5 Ways Johnson & Johnson Is Working to Improve the Well-Being of the World by 2025
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Improving the health of people around the world requires a mix of heart, science and ingenuity—something Johnson & Johnson, the largest, most broadly based healthcare company in the world, has known since its founding in 1886. Since 2010, the company has used that custom blend of values to set its Health for Humanity Goals every five years.
From global access to medications and environmental stewardship to healthy employees, Johnson & Johnson's newly released 2020 Health for Humanity Report details, among other sustainability disclosures, the progress the company has made over the last five years toward meeting the 17 goals it pledged to achieve by 2020, as well as toward its United Nations (UN) 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Commitment.
And that progress has been impressive: The company achieved or exceeded 16 of its 17 Health for Humanity goals and exceeded four out of the five targets it had set against its UN SDGs Commitment.
Now the company is looking to build on that progress. With its just-announced Health for Humanity 2025 Goals, which support 11 of the 17 UN SDGs, Johnson & Johnson is taking on two critical health challenges currently confronting people around the world: pandemics and epidemics and health equity.
But that’s not all: Johnson & Johnson is equally committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, protecting the health of the planet and working with its partners to help control or eliminate infectious diseases.
“We are proud to share the progress we made in 2020 and provide further detail around our Health for Humanity 2025 Goals,” says, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “Johnson & Johnson has a long-standing commitment to transparency and accountability which we have applied to our corporate citizenship and sustainability ambitions by setting goals and sharing our progress. As the world’s largest healthcare company, we have a unique opportunity to change the trajectory of health for humanity and our 2025 Goals serve to deliver long-term value creation for all of our stakeholders.”
Read on to hear from leaders across Johnson & Johnson about five key objectives outlined in the 2020 Report that the company is working to achieve by 2025.
GOAL: Be prepared to respond quickly to a pandemic through the development of preventive viral vaccines
Pandemics are not new for Johnson & Johnson—the company's been fighting global outbreaks for more than a century.
In 1918, for instance, Johnson & Johnson played a key role in helping prevent the spread of the Spanish Flu by introducing the epidemic mask, made from sterile gauze. And more recently, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson developed a vaccine to help prevent Ebola.
With the threat of epidemics remaining high, the company is harnessing the lessons learned, capabilities built and partnerships developed through its work on Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to prepare for future pandemics.
Specifically: By 2025, the company is looking to improve its ability to respond to a health security threat within 12 to 18 months. That involves developing key partnerships with others in the global innovation community and strengthening existing ones—all in the name of developing next-generation solutions to prevent and fight pandemics.
“As our interconnected world continues to evolve, our collective ability to respond effectively to emerging infectious diseases will be key to saving lives, minimizing social disruption and maintaining economic stability in the face of pandemics,” says
GOAL: Develop new treatments to address global health priorities
Until COVID-19 hit, tuberculosis (TB) claimed more lives each year than any other infectious disease, despite being both preventable and treatable. The problem is, it’s difficult to diagnose, and many of the current crop of medicines have a low cure rate and can lead to debilitating side effects.
For nearly 20 years, Johnson & Johnson has been working to change this situation, both in its laboratories and in the countries hardest hit by TB and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)—a strain that does not respond to the two most commonly used TB medications currently available. The company currently offers its MDR-TB treatment at a not-for-profit price in more than 130 countries and is also supporting efforts to reach the 4 million people with undiagnosed TB and MDR-TB to connect them with the care they need.
But there’s more work to be done. So Johnson & Johnson is looking to develop at least one new TB drug and/or regimen that will shorten, as well as simplify, TB treatment by 2030.
"At Johnson & Johnson, we are determined to transform the landscape of TB through our 10-Year Initiative, a commitment launched in 2018 to bring together collaborators from across sectors and the globe to uncover novel ways to treat, prevent and deliver care for TB," says
GOAL: Strengthen health systems around the world
Nurses and midwives make up nearly half of the entire global health workforce—and yet their ranks fall far short of what’s needed to meet the growing need for their services in communities around the world. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there will be a deficit of 18 million frontline health workers by 2030, 10 million of them nurses and midwives.
As part of its mission to strengthen health systems around the world, Johnson & Johnson is committed to helping fill that gap. Together, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation are investing $250 million over 10 years toward inspiring, recruiting, training, retaining and mobilizing frontline health workers, guided by Johnson & Johnson's Center for Health Worker Innovation. So far, those efforts have included working with numerous partners—including UNICEF, the WHO and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—to provide personal protective equipment and much-needed mental health support to healthcare workers and help build better-connected health systems by making mobile technology more accessible, among many other initiatives.
“COVID-19 has highlighted how critically important community-based primary health systems are in achieving global health priorities such as health for all,” says
GOAL: Support a healthy planet through ambitious climate action
Human health and environmental health are inextricably intertwined. That’s a truism Johnson & Johnson has always understood. In fact, the company's history of setting public environmental goals goes back to the early 1990s.
Increasingly, environmental factors like climate change are negatively impacting human health. A report published in 2020 in The Lancet showed that the changing climate has already produced considerable shifts in the underlying social and environmental determinants of health at a global level.
Johnson & Johnson has pledged to source 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030 while also working with its suppliers to reduce upstream value chain emissions.
“Through our climate goals, we are doing our part to reduce carbon emissions at the rate and scale needed to avoid the most negative impacts on human and planetary health," says, Chief Sustainability Officer, Johnson & Johnson. "Our longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability is rooted in our company values and in the understanding that healthy people need a healthy planet. Simply put, at Johnson & Johnson, we care for the planet like our collective health depends on it—because it does.”
GOAL: Further advance diversity, equity and inclusion across Johnson & Johnson and its suppliers
For more than 130 years, the values of diversity, equity and inclusion have been part of the cultural fabric at Johnson & Johnson and are woven into how it does business every day.
Eight of the company’s 14 original employees were women; today, 45% of management positions at Johnson & Johnson in the U.S. are held by women, compared to 26% of management and senior-level positions at S&P 500 companies overall.
Now, the company is furthering its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through three Health for Humanity 2025 Goals focused on growing diverse teams by pledging to achieve 50% of women in management positions globally and 35% ethnic diversity in management positions in the U.S. as well as 50% growth of its Black and African American employees in management positions in the U.S.
“We believe that one of the most effective ways of understanding and meeting the needs and desires of our diverse patients, consumers and customers is to have a workforce of top talent that reflects the diversity of the world around us,” says eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes, six times more likely to be innovative and agile and twice as likely to meet or exceed financial goals., Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Johnson & Johnson, echoing the results of a study showing that diverse and inclusive companies are
“By making diversity, equity and inclusion how we work every day," she adds, "we advance our culture of inclusion, fuel our creativity, innovation and growth and create a healthier and more equitable world for the millions of people whose lives we impact every day.”