3M recently announced that each 3M product entering the new product commercialization process will include a Sustainability Value Commitment that demonstrates how it drives impact for the greater good. This new, formal requirement embeds sustainability into the pipeline that produces 3M’s global products. Historically, about one-third of 3M’s annual sales come from products created in the past five years, so the impact is expected to expand greatly with each successive year.
Beyond impacting 3M’s own operations, another primary reason for the goal is to help customers achieve their sustainability goals. This new product goal creates more opportunities to collaborate with customers on solutions that improve lives around the world.
Examples of 3M’s Sustainability Value Commitment for new products include reusability, recyclability, energy savings, waste reduction, water savings, responsible sourcing, and the use of renewable materials appropriate to the specific product, from the beginning to the end of each product’s life cycle. This commitment can also include products with a core purpose of helping to solve an environmental or social challenge, such as improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving worker and patient safety in health care and industrial settings. 3M will measure the progress and impact of this commitment and report on it annually.
“Sustainability has always been at the core of 3M—but we’re looking to do more,” said John Banovetz, chief technology officer. “We are proud to formalize our commitment to this next step in innovating for a sustainable future.”
3M reports that requiring Sustainability Value Commitments in all new products entering the new product commercialization process builds on the company’s history of creating products that emphasize reuse, recycling, and reduced resource use for its operations and customers. Those products are wide-ranging, including energy-saving window films, materials that help in lightweighting vehicles, and water and waste.
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