J&J says its approach to sustainability begins with the consumer

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainability program

Elizabeth Lascelle, senior director, Environmental, Health and Safety, Johnson & Johnson
Elizabeth Lascelle, senior director, Environmental, Health and Safety, Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson, the world’s leading baby and child personal care brand, says its approach to sustainability remains true to the company’s original business philosophy as well as the consumer.

“Our sustainability strategy is influenced and framed by Johnson & Johnson’s 70-year old Credo,”​ said Elizabeth Lascelle, senior director, Environmental, Health and Safety, Johnson & Johnson.

“The Credo declares our responsibilities to our stakeholders, in a deliberate order, beginning with those who use our products, to our employees next, then  to the communities where we live and work and finally, to our stockholders."

Clearly mapped out sustainability goals

The goals behind the sustainability program have been established through the company’s Healthy Future 2015, which sets out a series of objectives that lay out the approach to sustainability and the different ways it is setting about reducing its carbon footprint.

"Some examples are increasing our on-site renewable and clean-technology energy capacity to 50 megawatts, sourcing all of our palm oil derivative raw materials from certified sustainable sources and choosing strategic suppliers who share our commitment to sustainability by setting their own public sustainability goals,” said​ Lascelle.

Pledging to build its sustainability program around the consumer, the company says that this philosophy has been built around developing innovations in both product formulation and packaging that serve to make its end products greener.

Earthwards serves to identify sustainability improvements

“We have a process called Earthwards which helps our brand teams identify improvements across a product’s life cycle and generates consumer-facing sustainability claims,”​ said Lascelle.

 “We have a goal to have 60 products achieve the Earthwards designation by year-end 2015.  Another way we touch consumers is through increased transparency about our sustainability efforts.”

In an effort to highlight the benefits of these innovations, the company has established a website – www.safetyandcarecommitment.com​ – where consumers can verify the profile and safety processes behind the J&J products they buy.

Constantly raising the bar on sustainability, so where next?

The company is constantly raising the bar on its sustainability, so Cosmetics Design put the question to Lascelle if she believes the process is getting more difficult to achieve results. Her response was emphatic.

“Yes! We have been setting long-term goals for 20 years.  I think if the goals don’t scare you at the outset, you probably have not been ambitious enough.  We’re still only at year two of Healthy Future 2015 and organizationally, we’re still challenged by them.  It’s a disservice to present sustainability as easy.  It takes tremendous and sustained internal commitment to achieve ambitious targets.”

But looking ahead, the company is still looking to raise the bar as it looks ahead to the next decade, particularly in 2014, when it will begin looking at the stakeholder engagement process that precedes the creation of its 2020 goals.

“Regardless of where we head, we recognize that the engagement of all of our employees will be needed to drive transformational improvements,”​ said Lascelle.

“I also think more collaboration with partners outside Johnson & Johnson will accelerate the development of sustainability solutions.”

Elizabeth Lascelle will be giving a presentation about the business of sustainable cosmetics at the forthcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit​, to be held in New York, May 16 – 18.

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