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This is a Getty image that has been retouched to reflect the Solventum brand. It is an image of a senior mentor interacting with a younger professional man in an office.

We bring better, smarter, safer healthcare solutions to people around the world. Our Solventum team will never stop making things — but we can reimagine the way we make them. We know the health of people and planet are intimately linked and aim to reduce our environmental footprint in areas we can impact, including where we make things: our manufacturing plants.

We’re using bold thinking and pioneering innovation to advance sustainability around the world. Here’s how that comes to life in China and Germany.

Reducing energy use with smart technology in PuJiang 

One hour from the bustling Chinese metropolis of Shanghai, our PuJiang plant makes medical solutions like 3M™ Micropore™ Surgical Tape. Picture a powerful mix of machinery and technology platforms, from slitting and rotary converting to filling and compounding.

Recently, the plant acquired new technology to elevate sustainability.  

“Knowing how much energy we use and when can help us streamline our operations and ensure sustainability for the long term,” says Kevin Cao, senior plant manager at PuJiang. ​​​​​​​

The PuJiang plant installed several smart monitors that connect to the site’s digital platform, so the team can analyze energy data and adjust in real time.  Access to this energy information is changing the game so much, the plant won an award from the local government for their efforts for being a Green Leader.

Now, the team can see and act on detailed energy data that includes:

  • Operations (e.g., machines, products and processes)

  • Sources (e.g., natural gas or electricity)

  • Facilities (e.g., lighting)

A primary focus has been the regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO), an industrial system that decomposes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The team reduced the RTO's overall energy consumption by 32 percent. 

“We are pioneers with a vision. We’ve met a lot of difficulties in trying something we’ve never done before. We try, we fall, we stand up. It’s a cycle. The important thing is to keep standing up, to keep trying,” ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ says Kevin.

Lowering emissions by turning up the heat in Seefeld

​​​​​​​In another area of the world, Seefeld, Germany, Markus Gallinat, program manager for our Seefeld plant, likes to watch his young son swim in the Starnberg See. For Markus, the connection to sustainability comes alive every time his son takes a splash in nature’s swimming pool.​​​​​​​

“I want him to enjoy the freshwater and be safe. I feel a responsibility to make the place where we live healthier and more sustainable, too,” says Markus. Recently, Markus partnered with Siemens Energy to audit the Seefeld plant and put a sustainability plan in place. 

Their first action item? Turn up the heat.

Markus and team predict that installing a heat pump will save 17 percent (or 649 tons) of the plant's total greenhouse gasses. 

​​​​​​​When the plant installs an industrial heat pump, the pump will help conserve water and energy by heating the water to a higher, more usable temperature that can power the plant. The plant will still use gas, too, but the heat pump will help lower gas consumption and provide an alternative source of power.

​​​​​​As governments roll out more climate regulations, we listen and respond. The Seefeld plant uses 25 million liters of spring water to cool itself. Heat pumps help ensure energy security, river water extraction compliance and supply chain protection. The German government is asking companies like Solventum to protect water and incentivizes them to invest in heat pumps by offering a 30 percent subsidy for the equipment. The Seefeld team predicts a return on investment in just six and a half years. As operating costs go down over the next decade, greenhouse gas emissions will, too.

Markus marvels at the prospect of energy savings and has hope for the future.

“It’s an exciting time in the plant’s evolution. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”