Forests are critically important to life on Earth. Forests provide a diverse range of resources like oxygen, food and medicine as well as functions like water purification, climate regulation and mitigation of natural hazards. Forests cover approximately 30% of the land area on Earth and it is estimated that three hundred million people worldwide live in forests while 1.6 billion depend on them for their livelihoods.1
Given the global value and importance of forests, it is an enormous concern that they face significant threats. Perhaps the most serious threat is deforestation or the removal of a forest or stand of trees and that land is then converted to a non-forest use.2 It has been projected that nearly half of the world’s species of plants, animals and microorganisms may be destroyed or severely threatened over the next 25 years due to deforestation.3
The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies recognizes that leadership in the global marketplace carries a responsibility to the environment including a responsibility to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. As a buyer of forest products such as paper, packaging, furniture, and building materials, J&J is positioned to make sustainable sourcing decisions that will help influence responsible forest management. In addition to what we buy, the sustainability attributes that we include in the design and development of our own products will also have an impact. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies (J&J) is committed to doing our part, in our purchases, our buildings and our products, to help eliminate and/or prevent deforestation.
Sustainable Designs and Sourcing Criteria
In order to achieve this commitment, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies shall incorporate the following expectations for all new J&J products and all forest-based products purchased that includes office paper, paper-based product or marketing literature, paper- based packaging, wood-based furniture and wood building materials:
- The content and country of origin for all forest-based materials purchased is known.
- All suppliers’ of forest-based products are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements and the J&J Responsibility Standards for Suppliers.
- All forest-based products’ suppliers located in or sourcing from a high priority country4 should have an independent third party verification of legal compliance.
- All new J&J products or new J&J building designs seek a preference for post-consumer recycled (PCR) content and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials. We also accept other national certification schemes under the framework of international forest management certification standards, such as the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Our roadmap for implementing this Standard involves four primary processes:
- We will work with our suppliers and communicate our Standards and responsible sourcing criteria.
- We will work with our suppliers to build visibility back to the country of origin5 and to confirm the content and characteristics of the materials that we buy.
- We will work to identify priority situations and together with selected partners conduct visits to confirm conformance with our expectations. When instances of non-conformance are identified, we will expect a supplier to develop a time-bound plan to come into conformance. It is our first intention to engage and support a supplier that has a genuine desire to improve.
- We will collect and confirm data about the materials that we buy and products that we make to ensure our preference for recycled content and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials is being met.
Goals and Public Reporting
- New products and new construction will be designed with a preference for post-consumer recycled (PCR) content and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials.
- Progress associated with implementing the sourcing criteria of this Standard will be reported annually and begin in 2015.
- By 2017, at least 80% of the spend with forest-based products’ suppliers located in or sourcing from a high priority country will be verified legal.
- Forest products supply chains will be confirmed to be “deforestation free” as soon as possible and no later than 2020.
Responsibility for implementing this Standard lies with R&D, New Product Design Teams, Product Stewardship and Procurement organizations. Oversight as well as publicly reporting the details to illustrate implementation will come from our sustainability councils established within our primary business units and as part of our Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability structures.
1 http://www.worldwildlifefund.org, see deforestation, overview
2 http://www.dictionaryofforestry.org, see deforestation definition
3 http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm, see The Disappearing Rainforests
4 http://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com, see Pulp, Paper & Packaging Guidelines
5 Country where materials were harvested.