In our household of three boys, Johnson & Johnson is a familiar brand. But what I didn’t know about the company—which may be best known for Band-Aids®, baby powder and Tylenol®—was that it practiced corporate social responsibility long before the term existed.
Caring for the world, one person at a time inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. In 1943, the company adopted its credo of values that guides decision making and challenges everyone at the company to put the needs and well-being of the people they serve first.
Crafted more than 62 years ago by Robert Wood Johnson, the son of the founder, the credo is more than a moral compass . . . it’s “a visionary statement of corporate purpose” and the reason Johnson & Johnson has become the largest and most diversified health care company in the world.
In the past two years, Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to social responsibility has placed it among the top three of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens (a list compiled by Corporate Responsibility Magazine). And just this week, CEO Alex Gorsky received The Appeal of Conscience Award as a corporate leader who by “deed and action has advanced human dignity and social justice.”
One simple but powerful idea in the company credo states, “We are responsible to the communities in which employees live and work, and to the world community as well. We must be good citizens—support good works and charities….”
Tradition of Philanthropy
Johnson & Johnson’s record of giving goes back to the early 1900s. Within hours of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the company gave the largest amount of help received from any organization, establishing its tradition of disaster giving and community philanthropy.
- Saving and improving the lives of women and children
- Preventing disease in vulnerable populations
- Strengthening the healthcare workforce
Their approach? Work with partners to deliver community-based solutions.
One example of a successful partnership is Safe Kids Worldwide. For more than 27 years, Johnson & Johnson has been a part of the global organization dedicated to protecting kids from unintentional injuries. Through a network of more than 500 U.S. coalitions and partnerships with organizations in 25 countries, Safe Kids reduces injuries and deaths from motor vehicles, sports, drowning, falls, burns, poisonings and other activities. By 2008, this campaign had helped reduce the death rate for U.S. children aged 14 and younger by 45%.
In 2014, Johnson & Johnson’s philanthropy totaled nearly $172 million for organizations around the world, including $14.5 million through its Matching Gifts program (the company double-matched employee contributions last year).
It’s important for the company to evaluate the results of philanthropy, so they’ve set a sustainability goal to increase the number of programs measuring health-related outcomes. 2015 progress: 90 percent of Johnson & Johnson’s 230 philanthropy programs now monitor and report health-related outcomes.
Citizenship & Sustainability Efforts
Theirs is a long and involved history of citizenship and sustainability that this blog can’t really capture. But whether researching and developing new treatments for disease or working to reduce its environmental footprint, Johnson & Johnson conducts business in a responsible way. Most recent efforts include:
Advancing Human Health and Well-Being. In 2014, in response to the Ebola crisis, the company collaborated with the global health community to accelerate and expand production of the Ebola vaccine—to get it to families and health care professionals as quickly as possible.
Leading a Dynamic & Growing Business Responsibly. 2015 is the first time Johnson & Johnson has established social goals as part of the company’s overall strategy. Its Healthy Future 2015 sustainability goals range from environmental sustainability and enhanced supply chain stewardship to greater transparency and commitments to address diseases in the developing world.
We’re not all leading global companies like Johnson & Johnson with a 129-year business history and enough resources to tackle world problems. But every business can examine its values and consider how to make a difference with philanthropy. Inspired to get started? Contact us today—we can help.
– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs
IMAGE SOURCE: All images via http://www.jnj.com