Scroll Top

3M Company Profile

3M History

More than a century ago, 3M started as a small-scale mining venture in Northern Minnesota, then named Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. Now a global powerhouse, our products improve the daily lives of people around the world. When 3M began in 1902, our five founders had a simple goal: to mine for corundum, a mineral ideal for making sandpaper and grinding wheels. Turns out, what they thought was corundum was really another low-grade mineral called anorthosite.

Discovering the poor-quality mineral could have caused an early end to our fledgling company, but our founders persisted. Why? Because something more important was born that first year: the spirit of innovation and collaboration that forms the foundation of 3M today. So instead of calling it quits, we turned to different materials, applied them to other products, gained the trust of important investors and built up sales little by little.

Scientific, technical and marketing innovations produced success upon success over the years, eventually making 3M a constant name on the Fortune 500 list. Today, more than 60,000 3M products are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other industries. One third of our sales come from products invented within the past five years, thanks to innovations from the thousands of researchers and scientists we employ around the world.

With corporate operations in 70 countries and sales in 200, we are committed to creating the technology and products that advance every company, enhance every home and improve every life.


3M and the 3M logo are considered the house brand for the company, but 3M also has several core brands for specific markets that they support. Examples of these are:

  • Post-it Brand
  • Scotch-Brite Brand
  • Scotch Brand
  • Nexcare Brand
  • Filtrete Brand
  • Command Brand
  • Scotch Painter’s Tape
  • FUTURO Brand
  • ACE Brand
  • 3M Littmann Stethoscopes


Science at 3M

There is a strong thread that connects our four business groups to the vast amount of science we do and the thousands of scientists and researchers we have around the world — it’s our research and development. R&D is the heartbeat of 3M. We invest about 5.9 percent of our sales back into the science that makes 3M strong. That investment helps produce more than 3,500 patents each year and a steady stream of unique products for customers.

The company owns 51 technology platforms, which range from adhesives and abrasives, to ceramics and nanotechnology. Our scientists around the world share and combine these technologies across all our businesses to invent and manufacture cutting-edge products.



Sustainability at 3M

3M has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and it is a core value of our company. Our consistent industry leadership is evident in the establishment of our ground-breaking Pollution Prevention Pays program in 1975, which continues to thrive, as well as more recent initiatives, including our shift to renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing circular solutions and growing our skills-based volunteering programs. Together with our employees, customers, partners, governments and communities, 3M is committed to a science-based, collaborative approach to solving shared global challenges and improving lives. 

In this pivotal time for our planet, our strategic sustainability framework directs our efforts to areas with the biggest impact.

Science for Circular – Design solutions that do more with less material, advancing a global circular economy.

Science for Climate – Innovate to decarbonise industry, accelerate global climate solutions and improve our environmental footprint

Science for Community – Create a more positive world through science and inspire people to join us.