3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) is joining the ranks of companies that are going green. The conglomerate has announced that it is committed to move to 100% renewable electricity. While this move will be an immediate one for its corporate headquarters, 3M also is pledging to ultimately move to renewable energy for all its facilities around the world.
3M has partnered with Xcel Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: XEL) to become the largest company within Xcel’s service area in its eight Western and Midwestern states to convert to 100% renewable electricity. As for the size of the facility, 3M’s St. Paul headquarters is listed as 409 acres in size, with roughly 12,000 employees in 30 different buildings and research labs.
By transitioning immediately to 100% renewable electricity at the headquarters, 3M said that it will increase its own total global renewable electricity sourcing by more than 5%, taking it up to about 30%. The move also is said to help the company reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. 3M claimed that its products helped customers avoid more than 13 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions last year alone.
3M’s press release indicated that the company has recorded a 68% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2002. The company also noted that it has nearly doubled its revenues during that same period.
Commitments of this magnitude cannot occur overnight. 3M has set an interim target for the company to source at least 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2025.
3M is converting its operations to solar and wind power, and the majority of its power for the headquarters will be supplied by Xcel wind farms located near Pipestone, Minnesota. The company identified additional electricity as coming from wind projects that are part of Xcel’s Windsource program and solar sources.
3M’s message is that it is aspiring through innovation to decarbonize its industrial position, as well as to accelerate global climate solutions and to improve its own environmental footprint. 3M is also joining a global initiative called the RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with Carbon Disclosure Project.
3M CEO Mike Roman said of the move: “3M is flipping the switch to becoming powered 100% by renewable energy. We are continuing to step up our leadership toward a more sustainable future – in our own operations, and in solutions for our customers.”
While this may not be a move that hits home or hits a news screen for many investors, 3M has had a rocky past year on its shares after a stellar outperformance 2017. 3M also was just featured in our own list of 10 companies that have raised their dividends for 50 or more consecutive years.
3M has a market cap of almost $120 billion, and its $207.65 recent share price is in a 52-week range of $176.87 to $243.10.