Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health division has unveiled a set of goals designed to show consumers it is taking health and environmental concerns seriously.
The Healthy Lives Mission includes a pledge to invest $800 million by 2030 in a series of initiatives including greater ingredient transparency, reducing reliance on plastic packaging and raising awareness around safe sun practices and giving up smoking.
“Its a reinvestment and reprioritization of innovation and research dollars, from ingredients we source to materials that we use,” said Katie Decker, global president of essential health at Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health division. “It is absolutely something that our consumers and employees expect.”
Sustainability is a key focus of the Healthy Lives Mission. Some of the long-term goals are to move to 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packaging, use 100 percent PCR paper and to power operations with 100 percent renewable energy and use only 100 percent RSPO-certified palm oil. In the short term, ingredient transparency is a big focus.
“We are leveraging our science, scale and reach to improve the health of both people and the planet. To achieve this, we are aggressively tackling sustainability at all levels of our consumer health business from how we operate our plants to how we design our products,” Thibaut Mongon, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson consumer health, said in a statement. “Our 19,000 employees are the powerful force delivering this change; they are experimenting, they are energized and they are making a real difference to our business and the world we share.”
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Decker added that the company’s efforts will be a core focus for its beauty portfolio, which includes brands such as Neutrogena, Aveeno and OGX. “We’re going through and systematically looking at ingredient sourcing and the way we procure plastic and the type of plastic [we use].”
The changes will not just affect a subset of sku’s, said Decker, but rather will be applied to all products going forward. One example launching now is the new Neutrogena Skin Balancing line, which includes a face wipe made from 100 percent plant-based, compostable fibers. The company’s plan is to eventually replace all its face wipe offerings with the new, more sustainable fabric.
Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health division has faced increased scrutiny in recent years after thousands of lawsuits filed by cancer patients claiming that talc used by the company in its baby powder product was contaminated by asbestos for years, potentially causing ovarian cancer in unwitting consumers. The company has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, and in May 2019 discontinued sales of its talc-based baby powder in the U.S.
According to WWD Beauty Inc’s Top 100 ranking of the world’s largest beauty companies, Johnson & Johnson generated $4.6 billion in beauty sales in 2019.
“Ingredient transparency is critical to [our mission],” Decker said. “What is the ingredient, where it sourced and where it comes from — [we are aiming for] complete traceability all the way through the process and made visible to the consumer.”