As we observe Earth Month throughout April, it’s important to take stock of our changing natural environment. Rising temperatures and the breakdown of natural systems have widespread impacts, ranging from elevated pollution levels to increased frequency of extreme weather events. These challenges impact the health of our planet and its people, and they require collaborative solutions. As a global company with a diverse portfolio of products, 3M is well-positioned to help with these solutions and can drive impact through improvements in its operations.
Our commitment to sustainability is deeply embedded in our vision of improving every life. We collaborate with all stakeholders to solve shared global, regional and local environmental issues. 3M’s sustainability goals are clubbed under 3 pillars, namely – Science for Circular (do more with less), Science for Climate (improve our environmental footprint) & Science for Community (create a more positive world through Science).
In February 2021, CEO Mike Roman made an announcement around the company’s new environmental goals to achieve carbon neutrality, reduce water use and improve water quality. Over the next 20 years, the company is investing USD 1 billion to accelerate the new environmental stewardship goals. These will form a part of 3M’s broader ESG strategy.
3M has also committed that across all subsidiaries globally, that by 2025 there will be 20% reduction of water consumption in manufacturing facilities and a transition to 50% renewable electricity. The company is committed to going carbon neutral by 2050. We are very excited and energized by these goals and the opportunity to have an active role in making our Earth healthy again.
In India, we align our sustainability initiatives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We started our journey at our manufacturing plants several years ago. Using a 2015 baseline, 3M India has reduced water consumption in plants by 53%, and waste reduction of 12%.
5 sustainable development goals (SDG)were identified namely, SDG 3, SDG 4, SDG 6, SDG 7 and SDG 12
This Earth Day we wanted to highlight 3M India’s (audited) resultson SDG 6,7 & 12.
SDG 12 (Target 12.4 & 12.5): Responsible Production
- 3M India has reduced manufacturing waste by 12.5% against 2015 baseline.
- 3M’s manufacturing plants adopt various improvement projects to increase yield. Projects identified through the lean and kaizen processes involve process efficiencies, machinery modifications, minimizing steps in the manufacturing process, all of which help eliminate leakages and waste. In some instances, % of yield loss was converted into products.
- The Ahmedabad plant has improved yield by approx. 400 kg per month by incorporating waste reduction techniques while the Ranjangaon plant has achieved 50% reduction in waste generated and converted 39% of yield loss into a good product. by eliminating waste of approx. 4900 tapes per month
SDG 6: (Target 6.4 & 6.5) Clean Water and Sanitation
- 3M India has reduced water consumption by 53% of 2015 baseline
- Water conservation initiatives across 3M India manufacturing facilities have helped reduce overall water consumption. Initiatives range from reuse of condensate to save water and effluent generation, utilization of sewage treatment plant water for horticulture activities and reuse of RO water and STP waste-water. The company reduced about 64 cubic meters use of water per day across their factories
SDG 7 (Target 7.3): Affordable and Clean Energy
- The company has increased energy efficiency by 25%
- 3M India has also increased renewable energy share by 24%
- Summer heat waves are common in North India, which cause health hazards. The Indian Railways encountered a unique problem when incidents were reported due to the stifling heat in non-AC trains. 3M India developed Heat Reflective coating when applied on the roofs of the passenger trains reduces the temperature inside by up to 15% and increases comfort. A special pigmented formulation in the coating reflects solar radiation and reduces the temperature of the metal on which it is coated.