Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has set an RE100 target to power all of its facilities with renewable energy by 2050. Here, Paulette Frank, Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability tells us more about her company’s commitment. 

What is motivating Johnson & Johnson to be 100% renewable’?

Our motivation comes from our mission as a healthcare company and our values as a business.  At Johnson & Johnson, it’s our mission to help people live longer, healthier, and happier lives and we understand that environmental health and human health are inextricably linked.  Over 70 years ago, Our Credo defined our responsibilities to: the patients and consumers we serve, our employees, the communities in which we live and work and the natural resources we are privileged to use, and to our shareholders. Our Credo continues to provide us with a guiding framework for conducting business responsibly and sustainably.  We believe that renewable energy is vital to a healthy planet and ultimately to healthy people.  That is why we aspire to power all our facilities with renewable energy by 2050.

Why do you think RE100 is a good initiative?

RE100 is one of several organizations we’re working with to increase the uptake of renewable energy. We know through partnership we can leverage peer-to-peer learning to accelerate our own efforts and hopefully inspire others to shift to renewables.

What process did you go through to decide on your 100% goal?

Johnson & Johnson began its formal energy management program more than 30 years ago. In 2000, we established our first enterprise-wide, public commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. After achieving this and subsequent goals, we recently established new energy and climate targets based on the latest climate science. These include cutting CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 (based on 2010 levels) and by 80% by 2050, and producing or procuring 20% of our electricity from clean or renewable sources by 2020 – with an aspiration to power all of our facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2050.

What have you achieved so far?

So far, we’ve cut our CO2 emissions by 9.6% since 2010 and increased our on-site renewable energy and clean technology energy capacity to 50.1MW. In the past year we’ve installed two 3MW wind turbines on our properties in Cork, Ireland, while in the U.S. we’ve installed two 500kW fuel cells in California, and over 3.2MW of solar systems in Puerto Rico. We have another 5.7MW under construction.

We’ve also partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Geostellar to launch an employee solar program in the U.S., signed the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles led by WWF and the World Resources Institute, and joined the Rocky Mountain’s Institutes new Business Renewables Center.

What opportunities and challenges have you experienced as you work to become 100% renewable?

As with all sustainability efforts we need to balance the needs of our business with the needs of society and the environment. Historically, to achieve a fair economic return, renewable energy has been heavily dependent on incentives from local governments. We diligently search for opportunities to install these systems where they make sense financially. In recent years incentives have been decreasing in some parts of the world but the cost of the renewable energy systems has also been decreasing due to economies of scale.  As more demand is created for these renewable energy systems the price is likely to come down even more.  This is why we have been active in engaging with our peers and competitors to promote the further adoption of renewable energy.

What plans do you have for making better use of renewable electricity and what benefits do you expect?

We are continuing to install clean and renewable energy systems on our properties where they make financial sense.  We are currently executing a pipeline of opportunities which will include additional wind, solar, and geothermal systems at various locations throughout the world.  We are also evaluating opportunities to procure renewable electricity through the power purchase agreement mechanism which would allow new renewable systems to be financed and built on our behalf.

Why do you think business has an important role to play increasing the uptake of renewable energy?

As a customer and consumer of energy, we can reflect our values with our purchases.  By setting renewable energy goals, we not only reflect our values, we send a demand signal for more sustainable forms of energy that we hope will both increase supply and inspire other companies to do the same.

Last updated: September 2015