2019 was a year of profound change and great contrasts around the globe.
We saw unprecedented innovation and encouraging progress toward meeting some of the world’s most urgent health challenges—all while grappling with increased pressures on our healthcare systems, and sociopolitical upheaval that added complexity to coordination of public health efforts. By the end of 2019, while we were seeing only the first glimpses of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it was already evident just how necessary it was to mobilize resources on a global scale when combating outbreaks of infectious disease.
At Johnson & Johnson, the best way forward in meeting our commitments to transparency and sustainability—last year, this year, and for many years to come—remains crystal clear. Simply put, we are constantly taking stock of what we are doing to help keep people healthy so that they can thrive in healthy communities on a healthy planet and prioritizing those actions that will have the greatest impact.
We know this mission will always be unfinished, and that we will occasionally fall short. But that only serves as motivation to move faster than we’ve ever moved before in making bigger strides toward some of our most ambitious goals. And as we’ve detailed in this Report, we have plenty of positive momentum worth recognizing.
Key achievements included: victories in our work toward a world without disease, such as major strides in preventing HIV and combating Ebola and TB; acceleration of patient-centric innovation, like new 3D-printed implants designed to regenerate, rather than replace, diseased joints; and robust ongoing work to improve our communities, strengthen the frontline health workforce and safeguard the planet, including accelerating the reduction of our carbon footprint with four new contracts for renewably sourced electricity in Belgium, Ireland, Mexico and the Netherlands.
Importantly, we were able to do all of the above (and more) thanks to a culture of accountability, transparency and ethical behavior that, to me, make up the very definition of a healthy company.
As you’ll see, this year’s Report highlights areas where we’ve already achieved our Health for Humanity 2020 Goals and our UN Sustainable Development Goals commitments, as well as areas where we’re redoubling our efforts. The most essential feature of public reports like this must always be to critically assess how we’re doing—not just spotlight our greatest successes.
If 2019 taught me anything, it’s that turbulent times require us to not just reaffirm but deepen our pledge to account for how we meet the long-term needs of patients, consumers, mothers and fathers, our communities, and our planet—a sentiment shared by more and more CEOs. Initiatives like last year’s update of the Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, which we were honored to help steer, affirmed unequivocally that there is a fundamental connection between serving all stakeholders and generating sustainable, long-term value.
The demands for global healthcare and responsible corporate citizenship will only continue to increase, and meeting them will require us to not only operate with speed and agility, but with focus and determination. The start of this new year has already seen us launching a huge, multi-pronged and collaborative response to combat COVID-19, the details of which can be found at: www.jnj.com/coronavirus.
I have many reasons to be optimistic that we can and will succeed in meeting our most critical commitments—more than 137,000 of them, in fact. That’s the number of talented Johnson & Johnson employees around the world whose passion and dedication serve as the ultimate engine for change. I’m immensely proud to be sharing this journey with them, and confident that all of us will do whatever it takes to deliver on our Company’s promises to our patients and consumers, our communities, and our world.
Chairman, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer