For the sixth consecutive year, 3M has been named a winner of an Energy Star Award for its comprehensive world-wide energy conservation efforts, which in 2009 saved approximately 1.3 trillion British thermal units (Btus) of energy throughout the company’s operations in 65 countries. As has been the case for the past five years, 3M’s Energy Star for 2009 was conferred in the category of “Sustained Excellence.”
The awards, which are made jointly on an annual basis (for the previous year) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, will be presented March 18 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“Sound energy management policies are infused into our corporate culture, both for the public good and to maintain 3M’s competitiveness,” says Steve Schultz, 3M corporate energy manager. “The company has been wholeheartedly committed to goals-oriented sustainability initiatives since the 1970s, well before environmental issues entered the national consciousness. We’re proud to be recognized for that commitment and the results it has achieved.”
Emphasizing that saving energy is good business as well as beneficial environmentally, Schultz notes that 2009’s reduction in energy consumption lowered the company energy bill by $17.2 million, representing a 13.5 percent decline from the previous year.
In 1975, 3M established its ongoing “Pollution Prevention Pays” (3P) initiative, intended to root out sources of pollution before it enters the environment. In 2002, the 3P program began an intensive focus on energy efficiency, and since that time the company has completed 645 energy-saving projects that have prevented approximately 5.25 trillion Btus of energy consumption. Sixty-nine of those projects were begun in 2009.
To sustain its momentum in energy savings, since 2003 3M has conducted an annual internal Plant Energy Awards and Recognition Program, which cites the achievements of 3M’s facilities around the globe, rating their efforts on the basis of several criteria, including energy reduction on a Btus-per-pound-of-product basis. Nine plant energy teams attained the platinum level, representing the program’s highest award; teams from 39 facilities in all won awards.
In addition, in 2009 3M introduced a new corporate-level award, the Energy Excellence Award, as part of the 3M Engineering Awards program. The company last year also adopted sustainability principles to serve as a framework for business unit strategies.
3M is a member of the Industrial Energy Technology Conference and the Association of Energy Engineers, and in 2009 was a sponsor of the Energy, Economic and Environmental (E3) Conference, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study for Industry, and Alliance to Save Energy dinner in Washington.
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M’s core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms – often in combination – to a wide array of customer needs. With $23 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries.