The global economy is at a crossroads. Corporations have the opportunity to embrace new circular business models — ones that are regenerative and that replenish natural resources rather than deplete them.
While transitioning away from current linear business models of “take, make, and waste,” businesses can measure success on the ability to accomplish more with fewer resources — keeping products and materials in use, designing out waste and pollution, and restoring natural systems.
At 3M, we see the circular economy as an opportunity to inspire leadership, innovation, and disruptive change across all industries, meeting the needs of current and future generations. This is why Science for Circular is one of three pillars of our Strategic Sustainability Framework, focusing on designing solutions that do more with less material to advance a global circular economy. We believe it is our responsibility to carefully integrate renewable and recycled materials in our products and enhance the circularity of water, packaging, and waste in our operations. It is also our responsibility to be strategic, mitigating risks related to these materials along the way.
The impacts of global climate change have never been more clear. Extreme weather events, rising sea levels, elevated pollution levels, poor air quality, and resource scarcity have underscored the urgency with which corporations must act to slow these harmful effects on behalf of our planet and its people.
At 3M, we strive to use technology and expertise to promote a future where resources are circulated, and nature is regenerated. This means developing solutions that do more with less material, advancing a global circular economy.
It also means innovating to decarbonize industry, accelerate climate solutions, and improve our environmental footprint.
We are accelerating our ambitions through bigger long-term and intermediary goals and actions that align with the latest findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We expect to invest heavily in both our efforts to meet our environmental goals, which include achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and in our innovation, adapting our business to grow in sectors that support decarbonization.
And it means working together — with employees, customers, suppliers, governments, and communities around the world to help drive the systemic change needed.
Science for Circular
For 3M’s global manufacturing operations, enhance the quality of water returned to the environment from industrial processes by 2030.3,4 Our initial focus is on implementing state-of-the-art water purification technology at the largest water use locations globally and having them operational by 2024
Science for Climate
We will continue applying our scientific expertise to improve the lives of our employees, our customers, and our communities. We see the need for businesses to become regenerative to help restore the environment where we live, work, and play.
Our efforts to meet our goals will continue to leverage the success of our Sustainability Value Commitment and build on our Strategic Sustainability Framework — empowering Science for Circular, Science for Climate, and Science for Community.
We will work to create a world where nine billion people can thrive by applying boundaryless, collaborative science to provide the products, processes, and systems that improve every life.