J&J Targets Supplier Sustainability to Cut Healthcare GHGs

By Aaron McMillan & Sean Ashcroft
Johnson & Johnson is attempting to make healthcare more sustainable.
Johnson & Johnson takes collaborative approach to tackling the problem of carbon emissions in the global healthcare supply chain

Pharmaceutical multinational Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is expanding its Supplier Sustainability Programme as part of its commitment to tackling climate change. This will run alongside a raft of other J&J sustainability-related initiatives.

The organisation has taken sustained, long-term action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, encouraging suppliers to do the same. Since launching its Supplier Sustainability Program in 2005, 270 projects have saved GHG emissions of 320,000 metric tons per year.

The company is also aiming for 80% of its suppliers to work to science-based targets by 2028 and is striving for net-zero emissions across its value chain by 2045. 

In terms of its broader sustainability targets, J&J's ultimate goal is to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and to reduce emissions by 44% by 2030.

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J&J 'moving towards net zero'

On the energy front, J&J has built 50 on-site renewable energy systems in properties across 20 countries, and has executed 15 contracts for off-site renewable electricity procurement.

It has also finalised deals in the US, Canada and Brazil to source the equivalent of 100% renewable electricity for its operations in those countries. In Europe, the company is producing or procuring all of its energy from renewable sources.

Its work here include three deals for constructing two wind farms and a solar field in Spain, adding to existing on-site and off-site electricity projects.

Elsewhere, through its CO2 Capital Relief Program, J&J has allocated US$40m per year for energy efficiency programmes at its most energy-intensive manufacturing and R&D sites. Each project must both cut emissions and show a financial return of at least 15%.

J&J is also expanding its use of geothermal energy. At its Janssen campus in Beerse, Belgium, multiple wells – each 1.6 miles deep – use innovative geothermal energy to heat and cool buildings across the site.

At its Ethicon campus in Cincinnati, meanwhile, a closed-loop geothermal system provides heating and cooling for the 45-acre campus, substantially reducing emissions.

J&J supporting the value chain

J&J's has multiple iniatiatives to support supplier sustainability.

​​​​​​​In 2021, it joined with nine other leaders in the pharmaceutical industry to launch Energize, an initiative to decarbonise the global pharmaceutical supply chain. The program aims to educate key industry suppliers on renewable procurement opportunities and help them in their transition to renewable energy. The program reaches hundreds of suppliers.

Then in 2022 -- together with five ither pharmaceutical companies -- it launched Activate, to support active pharmaceutical ingredient suppliers in their decarbonisation efforts.

Its Health for Humanity 2025 Goals, meanwhile, includes a commitment to achieving a $4.5bn global impact spend with small and diverse suppliers, as well as with social enterprises. This is a 20% increase on the 2020 figure.

Johnson & Johnson also supports the Paris Climate Agreement through platforms such as the ‘We Are Still In/America Is All In' campaign. It also signed an open letter to President Biden, calling for an ambitious US emissions reduction target.

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