3M Receives Environmental Leadership Award

3M requires all plants with more than 50 employees to earn ISO14001 certification

The Tag and Label Manufacturers Institutes awarded 3M Performance Label Materials with its 2009 Environmental Leadership Award. The award recognizes companies that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to progressive environmental practices across a range of areas including solid waste reduction, recycling, waste or energy recovery, the implementation of new 'clean' technology and/or processes, and the implementation of an education program.

3M Performance Label Materials is part of 3M Industrial Adhesives & Tapes Division and is based in Medina. "Our Medina plant is part of an intensive 3M program called ET-10, meaning Environmental Targets for 2010," explained Darryl Vaci, plant manager at the Medina plant. "ET-10 sets a series of five-year goals in VOC reduction, energy reduction and waste reduction. Our goal is an aggressive 20% to 25% reduction in each category over a span of five years.

According to Vaci, having specific identified objectives requires the plant to think creatively about reaching goals. The plant reports quarterly on its progress, and is tracking toward meeting goals for reduction while also seeing an improvement in yield rates and enjoying the financial impact of more efficient operations.

Another important aspect of 3M's environmental sustainability relates to ISO14001 certification. "3M requires all plants with more than 50 employees to earn ISO14001 certification," said Vaci. "We place this higher standard upon ourselves as a company. It really makes us consider how our actions impact the environment at every stage, from product design to manufacturing and disposal. And the certification places us under external audit for an extra measure of accountability."

Other environmental progress acheived by 3M since 1990 includes:

95% reduction in absolute volatile air emissions
95% reduction in absolute U.S. TRI releases (2007 emissions, 2008 reporting year)
62% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions
64% reduction in solid waste indexed to net sales

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