Today (Feb. 28) 3M, best known for Scotch tape and Stickies, announced that its global headquarters in Minnesota will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy starting tomorrow and that it will transition to 100 percent renewable energy across its entire worldwide operations. The company also has joined RE100 and partnered with Xcel Energy in Minnesota to start moving to renewable energy there.
While 3M might be best known for its consumer items, the company is a major chemical and manufacturing company producing everything from automotive equipment to solar materials and parts for electronics. As such it’s one of the largest chemical firms in the world and its transition to renewable energy and sustainability, while reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
“3M is flipping the switch to becoming powered 100% by renewable energy,” said 3M CEO Mike Roman. “We are continuing to step up our leadership toward a more sustainable future – in our own operations, and in solutions for our customers.”
The global headquarters in St. Paul, MN, includes a 409-acre campus with 30 buildings and research labs and hosts about 12,000 employees. Xcel will provide most of the green power for the campus from wind farms near Pipestone, MN. The balance will come from Xcel’s Windsource program and solar.
“We applaud 3M’s leadership in making a bold commitment to 100% renewable energy. Xcel Energy is proud to partner with 3M, because we both share a drive to innovate and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment,’’ said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
Last year Xcel also pledged to go carbon free by 2050. Making it the largest, if not only, multi-state utility to make such a pledge. In doing so, it move to largely wind and solar power as well as energy storage and emerging technologies.
As an interim move 3M aims to move to 50 percent renewable energy by 2025. By starting the move at its headquarters, the company is taking a significant step toward that goal, increasing its overall purchasing of renewable energy by 5 percent to roughly 30 percent of its energy use. The company also has made significant progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, cutting them 68 percent since 2002. During that period it’s also nearly doubled its revenue, showing that going green can increase the green.
Committing to 100 percent renewable electricity is part of 3M’s strategic focus on science for climate with the aspiration to innovate to decarbonize industry, accelerate global climate solutions and improve the company’s environmental footprint.
In joining RE100, 3M also joins a group of large companies that are moving to 100 percent renewable energy, companies that include Wells Fargo and Walmart as well as Coca Cola and AB InBev. That initiative is led by The Climate Group and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
“By joining RE100 and switching to 100% renewable electricity globally, 3M is building sustainability into its business growth strategy and showing the two go hand-in-hand,” said Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group. “Seeing such a large manufacturer commit to ‘go all in’ on renewables to produce sustainable new products is an encouraging step forward. Big brands like this can influence positive action from other companies and customers and accelerate the clean energy transition around the world.”Tweet