U.S. multinational conglomerate 3M is planning to invest about US$1 billion over the next 20 years to meet its new environmental goals. These include carbon neutrality by 2050, reducing water use by 25 percent at its plants and returning higher-quality water to the environment after use in manufacturing. The company’s long-term investments “will help advance waste reduction and pollution control programs, reduce water usage, and acquire and apply best available technology.”
3M plans to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030, 80 percent by 2040 and 100 percent by 2050. 3M intends to continue working with customers, governments and global partners to reduce emissions beyond 3M’s operations through the continued invention and introduction of innovative products and solutions. Starting this year, as part of an ongoing review of its manufacturing facilities, 3M will also work to ensure that all operations are best-in-class in minimizing emissions that may occur during production.
As with carbon emissions, 3M is also taking immediate steps to reduce water use in the coming months and longer-term: a 10 percent reduction in water use by 2022, 20 percent by 2025 and 25 percent by 2030. 3M plans to install state-of-the-art water purification technology by the end of 2023 and be fully operational at all of its largest water-using sites by 2024. This will enable the company to return even higher quality water to the environment after it is used in manufacturing. 3M expects to reduce its total water use by approximately 9.5 billion gallons per year through its efforts. The new commitments build on the company’s existing 2025 goal to work with all water-scarce communities where it manufactures on community-wide approaches to water management.
3M says its sustainability and environmental stewardship efforts go back decades and include creating the Pollution Prevention Pays program, which has prevented more than two million tons of pollution. The company unveiled its ambitious 2025 sustainability goals in 2015.