3M Pollution Prevention Pays

Posted on 9/12/1999

by Liz Song (lsong@email.com) in MN,United States 

Pollution Prevention Pays
3M's Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program is an approach that prevents pollution at the source in products and manufacturing processes rather than removes it after it has been created. While the idea itself was not new when 3P was started in 1975, the concept of applying pollution prevention on a companywide basis and documenting the results had not been done before.

Since 1975, 3P has prevented 771,000 tons of pollutants and saved $810 million.

3P was established because it is more environmentally effective, technically sound and economical than conventional pollution controls. Natural resources, energy and money are used to build conventional pollution controls, and more resources are consumed operating them. Conventional control only constrains the problem temporarily; it does not eliminate the problem, which is the objective of 3P.
3P has been recognized around the world for its achievements. This environmental/conservation initiative has been praised by environmental organizations, officials of many governments and by the United Nations. It has been copied by a number of companies. Among 3P's environmental honors are top awards from President Clinton's Council On Sustainable Development, the National Wildlife Federation's Corporate Conservation Council and the World Environment Center.