3M additional investment

3M Announces commitments to communities in Zwijndrecht, Beveren and Antwerpen Linkeroever

Company will invest up to € 125 million to:

  • advance technology to further reduce PFAS discharges,
  • determine appropriate remedial action for PFOS, and,
  • support local farmers.
3M will further support remedial actions through additional investment.

Zwijndrecht – 30 09 2021. 3M is reinforcing its overall commitment to Zwijndrecht, Beveren and Antwerpen Linkeroever by taking actions to address PFAS in the environment, supporting our neighbors, and advancing our technology for future operations by investing up to € 125 million in the next 3 years.

Address PFAS in the environment.

3M is proud of its 300-plus employees in Zwijndrecht and their continued important work. We recognize the uncertainty the presence of PFAS has created about the quality of the environment we share with our neighbors.

3M today reaffirmed plans to invest in PFOS remediation within a 4 kilometer radius of the facility as directed by the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM). 3M is paying for the ongoing descriptive soil investigation (DSI), and recognizes our responsibility to support the implementation of final actions determined in collaboration with relevant authorities, including financial support.

Support our neighbors.

3M will support farmers whose work has been impacted by “No Regret” measures limiting the sale of commercial agricultural products. The company will work with relevant associations to learn from affected farmers about the scope of any impact. In collaboration with a neutral third-party organization selected in consultation with the Flemish government, 3M will determine an appropriate financial support plan. 3M will make this process simple for farmers to participate in. 3M will offer an initial payment to individual farmers as an advance of sums to be determined under the final plan, which is anticipated in February 2022. The company has formally set aside appropriate funds to implement these actions.

Invest in advanced technologies.

To enhance environmental stewardship and sustainability for continued future of the site’s operations, 3M plans to invest up to an estimated €115M in technology to control process discharges.

This will include:

  • immediate optimization of existing wastewater treatment technology;
  • installation of innovative ion exchange technologies to reduce PFAS discharges by more than 90% anticipated by March 2022; and,
  • invest in additional technologies to remove more than 99% of PFAS from site water discharges by 2024, pending approval by relevant regulatory authorities 

3M’s actions are part of the company’s continued collaboration with local authorities to share information about operations at 3M Zwijndrecht and how the company has and continues to manage PFAS. The company has prepared 11,000 documents requested by the Flemish authorities to openly facilitate a science-based dialogue on a path forward to meet Flemish leaders, Cabinet members and community needs.

We will do what we said we would, and will work with local residents and government officials as we establish a productive path forward. Today’s plans are an important step on that path, and we look forward to our upcoming meetings with Minister Demir. A thoughtful approach to PFAS management should be guided by science and data. 3M will invest to remediate PFOS as directed by OVAM, support farmers whose livelihoods have been disrupted, and install technologies that evolve our discharge management capabilities while empowering our people in Zwijndrecht.

- said Rebecca Teeters, Senior Vice President, Fluorochemical Stewardship.

This plan builds on 3M’s existing investments in PFAS management technologies in the region. In addition, 3M previously announced expected investment of approximately $1 billion globally over the next 20 years to accelerate new environmental goals: achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, reduce water use by 25% at its facilities, and return higher quality water to the environment after use in manufacturing operations, including reducing PFAS emissions by 99%. 3M will continue to take action for sustainability and environmental stewardship.