3M: Scrubbing Waste, One Product At A Time

3M: Scrubbing Waste, One Product At A Time

January 14, 2019

3M announces plans to incorporate sustainability goals for each of the roughly 1,000 new products it introduces each year.

Expanding on the success of the more general sustainability initiatives it launched in 2015 as part of a ten year program, 3M takes its goals a step beyond what most companies are doing by looking at the individual products rather than just system-wide goals.

R & D will look carefully to see how each product might reduce materials or use recycled materials, such as its plan for all Scotch-Brite scrub sponges to be made with recycled plastics by 2019.  Other alternatives include reducing waste, energy, or water usage in factories or helping customers use the products in a more sustainable way.

This post is based on the Star Tribune article, 3M: Every new product must meet a sustainability goal, by Dee DePass, December 5, 2018. Image source: Nattika/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does 3M’s approach differ from some companies’ approaches to sustainability?

Guidance: Whereas many companies take a big picture approach to sustainability, looking at how to reduce waste or energy in their factories overall, 3M wants each product to incorporate sustainable solutions.  This can include techniques Continue reading