1. 3M Ireland
  2. 3M Sustainability

3M Sustainability

Creating a better future

At 3M we use our imagination to apply science to improve our planet and every life, helping to create a better future. See how in this three-minute video... 

Sustainability at 3M

Sustaining our planet and our business means protecting natural resources, helping our customers meet their sustainability challenges, creating employment opportunities, and working with local communities in areas such as education and safety. It also means balancing economic, environmental and social factors while addressing global challenges. But above all else, it means uniting under a common goal: Improve every life.


Our Strategy

  • Our sustainability goal is to support the growth of communities worldwide while driving a growing business. This means addressing global challenges, including availability and security, raw material scarcity, human health and safety, and education and development. All while keeping our vision in mind.

    • 3M Technology Advancing Every Company
    • 3M Products Enhancing Every Home
    • 3M Innovation Improving Every Life

    Like many organisations, we strive to balance the three key pillars of sustainability:

    • Economic Success: Develop differentiated, practical and ingenious solutions to sustainability challenges.
    • Environmental Protection: Provide practical and effective solutions and products to address environmental challenges.
    • Social Responsibility: Host ongoing conversations with key stakeholders to continually improve our sustainability practices.

    Learn more about how we’re addressing global challenges.

Goals and Progress


  • The only thing we like better than a great idea is great results. When it comes to sustainability, excellence lies in the evidence. From cutting green house gas reductions by 57% to using less water and releasing fewer pollutants, our sustainability efforts are paying off. Read more.

Message from Our Chairman

  • Since 1902, 3M has been improving lives. Social and environmental stewardship is central to who we are and is embedded throughout our vision:


    • 3M Technology Advancing Every Company
    • 3M Products Enhancing Every Home
    • 3M Innovation Improving Every Life

    With operations in more than 70 countries—and 55,000 products sold across nearly 200 countries—we are intricately woven into the global economy and deeply invested in humanity. No one is ever far from a 3M product, which empowers us to make a difference city by city, village by village and person by person.

    Rapid communication advances are quickly merging our world into a global community with shared values. Together, we face uncertainties surrounding energy availability and climate change, water quality and availability, raw material scarcity, education, development, and human health and safety.

    It’s clear that these global dynamics are challenging the sustainable growth of future generations, which is why 3M is using its greatest assets—ideas and innovation—to address these challenges.

    With industries ranging from healthcare to office supplies, and electronics to automotive, we invent technologies that make daily life easier, safer and more fulfilling. Some of the recent ways in which we’ve applied our ideas and innovation for a more sustainable future include the following:


    • In 2014, for our worldwide energy-conservation efforts, we earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® award. This was the 10th consecutive year 3M received the honour, an industry first. We were also once more listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a credit we’ve had since its inception in 1999.
    • We have developed and launched an increasing number of sustainability-focused products, including energy-efficient films for tablets, Post-it® Greener Notes, air-barrier building solutions, Envision® graphics films, 360 Encompass™ health information system, and an energy-saving, award-winning LED technology.
    • The continued success of our Pollution Prevention Pays program, which has prevented nearly 2 million tons of air, water and waste pollution, and the reduction of our global greenhouse gas emissions by 57 per cent from 2002 to 2013 on an absolute basis (with company sales growing 30 per cent over the same period of time).
    • On-going support to protect and restore vital ecosystems around the world. By working with partners such as The Nature Conservancy, the 3M Foundation has provided more than $21 million to preserve more than 1 million acres.
    • More than $61.6 million in global cash and in-kind product donations in 2013.
    • In early 2014, we joined the United Nations Global Compact. While 3M has always acted in accordance with the core values represented by the Compact, we are proud to formalise our commitment to its 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and to grow our partnership with the organisation.

    As we celebrate our accomplishments, we also recognise the magnitude of the global challenges we are all looking to address. This will not be easy, and it will require shifts in how we operate, how we make long-term decisions and how we collaborate. But we firmly believe that by working with our customers and partners, and by empowering people to exercise their own creativity and passion, we can drive the transformational changes necessary for the success of both business and society.

    3Mers are a committed team, 89,500 strong, poised to help create a more sustainable future. We intend to do this by designing products that support our customers’ sustainability efforts, embedding sustainable practices across our supply chain, and, perhaps most importantly, joining together with a shared purpose.

    I am proud to be a 3Mer committed to this effort and excited about the role 3M can play in helping everyone, everywhere, live a better life.

    Inge G. Thulin
    Chairman, President and CEO


  • February 10, 2017

    National Grid invests in quieter overhead conductors

    The UK’s largest electricity transmission network operator has specified 3M ACCR (Aluminium Conductor Composite Reinforced) for a major project to replace conductors on a transmission line from Dungeness to Sellindge, Kent, due to its noise reduction properties.

    February 10, 2017
  • February 10, 2017

    A clear view of the City all year round

    A transparent roof canopy made from film cushions extruded from 3M Dyneon Fluoroplastic ETFE is giving visitors to London’s highest all-weather garden a clear view of the City all year round.

    February 10, 2017
  • February 10, 2017

    3M lightens the load for pipeline project

    Billions of individual 3M™ Glass Bubbles have been used to buoy up a pioneering subsea pipeline project.

    February 10, 2017