Delivering Sustainable Products and Solutions
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t Johnson & Johnson, we create and manufacture products that more than 1.2 billion people around the world rely on everyday—everything from life changing medicines and medical devices to adhesive bandages and baby lotion. We are committed to delivering the highest quality products for patients, doctors and consumers, while continually improving our environmental footprint.
Our approach includes integrating sustainable design solutions into our product innovation processes, taking into account the environmental impacts throughout a product’s lifecycle—from design and formulation, through raw material sourcing and manufacturing, to packaging and delivery, and product use and end-of-life.
Each of our business segments—Consumer Health, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals—is taking action and driving improvements. Whether it’s making our packaging easier for consumers to recycle or reuse, piloting and scaling recycling and reuse programs to help minimize waste in hospitals, or integrating principles of green chemistry and engineering into our product development process for pharmaceuticals, we are committed to developing more sustainable products and solutions to support a healthier planet.
Consumers expect today’s brands and companies to demonstrate support for the health of people and the planet. At Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, we don’t prescribe to the idea that you can either be sustainable or profitable. We know that we have a responsibility to be both.
Empowering Consumers Through Our Healthy Lives Mission
We know that consumers are increasingly seeking personal care products that are good for them and their loved ones, AND also good for their community and the planet. Through our Healthy Lives Mission, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health will invest $800 million through 2030 to improve the health of people and the planet.
As part of the initiative, our Consumer Health brands will be increasingly transparent, beginning with the ingredients they choose, so consumers have the product information they need to make the most informed choices. Brands will use 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packaging and certified/post-consumer recycled paper and pulp-based packaging by 2025. Additionally, Aveeno®, Johnson's®, Listerine®, Neutrogena® and OGX® are striving to use 100% recycled plastic in their bottles by 2030.
We are already making progress to meet these commitments. For example, Johnson’s® Baby is removing pumps from lotions and washes in sizes under 500mL in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and replacing them with a flip-top cap. This means 30 million fewer pumps going to landfills each year.
Finding Innovative Ways to Reduce Medical Waste
We are committed to working with our partners on innovative solutions that improve the environmental footprint of the products we bring to the market, including the waste profile of products at end of life. For example, we know that about 30% of a hospital’s waste comes from their operating rooms, providing an important opportunity to advance more recycling and closed loop processes.
In Germany we are working with a leading hospital chain on a recycling pilot to help reduce the amount of waste that is coming out of operating rooms. Surgical teams at four Asklepios Hospitals are collecting two kinds of single-use instruments, which are disinfected after use and sent to a facility to be sterilized, dismantled and then recycled. In one hospital alone, the program is projected to save around 2,500 kg of CO2 annually, and we are exploring ways to scale to more facilities soon.
Improving the Footprint of Our Pharmaceuticals
Our pharmaceutical company, Janssen, continues to integrate principles of green chemistry and engineering into the development of our medicines. For example, our R&D team recently collaborated with a supplier to create a more efficient chemistry process to develop an ingredient in a treatment for major depressive disorder, which reduced raw materials consumption by close to half.
Our Janssen R&D team also recently worked with suppliers to adopt green chemistry and engineering principles in the production of a prescription medicine that is used with other medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. By adopting a novel continuous catalytic process to create a component in the final product, our suppliers were able to improve both the raw material and hazardous waste profiles, ultimately improving overall environmental footprint of the product.
Planning Ahead for Product End-of-Life
We recognize that the products we create to help patients, doctors and consumers may continue to have environmental impacts after use - whether the product is washed off, metabolized and excreted, or used and discarded. We have a diverse portfolio of products and services that have unique environmental profiles. Therefore, we assess the end-of-life impacts of our products and develop category-specific action plans to improve performance over time.
One way we assess potential end-of-life impacts is our Global Aquatic Ingredient Assessment (GAIA) tool, an internally developed, U.S.-patented and peer reviewed tool used by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health to ensure that our formulation choices have minimal impacts on water and aquatic ecosystems after use. The GAIA tool analyzes the impact an ingredient might have on the aquatic environment, which allows formulators to be mindful of the environment.
You can read more about our strategic approach to controlling and reducing the impact of our Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment in our policy.
Caring for Our Patients and the Planet
Through a partnership with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) Sustainable Development Unit and the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition, we helped to create world-first guidance on how to measure the carbon footprint of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and then shared the data and methodology for others to use.
Most often the environmental footprint associated with medical care comes from the full patient experience—from consultations with doctors, to time in the operating room, to post-operative recovery. This entire journey is called the patient care pathway, and we realized that if we could better understand it, we would be better equipped to help reduce the carbon footprint associated with our value chain. With The Sustainable Healthcare Coalition, we produced a case study to show that focusing on the entire care pathway can greatly reduce both the environmental impact and the cost of a patient’s care, while improving a patient’s overall experience.
Our Partnerships and Commitments for Sustainable Products and Solutions
Johnson & Johnson is a founding member of the following organizations:
- Sustainable Healthcare Coalition, a healthcare sector led group that looks for opportunities to inspire sustainable practices in healthcare through the collaboration of its members.
- Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council, a consortium of peers across healthcare, medical device manufacturing and recycling and waste management working together to increase plastics recycling efforts in hosptials.
- The American Chemistry Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute’s Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCIPR), which is dedicated to catalyzing the integration of green chemistry and engineering in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Inclusive Waste Recycling Consortium (iWRC), an organization that helps carry out our vision of advancing inclusive and responsible recycling models in Brazil and other emerging economies.
- Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health is a founding member of the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund, an organization that supports efforts to build recycling infrastructure in North America and spur growth and technological innovation towards a more circular economy.
Additionally, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health is a supporter of the Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit organization that aims to transform recycling in states, cities and communities across the United States.
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health is a signatory of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy.