From Patrick McCrummen, Senior Director, Corporate Citizenship, Johnson & Johnson
There was an interesting piece last month by Carl Cannon of RealClearPolitics on the evolution of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In the article, Cannon highlights the different views on corporate social responsibility that have developed over the years, including Milton Friedman’s well known rebuttal to the idea of CSR 40 years ago in which he said, “Only people can have responsibilities. Businesses as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities, even in this vague sense.” At the conclusion of the piece, Cannon posits, “Friedman may have had it backwards. Yes, individuals and not businesses – have responsibilities. But businesses are run by people.”
Many who know the familiar red script of our logo also know that we have incorporated CSR into our business strategy for decades. In 1943, our then Chairman Robert Wood Johnson established Our Credo, a set of guiding principles and business values for Johnson & Johnson, which sets forth our responsibilities to the stakeholders we serve -- our customers, employees, communities and shareholders.
Even back then, before CSR or sustainability were mainstream ideas, the Credo addressed our responsibility to communities to “be good citizens –support good works and charities and bear our fair share of taxes. We must encourage civic improvements and better health and education. We must maintain in good order the property we are privileged to use, protecting the environment and natural resources.”
As part of this commitment, we have been setting environmental goals since 1987, aimed at reducing emissions and lessening our impact on the environment. Transitioning from our just completed Healthy Planet 2010 Goals, today we announced the launch of Healthy Future 2015, a new set of broader and bolder goals addressing environmental stewardship, but also the impacts we can make on improving people’s health and wellness, increasing corporate transparency and encouraging collaborative partnerships.
Our Healthy Future 2015 Goals are made up of seven strategic priorities, with 15 goals and targets to help us measure our progress. The seven strategic priorities of Healthy Future 2015 are:
- Advancing community wellness by launching health initiatives to help people gain access to timely, easy-to-understand, health-related information;
- Enhancing outcome measurement in philanthropy by working with philanthropic partners to measure health outcomes and raise the standard of health outcome measurement;
- Fostering the most engaged, health-conscious and safe employees in the world by improving upon the company’s global culture of health and safety and making Johnson & Johnson a place where its employees are proud and inspired to work;
- Building on the company’s legacy in safeguarding the planet by reducing the environmental impacts of the operations of Johnson & Johnson and increasing the sustainable design of the company’s products;
- Partnering with suppliers who embrace sustainability by joining with suppliers who demonstrate a similar commitment to that of Johnson and Johnson;
- Advancing global health through research and development for neglected diseases and affordable access to the company’s medicines by working to identify new ways to address these issues, and by partnering with like-minded organizations to help expand the impact of Johnson & Johnson; and
- Committing to enhanced transparency and accessing the power of external collaboration by providing transparency about the company’s business practices and products, and collaborating with partners.
I look forward to seeing where the next five years take us as we continue to look for innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact and strengthen our corporate citizenship. Visit our Responsibility website to follow along as we work toward achieving our Healthy Future 2015 Goals.