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3M

Getting Respirators to Frontline Workers

Overview

Our Mission

3M is a leading provider of personal protective equipment and medical solutions worldwide.  Early on in the pandemic, it saw an unprecedented surge in demand for N95 respirators, which it had pioneered nearly 50 years ago.

3M’s priority during COVID-19 became the safety of its employees and providing supplies where they were most needed to support the public health and government response to the outbreak in the UK as well as globally. 

1.1 Billion

N95/FFP2 respirators were produced by 3M at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak

13x more respirators

were supplied to UK healthcare organisations between January and June 2020 by 3M compared to the same period in 2019

2 Billion masks

will be produced by 3M by the end of 2020 as it doubles capacity again

Our Response

Rising to the Challenge

3M activated rapid response teams to coordinate the strategies required to deploy in three key areas: expand production of PPE; maintain a safe workplace environment to keep its employees safe and ensure business continuity; and work with distributors and government to triage, redirect and prioritise supplies for healthcare workers and other public health needs. 

Increasing Output

When the virus broke out, 3M immediately activated its surge capacity and accelerated production. It doubled global production of N95/FFP2 respirators to nearly 100 million a month by running manufacturing lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including at its UK manufacturing facility.

The company also put in motion investments and actions to enable it to double respirator capacity once again to 2 billion globally within 12 months. 

Protecting Employees and Maintaining Business Continuity

3M implemented measures to protect its 2,250 UK employees at its 17 locations and sustain operations by adapting working practices.  It moved quickly to remote working where possible and where this wasn’t feasible, for example in manufacturing plants, it instituted robust safety protections including stringent cleaning and medical screening, social distancing and staggering shifts. 

Increasing Output

When the virus broke out, 3M immediately activated its surge capacity and accelerated production. It doubled global production of N95/FFP2 respirators to nearly 100 million a month by running manufacturing lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including at its UK manufacturing facility.

The company also put in motion investments and actions to enable it to double respirator capacity once again to 2 billion globally within 12 months. 

Protecting Employees and Maintaining Business Continuity

3M implemented measures to protect its 2,250 UK employees at its 17 locations and sustain operations by adapting working practices.  It moved quickly to remote working where possible and where this wasn’t feasible, for example in manufacturing plants, it instituted robust safety protections including stringent cleaning and medical screening, social distancing and staggering shifts. 

N95 on production line_3M Aycliffe -rsz

Getting PPE to Those Who Needed it the Most

3M worked with the UK government and partners to prioritise supplies of FFP3 respirators for healthcare workers, other public health needs and critical industries.

Most respirators are designated primarily for healthcare professionals on the frontline of response with the remainder deployed in critical industries including energy, food and pharmaceuticals. 

Combatting Price-gouging, Fraud and Counterfeiting

As the pandemic unfolded, 3M received hundreds of reports of people fraudulently representing themselves as being affiliated with 3M, selling 3M products at grossly inflated prices, selling counterfeit products falsely claimed to be from 3M and falsely claiming to manufacture 3M products.

It executed a multi-pronged strategy to deter and identify unscrupulous behaviour.  3M worked, and continues to do so, with law enforcement agencies in the UK and globally to aggressively pursue third parties taking advantage of the crisis.  3M did not, and will not, increase prices as a result of this crisis. It has since filed multiple lawsuits.

It set up a reporting tool on its website and a hotline for customers to report concerns about fraudulent activity and provided resources and guides, online and directly with partners, on how to spot counterfeit 3M products and fraudulent sellers.

Combatting Price-gouging, Fraud and Counterfeiting

As the pandemic unfolded, 3M received hundreds of reports of people fraudulently representing themselves as being affiliated with 3M, selling 3M products at grossly inflated prices, selling counterfeit products falsely claimed to be from 3M and falsely claiming to manufacture 3M products.

It executed a multi-pronged strategy to deter and identify unscrupulous behaviour.  3M worked, and continues to do so, with law enforcement agencies in the UK and globally to aggressively pursue third parties taking advantage of the crisis.  3M did not, and will not, increase prices as a result of this crisis. It has since filed multiple lawsuits.

It set up a reporting tool on its website and a hotline for customers to report concerns about fraudulent activity and provided resources and guides, online and directly with partners, on how to spot counterfeit 3M products and fraudulent sellers.

Supporting Communities in Need

3M has stayed true to its core values of supporting communities and helping those most impacted throughout the pandemic. This included a donation of more than £112,000 to United Way UK to support community relief projects focused on hunger relief, education and mental health, together with support for The Trussell Trust’s national network of food banks.

Supporting Communities in Need

3M has stayed true to its core values of supporting communities and helping those most impacted throughout the pandemic. This included a donation of more than £112,000 to United Way UK to support community relief projects focused on hunger relief, education and mental health, together with support for The Trussell Trust’s national network of food banks.

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 employees connect with customers all around the world.  

The UK is home to one of the largest 3M subsidiaries outside the USA, employing 2,250 people across 17 locations, including six manufacturing sites. 

Products manufactured in the UK include coated abrasives, personal safety equipment, adhesive tapes and industrial microbiology products. 

3M is the trademark of 3M Company. © 3M 2020. All rights