Following in our footprints: The importance of the healthcare industry demonstrating new standards of medical care, sustainably
n the UK, Johnson & Johnson is committed to making a difference that extends beyond its operations. As part of the world’s largest and most broadly-based health care company, Johnson & Johnson is committed to using its research and scale for good.
These growing sustainability initiatives can be seen in action during a visit to the Tingley Distribution Centre in Leeds, the company's first lab to be awarded a My Green Lab certification. The film by ITN, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, shows how the centre harnesses the latest technology and innovation to achieve new standards in medical care while striving to improve the healthcare sector's carbon footprint. The film also complements Johnson & Johnson's recently sponsored research 'Do no harm: healthcare professionals address sustainability and climate change' carried out by Economist Impact, which highlights the importance of healthcare supply chains in reducing carbon emissions and increasing efforts in sustainability.
Chris Scott, Johnson & Johnson’s Sustainability Lead in the UK and Ireland, described exactly what is at stake from an environmental standpoint and the vital role of stewardship the company needs to play.
“If we don't have a healthy planet, there's nowhere for people to live. For us to be sustainable it's about meeting the needs of the people today, for the future generations.”
Johnson & Johnson first pledged to be become more sustainable in 1986, with the establishment of its first energy management platform. Since then, Johnson & Johnson has committed various initiatives both internally and publicly to combat the effects of climate change for over two decades.
Keya Deyal, Johnson & Johnson’s sustainability ambassador, explains how innovative thinking has changed the way the centre operates and delivers its products to improve customer experience, by creating less waste for customers through material reduction and easier solutions to opening packaging without the need for tape.
“By working with suppliers, we had the opportunity to remove up to 31 tonnes of carbon and this is also equivalent to up to 4 million phone chargers.”“We can do this by removing 273 pallets and six tonnes of packaging through our supply chain. We can reduce packaging time by 1024 hours annually. And we can also reduce 24 inbound and outbound vehicle runs.”
Through partnering with Sodexo, the centre has removed bins in offices and replaced with large recycling bins to better segregate waste, and all plastic cups in the restaurant have been removed and replaced with reusable ceramic cups and reusable lids. As a result, there has been a reduction of 9,000 plastic bags and 8,000 single-use plastic cups used every year.
Laura Fawcett, Johnson & Johnson’s Director of Distribution & Transportation, UK, France, Netherlands & Nordics, highlights the importance of utilising every available opportunity to ensure the reduction of materials from across the distribution network.
"Johnson and Johnson MedTech has been working with a number of key suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging across the network. With a partnership with Macfarlane Packaging, we’ve identified how we can reduce the size of boxes, reduce the amount of void fill – which all has huge benefits for the environment and less waste.”
At present, Johnson & Johnson believes that the UK is capable of becoming a leader in the provision of sustainable healthcare. To achieve widespread change across the country, Johnson & Johnson also works with other companies and organizations to encourage systematic change. This short film touches on the company’s commitment to supporting the NHS in their journey to achieving net zero by 2045.
“The NHS has 81,000 suppliers who they're going to rely upon for their net zero goal and it's up to us to show leadership in the space.”
Elizabeth Sukkar, Author of the Economist Impact Report: Do No Harm, emphasises the need to ensure sustainability is a priority for the healthcare sector, regardless of other challenges it may be facing, and must confront its role in contributing to climate change.
“We know that the NHS faces a lot of challenges – especially with the backlogs because of Covid. So, one question is, can we add sustainability concerns on top of all the worries they already have.
“The healthcare sector needs to confront its own role in this and how it can reduce its own emissions because it’s also impacting patient health.”
These are just a few examples of the work Johnson & Johnson is doing in the UK to reach its sustainability goals including net zero goals, reflecting Johnson & Johnson’s overarching commitment to a healthier world for people today, and for future generations.
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