In this post we shall continue describing how 3M has achieved outstanding energy cost reduction results. These publication has resulted from interview with Andrew Hejnar, Energy Manager of 3M Canada. This post follows previous publications:

Being a leader in innovation, 3M could not have possibly stopped at just implementing the best energy management practices, the company had to advance them.

In many companies, energy management work is understood as the implementation of new machines and processes. 3M works in a broader business context to achieve better results and do it faster.

Energy management at 3M is supported by three pillars:

Monitoring and Targeting (M&T)

‘You cannot manage what you do not measure’ – Lord Kelvin’s idea has been popularised by management guru of the 20th century, Peter Drucker. 3M has embraced this idea. The company collects energy data, both in physical and $-terms, and then processes it using regression analysis to produce baselines in accordance with recommendations of IMPVP and requirements of SEP. This approach enables sensible monitoring of consumption in real-life conditions.

‘Energy is often invisible. M&T makes it visible,’ – Andrew Hejnar, Energy Manager of 3M Canada.

Deviations from baseline predictions are closely monitored to ensure stable, efficient performance. In some instances, operators are required to monitor energy consumption continuously at machine level and report deviations in excess of 3% as they occur.


3M considers people to be the key to success of energy management, because no technology works without people. 3M has consistently integrated sustainability culture into daily operations since 1975.

Today, every employee, from CEO to janitor, has to take sustainability training during onboarding process and repeat this training every two years.

Sustainability culture pays off handsomely: operational and behavioural changes contribute 30% to overall consumption reduction with zero capital investment. Atop of measured energy use reduction, managers at 3M report higher productivity of employees engaged in energy efficiency work.

Technology and projects

Energy efficiency technologies and energy waste reduction projects form the most obvious pillar of energy management – implementation of efficiency projects, installation of new machines, and controls.

Current energy management projects at 3M go far beyond VFDs and LEDs. Among implemented projects are heat recovery from ovens and compressors, installation of electric blowers and mixers instead of using compressed air, and installation of a behind-the-meter CHPs.

Coming next

In the next post I will talk about practical ways to find energy projects at 3M.

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Part 4: How does 3M find energy projects?