At Johnson & Johnson, we recognize the critical link between human health and environmental health. Everything we do affects the health of the planet. From the medicines and devices used, to the buildings in which treatment is conducted to the disposal of wastes generated by healthcare institutions—the impacts are expansive. We must develop more sustainable healthcare products and services, and evaluate the way resources are used in the delivery of health care to prepare for more people on the planet one day needing access to health care.
One way we do this is by publishing regular research that helps us gain insight into the state of sustainability in the health care industry. We’re also dedicated to helping health care organizations make the case to internal stakeholders about investing in sustainability. Some examples of our recent initiatives include:
Johnson & Johnson, in partnership with several other companies, is working with the Coalition for Sustainable Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (CSPM) to address the way we deliver care, to redesign services and to promote prevention. In 2015, CSPM, a partnership with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, released the Sustainable Care Pathways Guidance, a guidance document to enable more consistent quantification of the sustainability performance of care pathways globally, both those that already exist and new and emerging pathways, with the intent of providing support to decision makers in their choices related to improving the performance of models of care. Currently, the guidance is limited to appraising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use and waste generation, but it will be expanded to additional environmental and social metrics over time. CSPM operates with the aim of facilitating transition to a more sustainable health system internationally, through the promotion of best practice and the development of sustainability tools and guidelines related to care pathways, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
In 2014, we partnered with Harris Poll to measure the importance of sustainability issues among global health care professionals. The study found that more than half (54 percent) of respondents report their hospitals currently incorporate sustainability into purchasing decisions, and 80 percent expect that to be the case within two years. The research also identified a strong belief among respondents that sustainability drives direct business and social benefits. About eight in ten respondents (78 percent) said sustainable products help protect hospital staff and seven in ten (69 percent) said they make good financial sense; more than half (60 percent) said ‘green initiatives’ are an important factor for patients when choosing a hospital and that they help improve health outcomes (55 percent).
In 2013, we partnered with Practice Greenhealth to conduct a survey of select U.S. and global hospital administrators attending the 2013 CleanMed Conference and Exposition. Of those surveyed, 87 percent said their hospitals incorporate sustainability into both the decision-making process and hospital operations, and 20 percent of respondents indicated their organization invested more than $1 million in sustainability initiatives in 2012, including the purchase of sustainable products. Read more about the survey results here.
In 2012, we commissioned a global research study demonstrating customer demand for more sustainable products, The Growing Importance of More Sustainable Products in the Global Health Care Industry. The study examines the importance of sustainable products in hospital procurement decisions and found hospitals are placing greater emphasis on “green” products used both in patient care and throughout facilities, such as cleaning products and office supplies.