An ever-growing, innovative company, 3M is considered to be a science-based, multinational company which develops and manufactures over 55,000 products. 3M was originally founded in 1902 by Henry S. Bryan, Herman W. Cable, John Dwan, William A. McGonagle and Dr. J. Danley Budd. It was originally called the “Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company” (hence the ticker symbol “MMM”). The company’s headquarters is located in Maplewood, Minnesota. 3M originally provided grinding substances to mining companies; however, in 1921, 3M launched its first unique product: waterproof sandpaper.
And in 1925, their next product was introduced: masking tape. 3M has never been the same since that time. Since 1902 3M has expanded its product offerings into virtually every aspect of every consumer’s lives. To give an example, you have probably heard of or used Post-It Notes! 3M’s primary focus is concentrated in areas such as Health Care, Industrial and Transportation, Consumer and Office, Safety, Security and Protection Services; Display and Graphics; and Electro and Communications.
Since its inception, 3M has expanded into 65 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. As of year-end 2010, its worldwide sales were at a hefty $26. 662 billion. 3M currently employs 76,239 worldwide. Its employees are stationed around the globe at various manufacturing facilities as well as research and development laboratories. Approximately 40 percent of 3M employees are actively engaged in volunteer work, such as sustainability projects overseas and tutoring adults in lifelong skills, through a network of 25 non-profit organizations.
They generously provide funding to the Arts and Culture, Health and Human Services and Higher Education – just to name a few. External Business Environment Aside from being subjected to numerous labor & shareholder lawsuits, 3M has been in the “environmental crosshairs” for the past few decades. For instance, in 1993, 3M was investigated by the EPA for releasing perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), from their Mississippi facility, into the nearby soil and waterways. PFC’s were used primarily in the manufacture of Scotchgard.
The clean-up will cost roughly $56 million. On Feb 2 2009, 3M announced the launching of its Renewable Energy Division. This division produces a vast array of products and technologies for Renewable Energy consumers and businesses around the world. Moving in the direction of providing Renewable Energy products will not only bring more profitability to 3M but will improve their reputation by “going green”. In addition to where this company stands in the environmental and legal realms, 3M stock remains a moderate to strong buy according to analyst ratings.