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Onward and upward: Procurement’s training program prepares suppliers to advance Johnson & Johnson’s sustainability priorities

As part of our ongoing commitment to fostering healthy, innovative and transparent supplier relationships, the Onward Sustainability Program empowers our partners to hone their sustainability performance and ensure accordance with our joint goals, policies and obligations.

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Johnson & Johnson is preparing suppliers to help advance its sustainability priorities through a new upskilling and capability-building program called Onward.

Part of the Supplier Sustainability Program, Onward is as a cohesive curriculum of webinars led by Johnson & Johnson subject matter experts (SMEs). The one-hour sessions cover business-relevant sustainability topics—from human rights and diversity, equity and inclusion, to climate emissions and employee health and safety.

SMEs share an overview of Johnson & Johnson’s strategies, successes and learnings combined with external insights and industry best practices. Suppliers can ask questions and offer feedback during and after the collaborative sessions.

“For us, sustainability spans a wide range of opportunities: economic, social and environmental,” said Len DeCandia, Chief Procurement Officer. “Our Onward program ensures that we are working in partnership with our global supplier community, which is also committed to the long-lasting, positive impact that all of our stakeholders deserve. Through sharing and collaboration with them, we are able to accomplish so much for our collective future.”

Scaling Up Collaboration

The program’s name reflects an aspiration to propel Johnson & Johnson’s environmental, social and governance efforts forward in collaboration with its valued supplier base. Onward also provides participating companies with knowledge, tools and resources to build their own sustainability capabilities—and cascade learnings inside and outside their organizations.

Looking Onward to What’s Next in Sustainability

Onward’s inaugural season, which ran from September through December 2021, reached more than 1,000 attendees from 45 countries, with the first five sessions focusing on the fundamentals of sustainability. The 2022 lineup digs a bit deeper with presentations on “How to Track Utilities and Energy Use,” “The Importance of Human Rights” and more.

Johnson & Johnson’s global network of more than 45,000 suppliers is diverse in location, size and industry, spanning dozens of categories of materials and services, and many are hungry for guidance on how to move from sustainability ideation to action.

Johnson & Johnson hopes the program will empower its supplier community to help others follow similar best practices.

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