Our Priority Topics Assessment effort has matured over time, from one prepared mainly to inform the preparation of our Citizenship & Sustainability report in 2008, to a single, enterprise-wide, universal taxonomy and prioritization of topics in 2016 customized for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and reflecting stakeholder input, emerging topics, and Johnson & Johnson’s unique business interests. We took the following steps to implement our 2016 Priority Topics Assessment:
An external partner was engaged to assist the newly formed Enterprise Governance Council in identifying key environment, social and governance (ESG) issues and the stakeholders that care about them. The topic identification took into account external standards, stakeholder input received through a wide variety of engagements (see Stakeholder Engagement section of this report), web research, expert interviews, review of key rating frameworks and ESG indices, past “materiality” assessments, internal expertise, business risk, and other inputs. Input into the topic list was also sought from a wide cross-section of senior Johnson & Johnson leaders, to ensure it reflected the depth and breadth of our operations and the key associated ESG issues.
The output from this effort was used to inform the Priority Topics Assessment, and serves as a single, enterprise-wide view of risks and opportunities in ESG, reflecting actual and potential economic, environmental, and social impacts (both positive and negative). A total of 26 issues were identified.
Each topic was evaluated for boundaries (where its impact occurred). Impacts were determined both inside and outside the organization, and by business unit, region and stakeholder group.
Ranking of Topics
Twelve key stakeholder groups were identified through an examination of Johnson & Johnson’s value chain (see Priority Topics & Value Chain). These groups included advocacy groups/trade associations, consumers, customers, employees, government/policymakers, health care providers, investors/socially responsible investors, local communities, NGOs, quasi-governmental agencies/academic institutions, and suppliers. Contact information for individuals representing each stakeholder group were collected reflecting all regions and three business segments.
Over 1,500 stakeholders were invited to respond to a survey, asking them to rank the priority topics by importance to them, and by their potential for social, environmental and economic impact. Approximately 25 percent of stakeholders responded; the results of this assessment have been used to rank our priority topics.
The results of the Priority Topics Assessment informs our reporting, our priority topic management, reputation insights, and analytics and communication activities.