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Product Sustainability

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We are committed to developing more sustainable products that contribute to a healthier planet. Our approach is based on science and a lifecycle accountability for product impacts, from discovery and design, raw material sourcing and manufacturing to product use and end of life. See also our Position on Sustainable Products and Packaging.

Examples of products with sustainability improvements in 2020 include:

NEUTROGENA Skin Balancing Cleanser line: A new product range in the United States that includes a cleansing wipe made with plant-based, home compostable fibers and facial cleansers sold in bottles made of 30% post-consumer recycled material.

NTG_Skin_Balancing_01---wipes-and-cleansers.png
The full NEUTROGENA Skin Balancing Cleanser line.

VISTASEAL: VISTASEAL Fibrin Sealant for surgical use was relaunched with an innovative shipping method that enables the product to remain frozen during transport in a reusable container. Compared to the previous shipping method, the new packaging reduces GHG emissions by 75% and post-consumer waste by 95%.

Lifecycle Assessment with EARTHWARDS
Since 2009, EARTHWARDS has been our approach for guiding the development of more sustainable products. We use the EARTHWARDS approach to drive continuous sustainable improvement by ensuring that new products meet specific product stewardship requirements and helping product teams to understand the product category's lifecycle impact areas. In 2020, we continued to make further progress with EARTHWARDS recognitions:

6 new products
achieved EARTHWARDS recognition in 2020.





68 EARTHWARDS-recognized products*
resulted in annual impact reductions** as follows:

  • Material reduced: 19,255 MT
  • Water saved: 368,507 liters
  • Waste reduced: 125 MT
  • GHG emissions avoided: 38,906 MT CO2e

* Products recognized between 2009 – 2020; excludes products that are no longer EARTHWARDS-recognized due to discontinuations, divestitures or changes to the product.
** Savings are for products recognized through the end of 2020 and are estimated based on best available methodologies for each impact reduction area; select products are not included in savings estimation because of lack of detailed data.

Green Chemistry
Janssen continues to integrate principles of green chemistry and engineering to develop our medicines. For example, our R&D team collaborated with a supplier to create a more efficient chemistry process to develop an ingredient in a treatment for major depressive disorder, which reduced raw materials by close to half. In another example, our R&D team applied continuous forward processing principles to reduce the synthesis process for an ingredient in a cardiovascular treatment. The approach reduced the amount of energy and raw materials required, and reduced waste, while increasing the yield of ingredient produced.

Our Janssen R&D team also collaborated with suppliers to adopt green chemistry and engineering principles to make a prescription medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. By adopting a novel continuous catalytic process to create a component in the final product, our suppliers were able to improve raw material and hazardous waste profiles, contributing to decreasing the overall environmental footprint of the product.

Sustainable Packaging & Recycling
Packaging plays a critical role in maintaining the quality, safety and integrity of our products throughout our value chain. In addition to complying with packaging regulations in the countries where our products are sold, we are proactive about increasing recycled content of our packaging and improving its recyclability.

In 2020, our Consumer Health business announced its Healthy Lives Mission, an $800 million sustainability investment over 10 years that includes goals to reduce packaging waste. In 2020, we made progress to reduce the impact of plastic packaging in several areas, including:

  • Began several projects to replace carbon black plastic bottles across our Consumer Health portfolio, including changing OGX Purifying+Charcoal Detox Shampoo and Conditioner bottles from black to clear, which reduces the brand's output of non-recyclable plastic in North America by more than 120,000 pounds.
  • Continued actions to address two remaining PVC rigid plastic containers by transitioning away from a PVC tray in Latin America and replacing a PVC bottle in Asia.
  • Launched four new refill at-home shower gels in Europe through our LE PETIT MARSEILLAIS brand to minimize packaging waste, and actively advanced several options for additional products such as adult and baby body washes and lotions in different markets for launch in the coming years.
  • Began removing pumps from JOHNSON’S Baby lotions and washes in smaller sizes in several markets, replacing them with a flip-top cap, avoiding millions of non-recyclable pumps being routed to landfill.
  • Implemented a new process to produce a plastic film for packaging that includes 30% post-consumer recycled waste for STAYFREE in Brazil.

Examples of recycling and packaging solutions from our Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices segments include:

  • Launched an innovative recycling project for ETHICON single-use surgical instruments in Germany, enabling recycling of their metal and plastic components while digitally capturing and communicating the environmental impact made.
  • Developed new Pulp Injection Molding tray packaging platform that will eliminate the use of plastic trays as part of our pharmaceutical combination product portfolio.

Partnerships for circularity: In 2020, we continued to engage with partners on projects that advance a circular economy, for example:

  • The Recycling Partnership's Film & Flexibles Coalition: Industry-wide collaborative to identify ways to collect more flexible packaging in the United States. 
  • Stina Tubes CORE Project: Partnership to advance the recycling of plastic squeeze tube packaging in North America and Europe.
  • A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering Circular Materials Lab: Collaboration to identify circular flexible film packaging solutions.
  • We continue our partnership with the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council and the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition, collaborating with industry leaders to increase healthcare recycling, reduce waste, and elevate sustainability in global health systems.
  • We extended our original investment in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund for an additional five years to continue to build the recycling infrastructure in North America and spur technological innovation toward a more circular economy.

Products in the Environment
We recognize that the products we create to help patients, doctors and consumers can have environmental impacts after use. We assess the end-of-life impacts of our products and develop category-specific action plans to improve performance over time. See our Position on Impact of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment.

Pharmaceutical Products: We continue to advance our progress in understanding and reducing the impact of pharmaceuticals in the environment. As an active and founding member of the Antimicrobial Resistance Industry Alliance, we continue to collaborate across the industry to address AMR AMR Antimicrobial Resistance View entire glossary . For more information on our approach to AMR, see our Position on Antimicrobial Resistance. We are also expanding our pharmaceutical products packaging and device take-back programs in different markets. For example, we expanded the Janssen SAFE RETURNS Program for home-administered immunology products in the United States and collaborated on pharmaceutical disposal options as members of the Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Work Group.

Medical Devices: The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) are committed to helping health systems reduce expenses and decrease environmental impact while meeting or exceeding original equipment manufacturing medical device functional requirements. Offering reprocessed single-use devices manufactured by Sterilmed, Inc., a part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, is one way in which we fulfill this commitment.

As a leading provider of reprocessing services, 20 in addition to reprocessing devices originally manufactured by members of the JJMDC JJMDC Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies View entire glossary , we also offer reprocessed products from the other original manufacturers, which gives customers more options to meet their needs.

1.60 million
medical devices collected
0.67 million
reprocessed in 2020*

* Compared to 2019 results, device collections reduced because of COVID-19's impact on reducing surgical activity.

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