3M Company | Report on Enviornmental Costs at 3M

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
4
Resolution details
Company ticker
MMM
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Environment
ESG sub-theme
  • Environment
Company sector
Industrials
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Shareholders ask that the Board of Directors commission and publish a report on the link
between the environmental costs created by 3M’s operations and political influence activities and 3M’s continuing prioritization of enterprise risk, and the manner in which such costs and prioritization may affect the market returns available to its diversified shareholders.
Supporting statement
In our Company’s 2021 Sustainability Report, CEO Mike Roman states, “We are committed to being leaders in sustainability.” A review of that report reveals our Company has addressed many environmental concerns. But 3M’s commitment is limited. For example:

• 3M is active in three trade associations that work against comprehensive U.S. policies to
address climate change.
• 3M does not appear to have committed to meet the Science-Based Targets initiative for a 1.5-
degree Celsius world3 and failed to receive an “A” grade in 2020 from CDP, a widely used and respected climate rating.
• Belgian regulators recently ordered 3M to stop PFAS production after recent blood samples taken from 800 people near 3M’s plant showed elevated levels of PFAS.

It appears our Company only addresses sustainability issues when that pursuit optimizes 3M’s financial return. The Sustainability Report states:

Our priority is the comprehensive management of enterprise risks through an ethical tone,
governance processes, and clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability.

This prioritization of risks to the enterprise, rather than risks to the environment, means that 3M only addresses environmental issues that threaten its ability to generate profits. Risks to the global community that do not threaten 3M are not prioritized, so that 3M can continue to profit from conduct that threatens the environment, as it does not create risk for 3M itself.

But a gain in Company profit that comes at the expense of the environment is a bad trade for most 3M shareholders, who are diversified and rely on broad economic growth to achieve their financial objectives. A company strategy that increases its own financial returns but threatens global GDP is counter to the interests of most 3M shareholders: the potential drag on GDP created by environmental costs will directly reduce diversified portfolio returns over the long term.

This proposal asks the Board to commission a report that analyzes the trade-offs 3M is making by prioritizing enterprise risk over risks to the environment and the global economy from the perspective of its largely diversified shareholders, whose investment portfolios may be at grave risk from environmental threats.

The requested report will help shareholders determine whether current Company policies serve shareholders’ best interests and whether 3M should prioritize certain environmental issues over financial
returns.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
LocalTapiola Asset Management Ltd For A vote FOR this proposal is warranted, as additional disclosure on the environmental costs of the company's operations, as well as their effect on the economy and diversified shareholders would enable shareholders to understand and assess how the company is managing related risks.
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. Against