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Our Ongoing Commitment to Purpose

Doctor wearing protective face mask on medical consultation at patient home
Doctor wearing protective face mask on medical consultation at home

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year would be the understatement of the century. So much has changed for the world community since COVID-19, and countless governments, non-governmental organizations and companies are bringing their unique capabilities and resources to bear in profound ways.

Two years ago, I posted this article on “Purpose and Accountability – Five Values to Shift from CSR to Changemaker,” framing it in the context of my company’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In that post, I discussed the importance of accountability for our purpose-driven work, focusing on five ways of evaluating ourselves, namely through transparency, talent, humility, collaboration, and heart. We are now in the final year of our initial five-year SDG commitment, and what I said two years ago is as true as ever, and likely even more so today. We are making appreciable progress against what we set out to do – in most areas we’re on track or have exceeded our goals, and in one area we’re off track and may not meet the end goal. You can view our progress through year-end 2019 here.

There’s more work to be done of course. And, as we like to say at Johnson & Johnson as we reflect on our performance in many areas, we are pleased but never satisfied. Our latest Health for Humanity Report includes a broad perspective on our global efforts across many dimensions of our business, including progress on our five-year Health for Humanity goals, also in their final year. Our global work is guided by the Johnson & Johnson Credo, which articulates our responsibility to four sets of stakeholders—patients, doctors, nurses and those who use our products; our employees; the communities where we live and work, and the world community; and our stockholders.

We will be announcing our new comprehensive goals for 2025 early next year. These will be our most ambitious goals since we first began establishing public-facing goals 30 years ago. Among them will be our announcement at the World Economic Forum last January—a $250 million commitment by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation to support one million nurses, midwives and community health workers by 2030. This work will be guided by our new Center for Health Worker Innovation. This commitment builds upon decades of programming support for front line health workers around the world. It’s important work for today and for the future of public health.

As the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary this week, we are also proud to sign the UN Global Compact Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation, which comes at a time of unprecedented disruption and global transformation. We at Johnson & Johnson are as committed as ever to upholding the principles of the UN Global Compact and efforts to advance progress on the SDGs through ongoing partnership and collaboration in areas where we believe we can have a meaningful impact.