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Environmental Health and Safety

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

Environmental Health and Safety Management System

3M Knoxville's 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 Knoxville's environmental strategy. Since 1975, 3M Knoxville has completed 80 3P projects which prevented more than 30,500 tons of air pollution, 5,000 tons of water pollution, and 18,700 tons of waste and saved more than 21 million dollars since the first year of the projects.

Key Environmental Accomplishments

We are particularly proud of our work around the following:

Awards and Certifications:

  • 3M Knoxville has been awarded the Safety Performance award from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council for the last four years.
  • 3M Knoxville is an ISO14001 Environmental Management Certified manufacturing facility.
  • 3M Knoxville has received the 3M Gold and Silver Energy Awards.
  • 3M Knoxville was awarded the Iowa Governor Environmental Excellence Award in 2010.
  • 3M Knoxville was a 2007 member of the EPA Performance Track Program until the program was discontinued in 2009.

Environmental Sustainability Efforts and Achievements:

  • 3M Knoxville installed new air emission control technology in 2006 that resulted in an average of 60% reduction, over 60 tons per year, in volatile organic compound emissions to the environment
  • 3M Knoxville's efforts to reduce energy consumption resulted in a 21% reduction since 2003 and annual average reductions of 28,000 MMBTU per year


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