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EARTHWARDS (TM): Moving toward a Healthy Future - Continuous Greener Improvements on Our Products

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From Ann Lee-Jeffs, Manager, Worldwide Environmental Health & Safety Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson

As a product steward at Johnson & Johnson, I’m constantly thinking about the environmental impact of products whether I’m shopping at the mall or picking up groceries at the supermarket. It’s more than just my job – it’s become a part of my life.

At Johnson & Johnson, we recognize the importance of caring for the environment as do our consumers. Given this, in 2009, Johnson & Johnson introduced EARTHWARDS™, a process that helps the product teams at our operating companies assess the environmental and social impacts across a product’s full life cycle and the work to reduce those impacts. The process also celebrates greener product successes, and enables brand teams to evaluate potential environmental claims with a clear set of information.

To be considered for EARTHWARDS™ designation, a product must achieve a greater than 10 percent improvement in at least three of the seven areas below:

  • Materials used
  • Packaging reduction
  • Energy reduction
  • Waste reduction
  • Water reduction
  • Positive social impact or benefit
  • Product innovation

To evaluate each of these areas, a proprietary scorecard was developed in 2009, in partnership with a leading sustainability and product stewardship consulting firm using information from stakeholder interviews and best practices from other leading companies. To ensure continuous improvement, the effectiveness of the process was reviewed again in 2010 by a group of product sustainability experts from government, academia, business, and an environmental NGO. The feedback we received was incorporated into the process we use today, and our aim is to continuously improve the process to support our aspiration towards a healthy future. Once a product has earned the distinction as an EARTHWARDS™ product, it must undergo an annual review in order to retain the designation.

One product that has achieved the EARTHWARDSTM designation is the NEUTROGENA® Naturals line of skincare products. The line uses 86 to 100 percent naturally derived ingredients. As we know, nutrients are crucial to keeping our bodies healthy, but they also help enhance the health of our skin. The nutrients used in the NEUTROGENA® Naturals line include: vitamins and minerals, essential omega fatty acids, flavanoids and polyphenols, sugars and amino acids and peptides. Derived from plants such as Willowbark and Peruvian Tara seeds, these nutrients help deliver vital moisture, keep cells functioning optimally and replenish skin, among other benefits.

This is just one example of a product that has gone through the EARTHWARDSTM process and evolved. We’ve set a Healthy Future 2015 goal to add 60 products into our portfolio of those which have achieved Earthwards designation by the end of 2015; currently, we are well positioned to meet, and likely exceed this goal.As someone who wants to see the world a healthier place, I look forward to continuing to help the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies find new ways to reduce our environmental and societal impacts.

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