3M sets sustainability goal for new products

3M pledges to build sustainability into all new products from 2019.

3M has pledged to build sustainability into all new products from 2019.

Announced at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), from next year all new products will include a sustainability value commitment.

“Sustainability is at the core of 3M – but we’re looking to do more,” said John Banovetz, chief technology officer, 3M.

3M launches around 1000 new products each year, with roughly one-third of its revenue generated from products released in the past five years.

According to 3M beyond its own operations, a primary reason for the goal is to help customers achieve their sustainability goals.

Examples of 3M’s sustainability value commitment for new products include reusability, recyclability, energy, waste, water savings, responsible sourcing, and/or renewable materials appropriate to the specific product, from the beginning to the end of each product’s lifecycle.

This commitment also includes 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 healthcare and industrial settings.

The company will measure progress and impact of this commitment and report on it annually. 3M invests around 6 per cent of revenue into research and development, much of it for creating new products.

The new requirement will take effect in 2019 and will apply to all five of 3M’s business groups: Health Care, Consumer, Electronics & Energy, Industrial and Safety & Graphics.

Gayle Schueller, vice president and chief sustainability officer, said the new product goal is an example of the aggressive targets 3M will be setting in coming months as part its strategic focus.

“As a large and diverse global science company with customers spanning many industries and global markets, we have the opportunity to make an even greater impact in Sustainability,” said Schueller.

“We’ve made such significant progress on the 2025 sustainability goals we set in 2015 that we’re raising the bar. The new product goal is an example of the aggressive targets we’ll be setting in coming months as part our strategic focus on empowering science for circular, climate and community.”

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