April 29, 2014
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. - 3M Prairie du Chien was formally welcomed into the state's Green Tier program at a flag raising celebration event at their facility Tuesday, April 29.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials congratulated 3M for its commitment to environmental protection during the celebration, which included staff and management from the facility, community representatives, and 3M Corporate officials. Green Tier recognizes and rewards companies who are committed to going above and beyond compliance to achieve superior environmental performance.
"We are pleased that 3M Prairie du Chien is part of Green Tier," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Through the flexibilities afforded through our Tier 2 contract we look forward to efficiencies that will benefit both 3M Prairie du Chien and the environment."
3M Prairie du Chien is one of 3M's key manufacturing and distribution hubs, with more than 550 employees producing products for numerous 3M businesses. The facility is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The facility has an Environmental Management System in place to effectively manage environmental impacts, operate more efficiently, minimize waste, and reduce pollution. In addition, 3M Corporation has established 2015 Sustainability Goals, which set five year goals of reducing volatile air emissions and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste, and improving energy efficiency. 3M Prairie du Chien is currently meeting all Sustainability 2015 goals, has consistently achieved Platinum Energy status, and is continually working to reduce its environmental footprint.
3M Company has been a participant in innovative, environmental performance-based programs with DNR since 2002 when 3M Menomonie became one of only seven participants in DNR's Environmental Cooperation Pilot Program, and more recently when 3M Cumberland was accepted into Green Tier as a Tier 1 participant. At the corporate level 3M has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STARŪ Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Award for its comprehensive worldwide energy conservation efforts. No other company has achieved this distinction as frequently as 3M.
Tier 2 participants negotiate customized environmental contracts with the DNR. These flexible agreements enable significant environmental improvements and support both government efficiency and business competitiveness. Part of the Tier 2 contract between 3M Prairie du Chien and DNR is a combined construction and operation permit that allows flexibility in installing and/or modifying specified equipment and operations. It covers the entire facility and requires only a three-day notice to the DNR. This flexibility is granted in exchange for superior environmental performance.
As part of this superior environmental performance, 3M Prairie du Chien has agreed to a cap for volatile organic compound emissions that is more than six times lower than what it was previously. In addition, the company will maintain an environmental management system, maintain an interested persons group, conduct annual compliance audits, commit to sustainability goals, and continue developing internal 3M environmental stewardship goals.
"We live and work in a very scenic area, and we value the beauty of the rivers and bluffs," said Tom Harris, Plant Manager of 3M Prairie du Chien. "Our Energy Team has implemented projects to improve energy efficiency, and our Sustainability Team continues to identify new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The plant Green Team focuses on volunteerism and other projects, such as Adopt-a-Highway, to make a positive difference in the community. Acceptance into Green Tier allows us to collaborate closely with the DNR, the local community, and other interested parties. We thought it fitting to plan our recognition event very close to Earth Day. We're very proud of our environmental sustainability track record and are committed to future improvements to lessen our footprint."
More details about 3M Praire du Chien can be found at solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/PrairieduChien/Plant (exit DNR).
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly Ake, DNR, 608-267-6743; or Tom Harris, 3M Plant Manager, 608-326-2466