Science to the aid of the planet

Imagine for a moment that a new material, applied on our roofs, turned each tile into a surface in order to reduce the pollution of the air, using the sun and t

Science to the aid of the planet

Imagine for a moment that a new material, applied on our roofs, turned each tile into a surface in order to reduce the pollution of the air, using the sun and the rain. Or save 30% of energy thanks to a few particles able to lighten the weight of aircraft and automobiles in which we travel. Or a few slices invisible to get our windows to block up to 97% of infrared rays of the sun keeping the interior cool and comfortable, reducing the use of cooling systems... Are some real examples of how the multinational company 3M applies innovation and research in the development of products that help to combat climate change. An unprecedented challenge.

The impact that man has had on climate change and its fearsome consequences for the sustainable growth of future generations is a reality. Therefore, the involvement of science to mitigate its effects becomes more necessary than ever. And the involvement of the scientific community and business is essential. Companies have to be able to impact on the different markets and key industries, hence its critical role in the fight against global warming.

This is the case of the multinational company 3M, through science and innovation, has taken on the challenge of providing practical solutions in areas as diverse as pollution, accessibility to drinking water, the efficiency of the installations of renewable energy, food security, waste processing, improvement of air quality, health and the protection of the people. And always with innovations that are inspired by improving the lives of the people in a sustainable way.

With a presence in more than 200 countries and some 90,000 employees around the world, 3M believes that “science is only science until it is applied to change the world”. Hence, proactively, take decades to face the problem of the climate crisis with policies and concrete solutions, including the development of new products under the premise of “making things happen”.

With a history of over a century and political pioneers of environment protection, the company announced that in 2018, a new Strategic Framework for Sustainability to guide their efforts toward three priority areas in which you can contribute with a greater impact: designing solutions to achieve better results with less material, moving towards a circular economy; to innovate in order to decarbonise the industry and create a more positive, through the science, inspiring the people to assist in that goal.

Commitment to and sustainability

“sustainability is a global problem that can only be addressed with the collaboration of governments, industries, businesses and consumers. We face complex challenges that we face immediate and responsible. Only by working together we can achieve this”, said Gayle Schueller, vice president and director, global sustainability, 3M. Schueller has been advanced that, from now on, every new product launched 3M into the market, “you will have to first prove that account with a Value of Commitment to Sustainability, showing pre-and clearly what will be their impact.” If one takes into account that 3M launches approximately 1,000 new products every year in all kinds of industrial sectors, “it is a very relevant at the global level,” he insists Schueller.

That climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity is unquestionable. Its impact is widespread and its risks are not limited by continent, industry or even species. Disasters extreme weather are becoming more frequent, and generate an important economic impact. Ecosystems face collapse and biodiversity is threatened. In this context, 3M reinforces its commitment to the global compact, established in the Paris Agreements of 2015 and is already taking concrete steps.

Since this year, the world headquarters of 3M only uses renewable energies. The goal is that all of their global operations running at 100% with clean energy and move as well to a carbon-free future. In addition, its 45 technology platforms are working to ensure that science and innovation have resulted in new products that help mitigate and control the human impact on the planet's climate, and thus create a sustainable future for the new generations.

Science applied to life

For example, the granules 3M Smog-reducing applied on the roofs to take advantage of the power of the sun to convert the tiles in an area of the fight against pollution. When the ultraviolet rays impinge on them, their coating photo catalyst transforms pollutants (oxides of nitrogen) ions soluble in the water that is removed then with the rain. Each ton of these granules has the capability of reducing air pollution in an annual quantity equivalent to that produced by a car driven during 4.828 kilometers. Various manufacturers of asphalt roofing are already employed in the development of this innovative technology, recognized as one of the best innovations of 2018 by the TIME magazine.

Also, the glass microspheres 3M Glass Bubbles help to reduce the weight of vehicles, which means filling the tank less often or hold a charge for a longer time in the case of electric cars. In the aviation industry, the microspheres, of 3M used in the manufacture of the cockpit of a plane, make it lighter, consume less fuel and reduce their environmental impact. In a whole fleet, the manufacturers are able to meet more easily the objectives of weight reduction and emission standards.

Another example of the use of this technology, 3M is found in various heavy industries, and preventing the machinery to collapse under its own weight while working at high pressures and under extreme temperatures.

finally, the sheets of solar control 3M Window Films achieve significant energy savings when applied on the glasses of windows in houses and all kinds of buildings. The laminates reject up to 97% of infrared rays of the sun to keep interiors cool and reduce the load on cooling systems, so that save energy and provide comfort to its inhabitants.

Date Of Update: 25 December 2019, 23:00