by Paulette Frank, Vice President, Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies
You may be asking – what could a beauty brand, a movie star and a wetland possibly have in common? Well, on October 2nd, I learned first-hand when they all came together at the Ballona Wetlands in Los Angeles to give back to the community and our environment. Over 200 Neutrogena employees arrived at the Ballona Wetlands to clean up litter, to remove invasive plant species (otherwise known as “weeding”), and to resurrect the park sign.
At the same time, the Neutrogena® Naturals Brand Ambassador Kristen Bell kicked off the Every Drop Counts campaign in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to support water conservation efforts. During the month of October, Neutrogena® Naturals is encouraging everyone to visit Neutrogena Facebook and pledge to save one million gallons of water by making small adjustments to their daily routines, such as shortening showers by three minutes and turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
Last year, two million gallons of water were saved in October—that’s enough to quench the thirst of two million active Americans on an average day! Like Kristen Bell, millions of people welcome our brands into their lives every day. And this offers us millions of opportunities to create awareness of issues like water conservation and to encourage more sustainable behaviors that are good for us and our planet.
The amount of water wasted from U.S. homes exceeds more than one trillion gallons per year. That’s equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.
Apparently, my children got the memo because they are vigilant about reminding us to conserve water in our home. Even the much anticipated activity of running through the sprinkler during the summer is executed with great care to make sure the garden gets a drink at the same time.
Like us, wetlands play an important role in water conservation. Many people don’t realize that wetlands have an important job to do and they do it, quietly, every day on our behalf. They are nature’s filtration system – absorbing pollution and contaminants as rainwater filters through the eco-system on its way to the groundwater where it can be accessed for human use. Without them, valuable water resources would wash away and cause flooding.
For people living in the Los Angeles area, restoring wetlands has particular significance since wetlands help recharge depleted groundwater, which lessens the need to import water to the area.
Our personal health and the health of our planet are inextricably linked. And it’s never been more important for us to care for the planet that cares for us. Most people know Neutrogena for its wonderful products and behind those products are thousands of employees putting their hearts into serving the people who use them, the communities in which we live and work and the natural resources we are privileged to use.
On October 2nd, those values were alive at the Ballona wetland where a group of employees came together with a common desire to share a little bit of themselves for the greater good. And as is usually the case with giving back, the volunteers got a lot back in return as well – a day outside away from email, some heart pumping exercise, good laughs with good friends, and a renewed sense of camaraderie.
Looking out across the wetland, I had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last time I’d be seeing a couple hundred white shirts dotted across the landscape.
Paulette Frank currently serves in the role of Vice President, Sustainability for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies. In her role, she provides thought leadership and strategic direction to advance the organization’s sustainability mission. She also represents the company in external forums and in education and awareness building efforts, providing a voice for the company’s values and commitment to help create a healthy future for people, our communities, and the planet. Paulette has been working in the fields of environmental stewardship, employee health & safety and sustainability for over 22 years. In 1997, she joined the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies where she has served in a number of roles within Environment, Health & Safety, Sustainability and Operations across the enterprise.
Paulette earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Duke University and her Master of Environmental Studies degree from Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She serves as an advisory council member for the Center for Business and Environment at Yale. She is on the Board of Directors for Net Impact and a member of the Leadership Council for the Corporate Eco-Forum.
She resides in the quiet countryside of Tewksbury, NJ with her husband, Scott, and her two young sons, Zach & Luke, who inspire her passion for asking why and challenging the status quo.