Our Environmental Footprint

Environmental Health and Safety Management System
3M Brookings’ Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Management System promotes sound environmental management. It helps us to manage the environmental footprint of our operations, drive sustainable growth, and address the expectations of our stakeholders. These stakeholders include our employees, customers, regulators, environmental groups, and the communities surrounding our plant.

Our EHS Management System:

  • Includes an integrated, holistic system that anticipates and addresses long-term issues and drives continuous improvement.
  • Promotes a strategic planning process that integrates EHS issues into business planning.
  • Includes a process for identifying issues, developing formal action plans, setting goals and measuring results.

Pollution Prevention
3M pioneered the concept of pollution prevention with the creation of the pollution prevention pays (3P) program in 1975. The 3P program is based on the reality that pollution prevention is more environmentally effective, technically sound and economical than conventional pollution control equipment. Natural resources, energy and money are used to build conventional pollution controls, and more resources are consumed operating them. Conventional controls are temporarily and do not eliminate the problem. 3P seeks to eliminate pollution at the source through product reformulation, process modification, equipment redesign, and the recycling and reuse of waste materials.

3P is a key element of 3M Brookings’ environmental strategy. From August 2006 to September 2007, 3M Brookings completed 13 3P projects which prevented more than 585,000 pounds (300 tons) of waste. This reflects a total energy savings of 12,238 MM BTUs, a total Greenhouse Gas emission reduction of 850 metric tons, and a total cost savings of $3,022,000.

Key Environmental Accomplishments
We are particularly proud of our work around the following:

In 2006, 3M Brookings earned numerous awards including:

  • National EPA Environmental Achievement Award
  • OSHA VPP (Voluntary Protection Partnership) STAR Award
  • Platinum Energy Reduction Award
  • Corporate Chairman’s EHS (Environmental, Health & Safety) Award
  • 3P Innovation, Technical Circle of Excellence and Maintenance Conscious Engineering Awards for the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO)
  • “Top 5 Plant” recognition by Environmental Protection magazine
  • South Dakota Governor’s Meritorious Safety Award

In 2007, 3M Brookings earned the following awards:

  • South Dakota Governor’s Award for Safety
  • Regional 8 EPA Environmental Achievement award
  • South Dakota State Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the year
  • 3M Platinum (highest) level Energy Award

At 3M Brookings, we value safety. By using processes, such as STP, PowerLift and our Green Sheet potential hazard and investigation process to name a few, we have changed our plant’s culture to hold safety as a value. The result has been a significant reduction in workplace illnesses and injuries: we have reduced workplace injuries and illnesses by approximately 75 percent from the early 1990’s to today. In 2007, we had three injuries/illnesses per 100 employees, down from ten to twelve injuries/illnesses per 100 employees in the early 1990’s. This result is a credit to all of our employees who have moved to holding safety as a value and understanding the value of working safely and going home free of pain and injury.


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