3M showcases material science innovations at CIIE
3M showcased a green future at the 6th China International Import Expo.
"CIIE provides us with a platform to ideate and strategize alongside fellow climate champions, prioritizing how we can expedite the implementation of science-based solutions for this pressing global issue," said Edward Kaleta, senior vice president of 3M.
Recognizing the significance and urgency of delivering scalable climate solutions across various industries, 3M has incorporated sustainability value commitments into every new product they make.
3M's Sustainability Value Commitments for new products include reusability, recyclability, energy, waste, water savings, responsible sourcing, and/or renewable materials appropriate to the specific product, from the beginning to the end of each product's lifecycle. One of them is the 3M On Demand Bonding System, featuring 3M VHB Extrudable Tape from the Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division, to blend automation and adhesive science to help reduce waste and improve manufacturing process efficiency. In addition, the newly launched Cubitron 3 products at the 6th CIIE help increase productivity and lower overall grinding costs with a faster and sustained cut rate.
Sustainability is a team sport. 3M’s approach to new product development is collaborative and driven by a desire to find solutions for complex challenges.
The 3M Finesse-it Robotic Paint Repair System is a best example, that works with third-party vision systems to automatically identify and repair common paint defects on automotive production lines.
“Here in China, that means establishing good relationships with our partners and customers, working bench to bench to solve problems. This extends to our commitment to making products for the Chinese market right here in China,” said Kaleta.
3M is investing in China, supporting manufacturers, and innovating in China to respond more rapidly to the local market needs. It has built local platforms such as Adhesive Application Lab, Robotics Abrasive Lab, Automobile Materials Science Academy (AMSA), etc.
"As a strong believer in 'local for local' in long-term development, 3M has built its capabilities close to its customers and end markets. The majority of what we sell in China, we manufacture in 3M factories in China for customers located here," said Kaleta.
The company was one of the first multinational companies to enter the China market and has been contributing to trends such as digitalization, low-carbon, and smart manufacturing for many years.
It has taken measures to fit with China's national strategy and goal of peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.
In 2021, 3M announced plans to invest US$1 billion over the next 20 years to accelerate its environmental goals, including its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050. Today, 3M's Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions are down 78.8 percent from 2002 levels, including a 37.8 percent decrease from levels in 2019.
It is also committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity to power operations by 2050. Across the globe, 62 plants have made the switch, helping the multinational giant reach a total of 51.9 percent renewable energy use at the end of 2022.
In the future, 3M's material science innovation will align with global trends in high-growth markets and sustainability, covering attractive areas such as automotive electrification, climate technology, and industrial automation.