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  • Innovating our products to improve the planet

    May 06, 2021

    As we approach Earth Day on April 22, 3M is sharing the many ways we positively impact the planet. Earlier in the month, we shared how 3M is improving the footprint of our operations and our employees are advancing sustainability both at work and in their communities . Today, we’ll examine how as a global manufacturer, 3M can collaborate with our customers and use our innovative products and solutions to support the environment worldwide.

    “A sustainability mindset is a powerful tool for uncovering solutions to global challenges, which is why we require every new 3M product to have a Sustainability Value Commitment that details how it will impact the greater good,” said Gayle Schueller, 3M senior vice president and chief sustainability officer. “We have three approaches to creating these commitments—what we do in our own operations, how we can help our customers reduce their footprint, and how we can transform our products to help reinvent businesses in a more sustainable way. We know the world is changing and by moving along this spectrum, 3M can play a role in driving that transformative change and uncovering new opportunities for our business.

    The Sustainability Value Commitment (SVC) builds on 3M’s history of creating sustainable products and collaborating with our customers to help them reach their own sustainability goals. When SVCs are added to 3M’s solutions, their positive impact is amplified across the diverse industries of our customers and communities in nearly 200 countries where our products are sold. To learn more about some of the 3M products that are working to improve the health of our planet, see below.

    Curbing emissions and cleaning the air

    • 3M™ Natural Pozzolans, a byproduct in the production of 3M’s roofing granules and SCM (supplementary cementitious material) used in the making of concrete, helps reduce CO2 emissions as a partial replacement of cement in concrete. It’s estimated that each kilogram of SCM used to displace cement reduces CO2 emissions by 680.38 kilograms and can help earn LEED credits for the use of recycled materials.
    • 3M™ Smog-reducing Granules harness the power of the sun to turn roofing shingles into a pollution-fighting surface. When the sun hits the granules, the photocatalytic coating transforms the smog pollution (nitrogen oxides) into water-soluble ions that easily wash away with rain.

    Advancing the circular economy

    • Select Scotch-Brite™ Sponges feature a green scrubbing layer of 100% recycled content and include an average of 35% post-consumer recycled content.
    • 3M™ Thinsulate™ 100% Recycled Featherless Insulation is made with 100% post-consumer recycled content and offers a more sustainable alternative to natural down. It is featured in what Minneapolis-based outerwear brand Askov Finlayson calls “the world’s first climate positive winter parka.”
    • By repairing and servicing customer’s electronic devices, 3M’s Health Care Service Group keeps 300,000 devices in working order each year—advancing the circular economy by reducing electronic waste and extending the life of 3M products. With repair locations in 18 countries and connections with over 80 authorised service providers around the world, HCSG provides service and support for more than 50 different 3M health care products.

    Powering clean or efficient energy use

    • 3M™ Wind Blade Protection Tape can help protect the leading edge of wind turbine blades against weathering and harsh environments, ultimately enhancing reliability, extending life, and improving the performance of wind turbines.
    • 3M™ Dual Brightness Enhancement Film is a family of reflective polarisers used to recycle light and bring a brighter view to all viewers in front of a device, and can increase the energy efficiency in a device, whether it’s plugged in or running on battery power.

    Enabling automotive electrification

    • 3M innovations are powering the next generation of vehicles and battery technologies, enabling automotive electrification, and making roads safer, smarter, and more connected.
    • 3M™ Glass Bubbles —hollow glass microspheres—help shed pounds per vehicle. That means filling up at the pump less often or holding a charge longer.
    • 3M™ VHB™ Tapes can help the light weighting of products in which it is used, enabling reduced fuel and energy consumption. These high-strength acrylic foam tapes enhance aesthetics and create a long-lasting bond that builds strength over time by eliminating fasteners such as rivets, screws, bolts, and welds.

    To learn more about how 3M is positively impacting our planet, visit 3M.com/sustainability.