Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Press Releases

3M and 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation: Two Sustainable Brands

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

3M and 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation: Two Sustainable Brands

•3M has a longstanding commitment to sustainable development. That commitment is reflected in 3M’s new product development. 3M Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) and Life Cycle Management (LCM) help 3M integrate environmental solutions into new product development. LCM ensures that 3M products address environmental, health and safety opportunities and risks throughout their life cycles – from materials acquisition and development through manufacturing, distribution, customer use and disposal/recycling.

•Sustainability efforts around 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation include:
oIntroduction of 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation Type R, which contains 50 percent recycled polyester fibers from post-consumer waste, giving new life to resources that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
oFacilities producing 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation recycle 100 percent of their polyolefin waste material. Excess product is sold to companies and used in applications, including oil booms, furniture and packaging materials.
o3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation is consistently awarded the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class I Certificate meeting the human-ecological requirements for products for babies and young children.
oThe 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation facility in Japan recently took steps to change all virgin polyester fibers to recycled polyester fibers.

•By operating in smarter ways, 3M can create a more viable, sustainable company, while meeting social responsibilities and reducing the impact on the environment.

3M Sustainability

•Vision: To help meet the needs of society today, while respecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

•Principles: 3M is guided by three strategic principles that make sustainability implicit in everyday practices:
oEconomic success: Build lasting customer relationships by developing differentiated, practical and ingenious solutions to their sustainability challenge.
oEnvironmental protection: Provide practical solutions and products to address environmental challenges for ourselves and our customers.
oSocial responsibility: Engage key stakeholders in dialogue and take action to improve 3M’s sustainability performance.

•History: In 1975, 3M became one of the first manufacturing companies to establish a formal environmental policy. That same year, 3M adopted its voluntary 3P program based on the then-novel idea that pollution prevention is both an environmental and competitive/financial strategy. 3P is based on the concept that a preventative approach is more effective, technically sound, and economical than conventional pollution control equipment. The program seeks to eliminate pollution at the source through product reformulation, process modification, equipment redesign, and the recycling and reuse of waste materials. 3P relies on the voluntary participation of 3M employees, globally. To date, employees have completed more than 8,100 projects resulting in the elimination of more than 3 billion pounds of pollution, saving 3M nearly $1.4 billion.

•Climate change: 3M has an aggressive energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) management strategy, which includes developing a third-party certified GHG inventory; continuously improving GHG accounting systems; setting voluntary GHG emissions reductions goals; reducing the company’s GHG footprint through process improvements, energy conservation and controls; and developing a range of products that help 3M customers reduce their energy use and GHG emissions.

•1990-2009 Environmental Progress:
o96 percent reduction in absolute volatile air emissions.
o96 percent reduction in absolute U.S. Toxic Release Inventory releases (2008 emissions, 2009 reporting year)
o77 percent reduction in absolute GHG emissions.
o68 percent reduction in solid waste indexed to net sales.
o3M has set a new global GHG emissions reduction goal to further reduce global GHG emissions by 5 percent from 2006 to 2011. As of year-end 2009, 3M exceeded this goal by reducing emissions by 52 percent. 3M achieved these reductions—of gases included in the Kyoto protocol, as well as others not included—through energy conservation, improvements to manufacturing processes and pollution control equipment.

•Results of Environmental Targets 2005-2010:

Goal Result
Reduce volatile air emissions 25% 31%
Reduce waste 20% 19%
Improve energy efficiency 20% 26%
Completed 3P projects 800 2,621

Note: All targets and results are “indexed to net sales,” except for the 3P goal, to
take into account environmental progress as product production and sales increase.

2015 Sustainability Goals

•Environmental Stewardship:
oReduce volatile air emissions 15% by 2015 from 2010 base (indexed to net sales).
oReduce waste 10% by 2015 from 2010 base (indexed to net sales).
oImprove energy efficiency 25% by 2015 from 2005 base (indexed to net sales).
oReduce GHG emissions 5% by 2011 from 2006 base (goal was set in 2007).
oDevelop water conservation plans (select sites).

•Social Responsibility:
oDevelop Community Stakeholder Engagement Plans at 3M facilities.
oPromote a Road to EHS Excellence at new 3M sites.

•Economic Success:
oReview progress on Standard for Suppliers.
oFurther enhance sustainability attributes of new products.

Recent Recognition

•3M ranked No. 2 in general industrials category and No. 22 overall in Newsweek’s Green Rankings of the 500 largest publicly traded U.S. companies (2010).
•Inclusion in 2010-2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index with Gold Class Distinction. 3M has been the leader in its sector since the inception of the index.
•Named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2004 for worldwide energy conservation efforts and recognized for seventh consecutive years with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.
•Awarded Gigaton Prize for leadership in energy efficiency and sustainability at the 2010 World Climate Summit.
•Awarded United Kingdom’s Carbon Trust Standard (2009).
•Awarded BusinessWeek’s Greener China Business Award (2009).
•National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award (2005).
•Air & Waste Management Association’s Waste Management Award (2006).
•U.S. EPA Region 7’s Pollution Prevention Excellence Award (2005).

3M and Thinsulate are trademarks of 3M

Colleen Harris