3M has committed to powering its Maplewood headquarters campus with 100 percent renewable energy under a new partnership with Xcel Energy that begins Friday.
The agreement makes 3M one of the largest corporate headquarters to commit to using green energy to power corporate operations. Others include the pipemaker Uponor, floor-cleaning equipment manufacturer Tennant Co., the city of St. Louis Park and St. Olaf College. A future project also includes Google’s pending data center in Becker, Minn.
Right now, however, 3M’s arrangement “is unique in terms of the size, for sure,” said Xcel Energy spokesman Randy Fordice. The project has been in the works for a year.
Under the agreement, Xcel Energy will purchase roughly 180,000 megawatt hours of wind energy for 3M, mostly from wind farms in Pipestone, Minn. Additional electricity will come from wind projects that are part of Xcel’s Windsource program and solar sources.
The power, for which 3M is paying a premium, will supply electricity to the 30 buildings across 3M’s 409-acre campus in Maplewood. The headquarters houses 12,000 employees.
The effort is part of 3M’s growing sustainability commitment, company officials said. By adding its headquarters, 3M is increasing its renewable-energy sourcing from about 25 percent to 30 percent globally, officials said.
Officials on Thursday announced a new interim target and hope to source at least 50 percent of its electricity from wind, solar or other renewable sources by 2025. Eventually the goal will be 100 percent. For now, the headquarters addition is a big step.
“3M is flipping the switch to becoming powered 100 percent by renewable energy,” said 3M CEO Mike Roman. “We are continuing to step up our leadership toward a more sustainable future — in our own operations, and in solutions for our customers.”
Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy for Minnesota and the Dakotas, said Xcel has worked with 3M on other energy-efficiency projects for 10 years, but Thursday’s announcement tops all past efforts.
“We are really excited about this and applaud 3M’s leadership in making a bold commitment to 100 percent renewable energy,” Clark said. “Xcel Energy is proud to partner with 3M, because we both share a drive to innovate and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.”
Clark said 3M and Xcel previously partnered on efforts to reclaim wasted heat or cooling in its factories; to convert 3M’s lighting to energy-efficient LED bulbs; and on data center energy-reduction efforts.
3M said its combined “green” efforts to cut waste, energy and water use helped it record a 68 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions since 2002.
3M boasts $33 billion in revenue and 93,000 employees worldwide.