In 1947, decades before the concept of sustainability became popular, then Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO General Robert Wood Johnson wrote in his book, Or Forfeit Freedom: “We must use our resources wisely, avoiding waste of both raw materials and scrap, while we seek substitutes for things already in short supply.” Today, Johnson & Johnson remains just as dedicated to caring for the health of the planet through its commitments to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and its own Health for Humanity 2020 Goals, which include reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
And this week, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.—the company behind such iconic brands as Johnson’s®, Neutrogena® and Listerine®—is taking on even greater environmental responsibility by signing on as a charter member of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme and more than 240 industry-leading companies, governments and NGOs, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. is striving to tackle one of the most urgent environmental issues of our time: plastic waste.
More than 40 years after the launch of the first universal recycling symbol, only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling. And the estimated 19 billion pounds of plastic that ends up in the world’s oceans every year is expected to double by 2025. With the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. is pledging to use more recycled materials in packaging; reduce reliance on the single-use model; and ensure that 100% of plastic packaging be reusable, recyclable or compostable through a combination of design, partnerships and investments by 2025.
This new commitment is the latest in a legacy of company efforts to reduce its footprint through initiatives like the Earthwards® approach to sustainable product innovation, inclusion of How2Recycle® labels on packaging and the Care To Recycle® program, which helps address low recycling rates for personal care products. “With this landmark pledge, we are embracing the issue of packaging reform as both a challenge to do better and an opportunity to do good,” says, Chief Marketing Officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. “And the potential for impact is huge—Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. touches millions of lives every day, through dozens of brands sold in over 140 countries around the world.”