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How Johnson & Johnson is leading the way with sustainable innovation

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Johnson & Johnson has long been a champion of environmentally friendly business practices, incorporating them into Our Credo as far back as 1943.

And with our recently announced Citizenship & Sustainability 2020 Goals, we’re going further than ever before to integrate sustainability into our day-to-day work, while reducing our impact on the Earth.

So each year, we enjoy the opportunity to meet and learn from other leaders focused on environmental sustainability at CleanMed, the premier conference on the topic in the healthcare sector. Presented by the non-profits Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm, the conference is a great opportunity for a variety of different organizations to discuss innovative ways to implement sustainability solutions across the healthcare industry.

At this year’s conference, Johnson & Johnson received Practice Greenhealth’s Champion for Change award for the eighth consecutive year.

The award recognizes companies that have not only taken steps to improve their own organization’s environmental footprint, but that have also gone the extra mile to help their customers expand their sustainability practices. The judges took note of our work to reduce carbon emissions, source renewable energy and promote recyclability of packaging, among other accomplishments.

Spotlight on sustainable innovation

When it comes to our sustainability efforts, perhaps our most noteworthy program is a product-focused initiative called EARTHWARDS®.

Caring for the planet blog

Members of Johnson & Johnson’s Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability team accepting this year’s Practice Greenhealth’s Champion for Change award

Earthwards® challenges our product development teams to incorporate sustainable thinking across the entire product lifecycle, including design, manufacturing and product use. As they are developing products, our teams look at all aspects of sustainability, from the water and energy used to make the product to the environmental impact of its ingredients.

Eighty-seven products have met our Earthwards® criteria for sustainable innovation improvements, spanning numerous geographies and business areas.

One such product is the HARMONIC FOCUS®+ Shears with Adaptive Tissue Technology that helps improve the experience of surgeons in operating rooms. Compared to previous versions of this product, the Harmonic Focus®+ Shears reduces product material weight by 25% and packaging by 22%. It decreases the hazardous waste of hospitals by six pounds per 100 devices, while also reducing transportation costs and carbon dioxide emissions during manufacturing.

This is just one example of how we’re bringing about positive change in the sustainability space. And while we are pleased to win awards for our work, we are much more pleased with what these awards represent: our success in making a positive impact on the planet for years to come.

Al Iannuzzi is Senior Director of Worldwide Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability at Johnson & Johnson. He leads the company’s Global Product Stewardship program and developed the EARTHWARDS® product sustainability approach.

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