Sustainability is increasingly driving global hospital purchasing decisions, but a perceived lack of available products with sustainable features remains a barrier to those decisions. According to a 2014 global Harris Poll survey of health care professionals, more than half (54 percent) say their hospitals currently incorporate sustainability into purchasing decisions, and 80 percent expect that to be the case by 2016. In the same study, commissioned by Johnson & Johnson, 67 percent of respondents cited a lack of available products with sustainable features as one of the greatest perceived barriers to those purchasing decisions.
Consumers are echoing this demand, with 93 percent of respondents to a 2013 global CSR study saying they would like to see more products, services, or retailers support worthy social and environmental issues. Another 91 percent would switch brands to a product that addressed these issues.
At Johnson & Johnson, innovation is everyone’s responsibility. It is derived from the insight and spirit of our employees, and it is fueled by our ability to anticipate and understand our patients’ and customers’ needs. One quarter of our global revenue comes from products introduced within the past five years, which means it is also a core component to our business success.
In 2010, we realized it was a business imperative to respond to the growing demand for better, more sustainable products and set a Healthy Future 2015 goal to make significant sustainability improvements to 60 of our products. Understanding that innovation would be required to achieve measurable improvements, we created the Earthwards® approach and challenged ourselves to design sustainable solutions across product lifecycles – from formulation and manufacturing, to product use and end-of-life.
We are proud to announce that we have met our goal a year ahead of schedule and that 73 products have earned Earthwards® recognition, an honor that celebrates our most innovative products. These products represent 59 improvements in material selection, 55 in packaging materials, and 39 in energy usage, and more than $8 billion in revenue generation for our company.
While we reached our goal ahead of schedule, we must continue to innovate to meet our customers’ evolving needs. We expect to implement additional product improvements based on the results of our recent Earthwards® Innovation Design Competition. The competition, which asked all employees to brainstorm ways to reduce the environmental impacts of our products, generated more than 200 ideas and identified more than 500 areas for potential sustainability improvements.
Achieving our Healthy Future 2015 Earthwards® recognition goal is one step in a much larger innovation journey for our company. Johnson & Johnson is currently working to determine our next sustainability improvement goals, and we look forward to sharing those with you soon.