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One of 3M’s sustainability goals is to assure wood fibre used in its products, including packaging, comes from sources that protect forests' ecological values and respect the rights of workers and people who live in or may depend on forests for their livelihood.
To achieve this goal, Earthworm Foundation partnered with 3M to create a robust Forest Products Sourcing Policy and associated implementation program which goes beyond legal harvesting legislation, incorporating crucial social and environmental expectations for its suppliers.
Earthworm experts work directly with 3M staff in North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America to assess regional supply chain risks related to forest products sourcing and support the implementation of the 3M global policy. We provide 3M with technical support to better understand how their suppliers manage their own sourcing risks and where to apply due diligence to advance responsible forestry in the value chain. This includes leading global risk assessments, conducting field assessments to verify practices on the ground conforming with 3M's policy, and engaging collaboratively across the supply chain.
3M's engagement with their upstream supply chain leads to greater accountability and transparency, enabling better-informed sourcing decisions. This strategy allows 3M to address systemic issues through comprehensive supplier engagement and sourcing-country assessments. As a result, 3M suppliers are enhancing their own responsible sourcing programs, and others are implementing programs that did not exist previously.
As of January 2023, over 90% of 3M's pulp and paper supply chain global spend was traceable to the paper mill or further upstream. Specifically, 86% is either traceable to forest source or 100% recycled, 1% to the pulp mill and 3% to the paper mill.
3M expanded the scope of their policy to include all timber-based forest products. The 3M Forest Products Sourcing Policy was published along with the updated supporting Guidance Document and a Responsible Sourcing video message from 3M Leadership. EF supported 3M with data collection of targeted APAC suppliers, led supplier capacity building through Brazil Centre for Social Excellence (CSE) and provided technical expertise to foster Canadian supplier engagement. Field visits were conducted in Chile, Finland, Sweden, and the Southeast USA to develop relationships with key suppliers and stakeholders
Through collaboration with EF members, 3M contributed to Indigenous-led conservation in partnership with the Tsay Keh Dene Nation (TKDN). This partnership was celebrated in person at the Ingenika Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) launch event. Tsay Keh Dene Nation also commissioned a High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment focused on Chuyaza, an important 24,675 ha area rich in cultural and ecological values. The HCV assessment process was a collaboration between the Nation’s Elders, TKDN’s Department of Lands, Resources and Treaty Operations, Chu Cho Environmental - the Nation’s environmental research and consulting company, and Earthworm. Support from 3M, including through funding, made it possible to conduct the assessment and implement outcomes into the IPCA.
3M, alongside EF Members Nestlé and Mars, hosted a webinar for suppliers sourcing from British Colombia to build knowledge on relevant issues including First Nations’ right to FPIC; and protection of High Conservation Values (HCVs) such as caribou and Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs).
Earthworm facilitated a High Conservation Value (HCV) assessor training with the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation and Chu Cho Environmental to strengthen indigenous forest management capacity, supported by 3M
3M co-hosted and several of its Brazilian suppliers participate in a Centre for Social Excellence (CSE) training series on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) implementation, a right enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
3M published an updated Pulp and Paper Sourcing Policy, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement.
3M co-hosted a responsible paper summit to engage major pulp and paper suppliers with other Earthworm Foundation members in Shanghai, China.
3M met with caribou scientists and First Nations in the Canadian Boreal. Lessons from the trip were immediately applied to sourcing decisions and supplier engagements
3M published a revised Pulp and Paper Sourcing Policy.
Forests are under increasing pressure from human activity resulting in forest loss and degradation. The forest product industry can contribute to these pressures but is also an essential part of the solution to keep forests thriving and restore forest values.
Earthworm experts work directly with 3M staff in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America to assess regional supply chain risks related to pulp and paper sourcing. Together, 3M and Earthworm Foundation engage with suppliers on responsible sourcing improvement and implement transformation projects to address the most urgent risks on the ground.