"It is an honor that the EPA has recognized 3M and provided the framework for corporate energy efficiency," says Steve Schultz, 3M's corporate energy manager. "3M is known for its commitment to innovation, and that commitment doesn't just apply to the products we invent. We have spent the past 10 years, and in fact many years before that, continually seeking out ways that we can improve our processes, raw materials and more in order to achieve greater efficiency and resource savings. Moreover, we endeavor to share our best practices with our constituents in an effort to pay it forward."
This year's award puts 3M in exclusive territory, as no other industrial company has received the "Sustained Excellence" recognition - the EPA's highest Energy Star award - as many times. Energy Star was introduced by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased efficiency. The annual Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award honors organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through best practices and organization-wide energy savings.
Adding to its achievements, 3M also received Xcel Energy's 2013 Energy Efficiency Expo Award for having the highest gas savings by a commercial customer (nearly 1.8 million therms).
A sampling of 2013 efforts for which EPA recognized 3M includes:
- Implementation of 252 projects, which resulted in savings of $8.79 million and 61,700 metric tons (MT) of CO2
- Development of a strategic initiative to identify and implement projects to make step-change improvements in greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency
- Formation of Centers of Excellence to integrate all aspects of sustainability into business strategies across the company
- Bringing energy-saving innovations to diverse markets, and engaging communities globally in energy and sustainability dialogues
In celebration of 3M's bronze award from the League of American Bicyclists recognizing 3M as a "Bicycle Friendly Company," employees were encouraged to bike to work on Earth Day. Seventy employees participated in the bike to work event in 2013, and 3M said it was striving to beat that number this year.
To reiterate its commitment to corporate responsibility, 3M recently became a member of the United Nations Global Compact. "We are extremely proud of our achievements in energy efficiency and corporate responsibility, and the Compact formalizes that commitment," says Gayle Schueller, 3M's vice president of Global Sustainability. "We look forward to building an even stronger record in the years to come."