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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.