At 3M, we use our unique capabilities as a science company to ensure our business practices are fair and equitable.
In 2021, 3M announced new equity-related commitments within each of our four business groups (BGs) to drive greater equity in our communities:
2022 saw great progress from each of our business groups, including these highlights:
Transportation & Electronics Business Group
From Oct. 1 to 8, TEBG and 3Mgives, in partnership with the Providence Streets Coalition, Thriving Places Collaborative, Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition, SPIN Streets and AARP, worked to install the Hope Street Temporary Trail. The project was a community-led effort that consolidated parking to the west side of Hope Street in Providence and created a one-mile trail for walking, jogging, rolling and biking. In addition to providing grant funding and volunteerism to this project, 3M also donated the temporary pavement markings used for the install.
The project specifically aimed to serve the multicultural community in the Mount Hope neighborhood, which is the most culturally and racially diverse neighborhood on the East Side of Providence with one in four residents living below the poverty line.
To further drive awareness of transportation inequities, residents of Providence were invited to attend a free outdoor screening of "The Street Project" documentary. 3M helped fund the making of the film in 2021 as part of TEBG’s equity commitment. Local policymakers were invited to the screening in a push for inspiring more permanent action.
Months after the demonstration, the city of Providence was awarded $27M in federal funding to permanently improve road safety throughout the city.
3M is also committed to improving school zone safety at 100 locations around the world by the end of 2024. Read more about some of the sites we’ve partnered with to date, including Nashville, Tennessee, Mexico City and Klang, Malaysia.
Consumer Business Group
The 3M Open golf tournament brings our community together to give back and improve lives. As part of their business group equity commitment, CBG raised awareness of the homeownership gap and racial inequities in housing in the Twin Cities through the immersive experience: Unlocking the Power of Home.
In partnership with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, CBG redesigned a shipping container into a home that told the impactful story of the Copelands, a Minneapolis family whose home was rehabbed by the organization. Attendees could also learn about our 3M/Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity partnership, share what “the power of home” means to them and scan QR codes to donate to, volunteer with and advocate for Habitat for Humanity.
Over the course of 2022, 75 3Mer and retiree volunteers participated in seven CBG-led events in the Twin Cities, including new home builds, for a total of 525 hours of service.
Health Care Business Group
Each of the BG teams leverage the “four Ps” – product, people, philanthropy and partnership – to drive meaningful change in the communities we serve. Starting in 2021, HCBG tapped into the passion of its employees to build upon the existing 3M Impact offering, the global skills-based service program that empowers 3Mers to make an impact in their community. The 3M Impact Health Care program enabled employees to partner with and lend business expertise to nonprofit organizations specifically focused on addressing health care disparities and social determinants of health.
In the two years since the program was launched, nearly 70 HCBG employees have participated in the 3M Impact Health Care program, serving 20 health care community-based organizations in the U.S., Canada, China, UK, Germany and Brazil.
Safety & Industrial Business Group
3M is committed to diversifying the pipeline of talent in the skilled trades. In partnership with NC3, the National Coalition of Certification Centers, 3M awarded 50 $1,000 scholarships to diverse students pursuing the skilled trades during the National Signing Day event. These scholarships help enable current high school students who are enrolled in or intend to enroll in a technical education program in the fall. The 50 Scholarship recipients planned to attend 22 technical schools and community colleges spanning 14 different states, and more than 90% identified as women and/or members of a racial/ethnic minority group.
In addition to scholarships, 3M is broadly committed to increasing awareness of the huge variety of roles available within the skilled trades. View the new documentary film, 'Skilled', to learn more about how different people found their way into the trades and built fulfilling careers.
