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Why Becoming A Member of the BDR Matters

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From Ruben Taborda, Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, Medical Devices & Diagnostics group, Johnson & Johnson

I am often asked to explain what drives our commitment to supplier diversity. My answer is usually the same—enhancing our supplier network supports job creation in our communities and connects us to the patients and doctors we serve. This simple response explains why we are so determined to become leaders in this space. Although there is no true end goal (we can always get better at what we do), I believe our recent membership into the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) shows how far we have come.

For those unfamiliar, the BDR is a small group of corporations that have each achieved at least $1 billion in spending with diverse suppliers. Johnson & Johnson earned this membership credential at year’s end in 2010, with $1065 MM total spending with minority and women-owned businesses.

As of July 28, we became the first healthcare company to join this group, joining member companies such as AT&T, IBM and Dell Inc. Our journey began in 2007, when we initiated a multi-year strategy to reach the billion dollar target. Business leaders across the enterprise fully endorsed this objective and within three years time, diverse spending with women- and minority-owned businesses increased by 40 percent.

Although the BDR solely tracks spending with minority and women-owned businesses, Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies have spent over $3 billion with other small businesses; including veteran-owned businesses and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) owned businesses. Through trade shows and forums, Johnson & Johnson actively encourages large non-diverse companies to partner with diverse suppliers. Additionally, increasing supplier diversity is one of our Healthy Future 2015 goals, a five-year strategic roadmap to propel our corporate citizenship and sustainability commitments forward.  We will continue to partner with diverse suppliers with a new added focus on partners who embrace sustainability.  

This BDR achievement is only the beginning for us. We are ready and eager to pursue avenues where we can continue to fulfill Our Credo responsibility to the community. The fact remains that a diverse supplier base strengthens our ability to meet the changing needs of our patients and customers, as well as empower small businesses that are the driving force for jobs and growth in the U.S. economy. When the potential to do something this great is at stake, there is no reason to prolong action plans. I am confident that we--as the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies—will continue to strive towards supplier diversity leadership, every step of the way.

To learn more about our Supplier Diversity initiatives, visit at this link.

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