3M Company | Racial Equity Audit at 3M Company

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders of 3M Company (“3M”) urge the board of directors to oversee a third-party audit (within a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost) which assesses and produces recommendations for improving the racial impacts of its policies, practices, products, and services, above and beyond legal and regulatory matters.
A report on the audit, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting confidential/proprietary information, should be published on the company’s website.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: Racial equity audits engage companies in a process that may unlock value, uncover blind spots, and strengthen external relationships.
Leaders of major racial justice organizations across the United States have called for companies to conduct racial equity audits. The best practices these organizations identified for completing these audits are:
1) Select an independent person or firm with civil rights and racial justice expertise and adequate resources to complete the audit.
2) Ensure the audit comprehensively examines how corporate policies, practices, and products can ameliorate
or exacerbate racial inequalities. Audit processes should proactively identify and engage in outreach to a wide range of stakeholders such as civil rights organizations, employees, and customers impacted by racial inequity.
3) Publish audit findings, recommendations, and progress reports with action plans with timelines to address identified issues.1
At least 19 corporations have committed or are in the process of completing racial equity audits. 3M has said, “As a science company, 3M relies on data to inform our priorities. Our team has rooted our work in the proven research that equity is a superior growth model for our company and our communities.”2
CEO Mike Roman also said, “Progress requires us all to stand up as advocates for racial inclusion and social justice. I stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone who wants to make a difference, and commit our expertise, experience and energy to improving our society one community at a time.”3
3M has undertaken a number of admirable initiatives, including but not limited to committing to spend $50 million on racial justice and equity projects,4 hosting events about the link between racism and social determinants of health,5 reflecting on their hiring process,6 setting representation goals for diverse employees and suppliers, and seeking to integrate equity considerations into new product design.7
3Mhas also misstepped at times, with allegations from multiple employees of discrimination or retaliation at 3M’s South Dakota plant.”8
The company also agreed to pay more than $10 billion to help clean up PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) known as “forever chemicals.”9
A Harvard study researched forever chemicals exposure in the United States and found “statistical evidence of disproportionate exposure in Black and Hispanic communities.” 10
We urge 3M to conduct a racial equity audit to examine its total impact and to support the longevity of its businesses by developing a full understanding of its role in supporting racial equity efforts

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