We recognize that the products we create to help patients, doctors and consumers can continue to have environmental impacts after use. Whether the product is washed off, metabolized and excreted, or used and discarded, these actions can have environmental impacts. We have a diverse portfolio of products and services that have unique impacts at end of life. Therefore, we assess the end of life impacts of our products and develop category-specific action plans to improve performance over time.
Pharmaceutical residues in the environment are found in water bodies and some soils and sediments, primarily as the result of excretion of medicines by humans and livestock. Some pharmaceuticals survive conventional industrial and municipal wastewater treatment processes; because of this, regulations to limit levels of pharmaceuticals in water are being considered in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world.
As a science-based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson is committed to advancing society’s understanding of how pharmaceuticals and personal care products impact the environment so that we can protect environmental and human health. To guide our efforts in this area, we are implementing strategies that are based upon the following strategic pillars: understanding our impacts; controlling our impacts; engaging and partnering with others; advocating for sound, science-based policy; and sharing best practices and our knowledge on these issues. To learn more, see our Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment statement.
In our consumer business, many of our products are washed off the body into the local environment and water supply, so we need to understand how our formulations interact with these environments.
To do so, we use our patented Global Aquatic Ingredient Assessment™ protocol to measure the potential environmental impact of ingredients in new formulations against three criteria:
The tool was developed collaboratively with outside experts and has been reviewed with a wide range of stakeholders. It helps us make better choices when we review or create new products.