Climate Policy
Climate Policy

Our Foundation

Our Credo provides Johnson & Johnson with a clear, compelling, and enduring reminder of our responsibility to the environment. It states we must be good citizens in the global community, and we must protect the environment and natural resources we are privileged to use. We believe that the health of people is inextricably linked to the health of the planet. We have been setting public environmental performance goals for nearly 30 years. As the world’s largest, most broadly-based healthcare company, we remain committed to improving the environmental health of the places where we live, work and sell our products today—and for generations to come.

Our Positions

In the field of climate science, there is consensus that human activity is a driving factor in climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent comprehensive report (the Fifth Assessment Report, commonly referred to as AR5) provides a clear and up-to-date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change. The majority of climate scientists agree that human activity is increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the earth’s atmosphere, which is forcing the climate to change.1

Environmental health impacts human health. Poor environmental health is a significant threat to human health. Air, water, and soil pollution; improper waste management; and degradation of ecosystems all negatively impact human health. Climate change is impacting health, and will continue to do so both directly and indirectly by changing infectious disease patterns; increasing extreme weather events and the risk of drought, floods and subsequent food insecurity; and increasing respiratory disease from poor air quality.2

Risks resulting from a changing climate have the potential to negatively impact economies around the world. The environmental risks of extreme weather events and temperatures, accelerating biodiversity loss, and failures of climate-change mitigation and adaptation could result in disruption of critical infrastructure and global supply chains.3 The potential financial impact of these risks is significant to the global economy and is a compelling driver for businesses to act.

We have a responsibility to help abate climate change and environmental degradation. Businesses have an important role to play in responding to climate change by implementing voluntary reductions of GHGs within their control, and engaging in mitigation and adaptation activities outside of their immediate control where they may have influence. We support the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its work to facilitate global agreements aimed to reducing GHG emissions. Companies should continually strive to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operations, products, and services, and should source cleaner energy to power their operations—not only to avoid the consequences of a changing climate but also to improve the cost effectiveness and resilience of their business.

We believe multi-stakeholder engagement is key to improving climate health. As a healthcare company, we have a unique responsibility to our customers and the nurses, doctors, consumers, and patients we serve who are seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change on human health first hand. However, while companies have a responsibility and ability to impact these issues, the unilateral capabilities of businesses are limited; addressing these issues requires the collaboration of companies with governments and non-governmental organizations to achieve systemic change at scale.

Our Commitments

Johnson & Johnson is committed to:

  • Establish strategies and programs to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations, supply chain, and products by improving energy and water efficiency, addressing commodity-driven deforestation, and increasing our use of renewable energy;
  • Set both short- and long-term science-based goals for GHG emission reductions, and work toward powering 100 percent of our operations with renewable energy;
  • Ensure the availability of information and resources to meet our goals, and report regularly and transparently on our progress toward those goals;
  • Engage our suppliers and customers to improve transparency and collaboration, and minimize the environmental impact—including the carbon footprint—of our purchased goods and our services and products;
  • Work to remove commodity-driven deforestation from our global supply chain;4
  • Improve our assessment of the business risks associated with a changing climate and integrate them into our risk mitigation programs, business continuity, and capital planning programs to ensure that we can continue to meet our patient and customer needs;
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and regulations while advocating for sound public policy intended to achieve a low-carbon economy, and abate climate and human health risks; and
  • Work with partners to advance efforts beyond our properties that improve climate health and related human health outcomes.

Our Governance

We implement processes to assure adherence to this Policy.

This Policy has been reviewed by senior management, is applicable to all of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and is to be shared publicly with all stakeholders. The Science, Technology, and Sustainability Committee of Johnson & Johnson’s Board of Directors regularly reviews the Company’s policies, programs and practices on environment, health, and sustainability, including enterprise goals directed at carbon reduction and renewable energy. This Policy is to be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. First published in 2003; revised in 2004, 2012, and 2018.

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Last Updated: June 2018

  • 1 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5): Summary for Policy Makers, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013.
    2 “Preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments: A Global Assessment of the Burden from Environmental Risks,” World Health Organization, 2016.
    3 Global Risk Report 2018, 13th Edition, World Economic Forum, 2018, page 19.
    4 See our Wood-Fiber Products Sourcing Criteria and Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Criteria.
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