In 2022, we have revitalized and refined our U.S.-focused supplier diversity efforts to provide greater opportunities for diverse business enterprises. To take our program to the next level, we’re increasing the identification of diverse suppliers, enhancing data management, automating analytics and expanding our relationships with local advocacy groups. Globalization of the program is part of 3M’s strategy for the coming years. In 2022, we made strong progress towards our goal of doubling our spend with diverse suppliers. Our supplier diversity spend was 6.1% of the company’s total U.S. eligible spend, which is up from 5.5% in 2021.
We also piloted our GAME Changer program this year, designed to build the capabilities and capacity of diverse suppliers through Growth, Advocacy, Mentoring and Education (GAME). Within the first year of graduation, 75% of the diverse suppliers that were part of the program saw more than 100% increase in their book of business with 3M. One supplier was awarded new business, and all suppliers have shared that they now have stronger relationships with 3M.
In the words of two of the participants in the pilot program:
“The GAME Changer program was a great think tank of ideas,” said Linda Arntzen, VP of Sales PHT International, Inc. “My 3M mentors discussed and shared examples of their forecasting tools. In turn, I shared with mine, and today we have an updated version that is user friendly and provides more data! The impact was thoughtprovoking.”
James Geyman, Business Director PIDC Inc., shared that “connecting with the 3M Impact team helped me contribute new ideas that support our reimagined marketing strategy.”
With this strong proof point, in 2023 we will move forward with a full launch of the program.
Our Social Justice team partners with our New Product Introduction (NPI) team to create products with equity built into the design. Our NPI system already has embedded the expectations for including an equity lens throughout the entire innovation process.
We look forward to creating new 3M products that serve and improve outcomes for historically underrepresented groups, including using inclusive design to create products for different abilities. Examples of this in practice are the weighted Post-it® Note and Scotch® Tape dispensers that enable single-handed use through a clip or weighted base. Any user could find greater convenience in these items – and they may be particularly appreciated by a person living with an upper limb amputation.
From June 2021 to June 2022, 3M sponsored Jasmine Payne as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Fellowship Program. The program is a yearlong policy training and leadership development program that provides Black early career policy professionals hands-on experience working on Capitol Hill. As a John R. Lewis Social Justice Fellow, Jasmine spent six months as a Legislative Aide and six months conducting research on behalf of CBCF's Center for Policy Analysis and Research.
In November of 2022, 3M sponsored the "Redesigning the Future of Our Healthcare" session at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Issue Summit. Melissa E. Clarke, MD, spoke about the critical need for equitable innovation of and access to our nation’s healthcare technology.
In response to the serious racial health inequities that exist in maternal health for Black and Hispanic women, 3M has developed a Maternity Bundle in conjunction with clinical and economic research to address quality of care. The Maternity Bundle is a packaging of our clinical methodologies that help our clients, like state Medicaid agencies or health plans, understand where variation in outcomes for maternal care are happening in a population, and proactively address the quality of care. By including their data on race and ethnicity in the analysis, they gain insights on where intervention is needed to restore equity in outcomes.
3M’s engagement with the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity deepened with regard to policy advocacy. We supported the CROWN Act, which was signed into law by the Minnesota Governor in February 2023.
In September 2022, Michelle Diggs was appointed as our first ever Director of Environmental Justice, a new role on our Equity & Community team. 3M defines environmental justice as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people where no group of people bears a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.
“Our ambition is to deliver on 3M’s company promise,” said Michelle, “by leveraging our expertise and capabilities alongside community leaders to help solve some of the most pressing environmental justice challenges facing our communities.” We’re looking forward to sharing more about our environmental justice initiatives in the coming year.
Our progress has been recognized! 3M participated in the inaugural Racial Equity Dividends Index led by the Center for Economic Inclusion (CEI). 3M was among the companies with the best record. The Index is a comprehensive tool to help private-sector businesses in Minnesota measure their progress towards building racially equitable and inclusive workplaces.
“We are always on the journey to do better,” Garfield Bowen, 3M Social and Environmental Justice vice president, said. “We have a responsibility to leverage our full capabilities to do right by our people in our company, but also in our communities.”