Manufacturer 3M joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 initiative

Multinational consumer goods, healthcare and industry manufacturer 3M has pledged to champion the circular economy and make the best use of the planet's resources by joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's CE100 initiative.

Manufacturer 3M joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 initiative

3M is also a member of the Climate Group's RE100 renewable electricity initiative 

The CE100 platform will enable 3M to open-up collaborative opportunities with companies and organisations which are actively seeking and developing closed-loop models. The firms join the likes of Coca-Cola, Unilever, Enel Group and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Apple in signing up to the initiative.

“3M is moving to more recycled and renewable materials in our product and package designs, but no one company can do it alone,” the company’s vice president and chief sustainability officer Gayle Schueller said. “We are excited to engage with a committed group of leaders focused on innovative approaches to driving a circular economy based on sustainable use and reuse of finite resources.”

Consumer goods brands owned by 3M include Post-It notes, Scotch stationary and Command adhesive strips, with the company owning dozens more brands across the energy, electronics, healthcare, graphics and safety sectors. In total, 3M releases 1,000 new product lines per year.

Across the supply chain, 3M also looks for ways to recover, reuse and recycle by-products and other waste materials. The firm’s Health Care Business Service Group has already extended the life of around 150,000 devices annually to keep electronic waste out of landfill.

“We are delighted to welcome 3M, another major US brand taking a leadership position on circular economy,” the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 lead Joe Murphy said.

“We look forward to 3M contributing to our diverse and dynamic community to achieve faster, greater success than any individual organisation could alone.”

Built-in values

Last year, 3M unveiled a new requirement for all products it releases from January 2019 to be designed with “sustainability value” built in.

Under this commitment, all new product lines will be required to have at least one sustainability “success story” to tell which is “appropriate to the specific product” for its entire life-cycle. Such success stories include reusability, recyclability, responsible raw material sourcing and the avoidance of resource or waste-intensive manufacturing processes.

3M joined the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative in March 2019, pledging to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations. The 100% ambition has been set on an ongoing basis, with an interim aim of sourcing at least 50% of power demand from renewables.

As a first step towards the targets, 3M will switch all power used at its global headquarters in Maplewood, Minnesota, with renewably generated electricity by the end of this week. The 409-acre complex consists of 30 buildings, which support more than 12,000 employees. 3M currently meets 5% of its global electricity demand with renewables.

Matt Mace

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