Renewable Energy: How 3M plans to meet the 50% RE100 target 4 years early
Energy management has been a key component of 3M’s sustainable manufacturing efforts for over 40 years. In 2019, 3M joined the international initiative RE100 pledging to source electricity through 100% renewables by 2050, a large increase over the previous target of 25% by 2025. The company executed projects to increase the renewable electricity content; including wind and solar projects (owned and leased) and signing Power Purchase Agreements given financial and technical viability. 3M also focused on increasing energy efficiency to reduce total energy demand. This allows renewables to be a greater share of 3M’s overall electrical sourcing. By 2021 years, the company was able to surpass their goal while supporting business growth and won the RE100 award for having plans to meet the 50% target 4 years early.
When addressing 3M’s global sites, there is a unique challenge in identifying an appropriate plan based on the geopolitical location. Likewise, subsidies and incentives differ by region and shape the decision-making process. As well, the internal business organization play a role in how renewable energy is incorporated in an area. Finally, 3M allocates funds to materialize both their energy efficiency and renewable energy goals.
Tanmay Soni is a Senior Energy Analyst, part of the energy management group at 3M. He has been performing energy modelling, energy audits and energy projects analysis work for all 3M Global sites and is an expert in RETScreen software. He also works closely with the internal sourcing, environmental and sustainability groups to account for energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon emissions at 3M. Tanmay holds a Master's degree in Management Sciences (Engineering) as well as CEM, CMVP and CRE certifications.