A robust governance structure for environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters is essential to underpin the long-term success of our Company and our ability to deliver value for our stakeholders. Our sustainability governance includes oversight by the Board of Directors, management accountability, policies and management systems, and published policies and positions on key ESG topics.
The Johnson & Johnson Enterprise Governance Council (EGC) is the primary governance body for ESG topics and implementation of the Company’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework. The EGC comprises senior leaders who represent our Pharmaceutical, MedTech and Consumer Health business segments and our global Enterprise functions.
In 2021, the EGC also oversaw and supported the Company’s work on advancing ESG governance through our ESG Strategy and Priority Topics Assessment (PTA) update. In addition, the EGC engaged regularly with teams across the Company on core ESG-driven initiatives such as Our Race to Health Equity and received briefings on our global public health, human rights and environmental strategies and responsible procurement practices. As sponsors of priority ESG topics, members of the Executive Committee contributed to all aspects of our ESG management approach throughout 2021, ranging from our ESG strategy to risk management and Health for Humanity 2025 Goals progress oversight. The Board of Directors and its Committees provided oversight at various points throughout the year.
Engaging With Our Stakeholders
As a global healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson interacts with numerous stakeholder groups at the global, national and local levels. Ongoing and proactive engagement with these groups makes our Company stronger and better informed by:
- helping us gain valuable insight into our stakeholders’ perspectives and the topics that matter to them;
- enabling us to develop products and services that are responsive to their needs; and
- allowing us to share information about our Company’s strategy, practices and performance.
The following are select examples of stakeholder engagements conducted in 2021:
Engaging with stakeholders on ESG: The PTA is an important mechanism to engage with key stakeholders and understand their views on ESG topics they believe are priorities for Johnson & Johnson. In 2021, we conducted a PTA update that engaged Johnson & Johnson leaders spanning multiple functions and geographies as well as external stakeholders, including NGOs NGOs Non-governmental organization , partners, suppliers and customers.
Members of both our management team and the Board of Directors met virtually with many shareholders around the world to discuss our Health for Humanity sustainability approach and our progress in key ESG measures.
We hosted our fourth annual ESG Investor Update webcast in June 2021, coinciding with the release of our annual Health for Humanity Report. The webinar provided stakeholders with the opportunity to engage and ask questions of our business leaders in investor relations; product quality; medical safety; legal; global public health; and environmental health, safety and sustainability.
Participating in strategic initiatives: To support dialogue and efforts related to the role of business in society, we continued to participate in important initiatives like the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with The Vatican, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose’s (CECP's) CEO Investor Forum and Business Roundtable (BRT). In 2021, Johnson & Johnson’s former Chairman and CEO and current Executive Chairman, Alex Gorsky, served as Chair of BRT's Corporate Governance Committee, while Wanda Hope, Johnson & Johnson’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, chaired BRT’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.
Engaging with policymakers: Johnson & Johnson engaged in a variety of forums in the U.S. and around the world to advance policy related to the efficient and equitable access to medicine. We continue to support the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in driving patient-centered innovation, affordability and access alongside advocating for policies that support biopharmaceutical research and development for patients.
In 2021, we sponsored the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s virtual Health Equity Summit focused on physical and mental health of the Black community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Leadership Conference plenary session on “Latinos and COVID-19: Beyond the Vaccine Phase.”
We also advocated for key pieces of legislation in Congress, including the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, and improving data collection processes and quality measures to better understand the causes of the maternal health crisis in the U.S. and to inform solutions to address it. Johnson & Johnson also joined more than 70 healthcare advocacy groups in advocating for the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which prioritizes the health and well-being of frontline health workers.
We also ensure that people’s health and well-being are made a core consideration in all relevant EU policy areas, with appropriate prioritization and funding for health. In 2021, we supported the proposal for a European Health Union, the approval of a historic EU budget for health, the creation of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (HERA), and the strengthening of key EU Health Agencies (EMA EMA European Medicines Agency and ECDC ECDC European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control ). As the founding knowledge partner and sponsor of All Policies for a Healthy Europe, we also partnered on the development of numerous publications and policy dialogues by the coalition across three thematic areas: the economy of well-being (covering the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery, health systems resilience, value-based healthcare, and the EU Beating Cancer policies), the digitalization of health (contributing our expertise to emerging Data Governance and AI AI Artificial intelligence policies), and environmental health (contributing our expertise to EU Green Deal policies).
Improving our ESG Policies and Positions: We continued to update and improve our disclosures on key ESG ESG Environmental, social and governance topics in 2021. In particular, we added a Position on COVID-19 and Intellectual Property Rights.
Engaging with industry on ESG: Throughout 2021, Johnson & Johnson engaged with the pharmaceutical industry to address the most salient ESG topics for disclosure and reporting purposes to ensure the expertise of industry is reflected in the qualitative and quantitative metrics most relevant to the sector. Efforts with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations are facilitated by the Biopharma Sustainability Roundtable, a network that helps biotech and pharmaceutical executives drive their sustainability agendas forward. Johnson & Johnson is also a member of the Biopharma Investor ESG Communications Initiative, which was set up to address the common interest of leading biopharmaceutical companies and investors in achieving more decision-useful communications about the sector’s most important ESG issues. In 2021, this Initiative published Integrating Sustainability and Long-Term Planning for the Biopharma Sector and participated in several investor engagements to ensure this sector's voice is reflected in company ESG disclosures. In particular, our former Chairman and CEO (and now Executive Chairman), Alex Gorsky, opened CECP’s first sector-specific CEO Investor Forum in June 2021 in which CEOs of pharmaceutical and biopharma companies outlined their long-term plans for value creation.
Expanding our ESG frameworks: In 2020, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) published a guidance note containing a set of indicators that companies may wish to consider when reporting on the effectiveness of their anti-corruption efforts to external stakeholders. The indicators cover: culture, risk management, third parties, compliance function and oversight. In the 2021 Health for Humanity Report, we have added a disclosure of our performance on anti-corruption efforts in line with NBIM guidance and indicators. This can be found in the ESG Disclosure Index.
Engaging stakeholders for this Report: Many internal stakeholders across Johnson & Johnson's global teams provided input for this Report. The CEO, the Disclosure Sub-Committee and the Disclosure Committee reviewed the Report outline and new metrics, and the Disclosure Committee reviewed the full Report. Our entire Executive Committee reviewed and approved the 2021 Health for Humanity Report, which includes our first year of externally assured progress against our Health for Humanity 2025 Goals, and which we consider key performance indicators of our ESG performance.