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3M earns 7th consecutive ENERGY STAR ‘Sustained Excellence’ award for industry

12 April 2011

For a record-setting seventh year in a row, 3M has been named a winner of the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award for its comprehensive world-wide energy conservation efforts.  No other company has achieved that distinction for seven consecutive years, or as many as seven times.

The awards, which are made jointly on an annual basis (for the previous year) by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, were presented on 12 April 2011 at a ceremony in Washington DC. 

“3M’s long-term leadership and commitment to energy efficiency demonstrate the types of accomplishments we can all achieve in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our global environment,” said the EPA’s acting director of atmospheric programmes, Elizabeth Craig.  “We look forward to the company’s continued partnership and leadership.”

‘Sustained Excellence’ is the highest ENERGY STAR award, she noted.

“Our commitment to finding more ways to manage energy use responsibly and efficiently remains unabated, and is as vigorous and creative as ever,” says Steve Schultz, 3M corporate energy manager.  “It’s thoroughly ingrained in our corporate culture as good business practice, and good for the communities in which we have a presence, throughout the US and in 65 other nations around the world.”

In 2010, 59 energy-efficiency projects related to 3M’s “3P” program (Pollution Prevention Pays) were implemented worldwide, reducing 3M’s global energy consumption by some 281 billion British thermal units (Btus).  Including the 3P projects, a total of 153 internal energy efficiency initiatives were undertaken last year, which saved almost $8 million in the first three quarters.

In terms of carbon footprint, since 1990 3M had reduced its greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 77 per cent as of December 2009, and its US greenhouse gas emissions by 79 per cent.  The rate of success is accelerating: a new goal to achieve an additional five per cent global reduction between 2006 and 2011 is far exceeding its objective, with a 52 per cent reduction achieved between 2006 and year-end 2009.

In addition to the many energy-efficiency initiatives, sustainability efforts undertaken in 2010 included formation of numerous research and business partnerships to address renewable energy issues; presentation of 3M’s first annual global Energy Excellence Awards to stimulate conservation efforts internally; cooperation with German efforts to promote environmentally sound economic development in China; sponsorship of an ENERGY STAR Home Tour in Minnesota; the awarding of grants to academicians to conduct energy research; and construction of two international head headquarters facilities with sustainable green designs.

Schultz observes that 3M has been committed to goals-oriented sustainability initiatives “well before environmental issues were on the public agenda.” 

The 3P program was established in 1975, he notes, primarily for the purpose of eliminating sources of pollution before potentially harmful emission can enter the environment.  In 2002, 3P began focusing intensively on energy efficiency, and since that time the company has completed nearly 700 energy-saving 3P projects that have precluded more than 5.35 trillion Btus of energy consumption.  

To help sustain its momentum, 3M conducts an annual internal Plant Energy Awards and Recognition Programme, 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.  In 2010, seven plant energy teams attained the platinum level, representing the programme’s highest award; teams from 43 facilities in all won awards. 

3M was the first company to join the US Department of Energy Save Energy Now leader programme and commit to improving energy efficiency of its operations by 25 per cent over ten years.  3M is a member of the Industrial Energy Technology Conference and the Association of Energy Engineers. 

ENERGY STAR is a trademark of the United States Environmental Protection Agency

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 3M earns 7th consecutive ENERGY STAR ‘Sustained Excellence’ Award for industry