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Environmental Health and Safety

Managing Our Environmental Footprint

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

Environmental Health and Safety Management System

3M Valley’s 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 Valley’s environmental strategy. Since 1979, 3M Valley has completed 39 3P projects which prevented more than 56 tons of air pollution, 1,670 tons of waste. These projects have also reduced energy usage by more than 3,600 MM BTUs and saved more than $4.7 million.

Example Project: 3M™ Red Dot™ Resting Electrode Redesign

A Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) team from 3M Valley redesigned the 3M™ Red Dot™ Resting Electrode. The new design focused on coating weights, overall size of the electrode, and the configuration of the electrode on the card. The new design uses a rounded tab which allows the tabs to face towards the center of the card. This increased the utilization of the coating materials and also provided a more convenient method of delivering the product to the customer. The cost to implement this project was substantial. However, it resulted in significant savings and a solid waste reduction of more than 11 tons.

Key Environmental Accomplishments

  • 3M Valley received ISO 14001 Certification 1998.
  • 3M Valley received the 3M EHS Leadership Award in 2002.
  • 3M Valley earned the Bronze Award in 2009 by 3M Energy Management for improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs.
  • 3M Valley met all of the Corporate ET ’05 (Environmental Tracking 2005) Five Year goals in 2005.
  • 3M Valley received the Corporate 3P Guardian Award in 2007.

3M Sustainability Website

ISO 14001: 2004 Registration Transferred to BSI

The 3M Plant in Valley, Nebraska has withdrawn their ISO 14001:2004 registration with UL (file number A6587) and has successfully transferred their ISO 14001: 2004 registration to BSI (certificate number EMS 549961) Please contact us if you require a copy of the new ISO 14001: 2004 certificate


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