3M embeds ‘sustainability value’ mandate into new product development

By Sara E. Murphy, Consultant and Freelance Writer, Sara Smiles Consulting

At last month’s 24th annual Conference of the Parties (aka COP24), 3M made this bold, but vague declaration: it formally will require a “Sustainability Value Commitment” for all new products starting in 2019.

What does this mean? More on that in a moment. But here’s why it matters. While the St. Paul, Minnesota-based company may perhaps be best known for its Post-it Notes, 3M launches about 1,000 new products each year — everything from adhesives to cleaning fluids to wire and cable — with roughly one-third of its revenue generated from products released in the past five years. Increasingly, it will use sustainability considerations as a means of creating new revenue streams and of differentiating its offerings from those of competitors.