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Advancing Environmental Health Equity

As the world’s largest healthcare company, we have a unique opportunity to look beyond our own operations and support people around the world who are experiencing the impacts of climate change on their physical and mental health.

ccording to the World Health Organization, “climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity” and “climate-sensitive health risks are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.” We are working with like-minded partners to advance solutions for climate change and health equity.

What We Are Doing

Empowering Healthcare Workers to Lead the Way
Empowering Healthcare Workers to Lead the Way
Together with the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health and the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing the interests of African American physicians and their patients, we are proud to support the Climate and Healthy Equity Fellowship. This first of its kind program empowers physicians of color to become leaders in climate and health equity education, advocacy and policy solutions. The Fellows are breaking new ground on the role of medical professionals in caring for patients and for our planet. Learn more about the 2021 & 2022 Fellows.
Strenghtening the Resilience of Healthcare Clinics
Strenghtening the Resilience of Healthcare Clinics
We are partnering with Americares and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment to bolster climate resilience at clinics that serve people with limited access to care in communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Together, we will implement and evaluate interventions that improve operational resilience in clinics, as well as health resilience among the people they serve so that when climate impacts occur they will be able to maintain access to quality healthcare. Through this work we will support up to 150 clinics across the U.S. by 2025.

This is aligned with Johnson & Johnson’s Our Race to Health Equity, an enterprise-wide initiative launched in 2020 to help eradicate racial and social injustice as a public health threat by eliminating health inequities for people of color

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Nature and Mental Health

Research shows that both direct and indirect impacts of climate change are affecting mental health. At the same time, exposures to nature and a healthy environment can reduce stress and improve feelings of well-being. We are investing in programs and working with partners to examine the impacts of environmental factors on mental well-being as well as the healing and health potential of spending time in nature.

  • We are supporting a project with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health to develop globally-relevant metrics that can be used to measure the impacts of climate change on mental health. This is an expansion of our existing relationship with Harvard, including its involvement in mental health projects like Johnson & Johnson’s Science for Minds Initiative.
  • With The Gund Institute for Environment we are supporting a postdoctoral fellow to study the relationships between nature and mental health, including the effectiveness of nature exposure therapy in young adults. The Gund Institute is a center for interdisciplinary research focused on understanding the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems.
  • We commissioned a white paper, co-written by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), studying the correlation between the environment and mental health in Europe and how careful policy coordination between government functions can simultaneously advance environmental quality, urban vitality, and better mental health.
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Forests and Human Health

The world's forests offer many critical ecosystem services - they provide us with oxygen, food and medicine. They also sustain ecosystem services such as water purification, and mitigation of natural hazards like droughts, floods and landslides. But according to researchers, deforestation is exacerbating both climate change and the emergence of new infectious diseases. We are working with and supporting partners on efforts to better understand the connections between changes in land use and human health outcomes. This has included numerous forest conservation and research projects led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). With Johnson & Johnson’s support, in 2022 WWF released The Vitality of Forests, a report synthesizing a mounting body of evidence that documents how human health depends on forests.

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