Johnson & Johnson’s Earthwards™ Process Drives Sustainable Product Design

Company Expands Environmentally-Preferred Offerings to 30 Products in its EARTHWARDS™ Portfolio
Mar 1, 2012 11:00 AM ET
Press Release

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) New Brunswick, NJ  March 1, 2012Johnson & Johnson added 19 new products to its EARTHWARDS™ portfolio  - 15 in 2011 and four to date in 2012. EARTHWARDS™ is an internal process used by the company’s product teams to innovate better products with smaller environmental footprints. The process is intended to support and encourage sustainable product development throughout the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

With these 19 additions, the total number of products that have been recognized with the EARTHWARDS™ recognition stands at 30 today, which is halfway to meeting Johnson & Johnson’s Healthy Future 2015 goal of having 60 products in its EARTHWARDS™ portfolio. Some of the products receiving EARTHWARDS™ recognition in 2011 occurred, for the first time, in markets outside of the U.S., including Europe, China and Brazil.

“The caring spirit that defines Johnson & Johnson extends to how we safeguard the environment,” says Keith Sutter, Senior Product Director, Worldwide Environment, Health & Safety at Johnson & Johnson. “The respect our product teams have for the environment is evident in how they are discovering solutions that result in fewer or reduced environmental impacts. At the same time, our customers expect us to address our environmental impacts, as well as provide them with environmentally-preferable product offerings that align with their values.”

EARTHWARDS™ is not a certification seal and will never appear as a designation or logo on a product label. Instead it is an internal process with supporting tools and resources that drives the type of sustainable product development stakeholders expect of Johnson & Johnson. Products that are developed or improved upon using this rigorous process enable marketing teams to identify the most tangible environmental attributes that can be credibly communicated to customers without the risk of greenwashing.

Recent Additions to EARTHWARDS™ Portfolio
To be considered for the EARTHWARDS™ recognition, a product must achieve a greater than 10 percent improvement in at least three of seven areas: materials used, packaging reduction, energy reduction, waste reduction, water reduction, positive social impact/benefit and product innovation.

Among the notable products to achieve EARTHWARDS™ in 2011 and 2012 are the following:

  • Packaging changes were made to SUNDOWN® Sun Care Products (Brazil) to incorporate more renewable materials, including a combination of sugar cane-based and post-consumer recycled Polyethylene (PE) rather than petroleum derived PE. These changes also enable consumers to recycle the packaging as they do with other household petroleum plastics. As a result, during the 2011/2012 summer season, it is estimated that SUNDOWN® will avoid releasing approximately 630 tons of CO2.
  • SURGICEL® (Europe) achieved a 57 percent reduction in packaging as compared to the previous packaging, resulting in less waste that hospital customers must dispose of. With 50 percent less packaging than its major European competitors, the new SURGICEL® packaging is considered to be best-in-class.
  • Decorated BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages have reduced the size of product cartons and shippers, resulting in less overall packaging material and greater efficiency in freight transport. Additionally, all packages produced in Brazil are made with materials certified by the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which assures that the trees used come from responsibly managed forests.
  • NEUTROGENA® Naturals line of skincare products uses 86 to 100 percent naturally derived ingredients. The nutrients used include: vitamins and minerals, essential omega fatty acids, flavanoids and polyphenols, sugars and amino acids and peptides. Moreover, the packaging used for these products is made of at least 50 percent post-consumer recycled materials.

“The EARTHWARDS™ process helped us to identify new and innovative ways to develop this natural skincare line,” says Laura Mehaffey, Product Director Neutrogena Naturals. “Since launching our NEUTROGENA® Naturals line, the response from consumers has been overwhelmingly positive. We are thrilled to be providing our consumers with a natural line that is pure, safe and effective.”

With so many products having now achieved the EARTHWARDS™ recognition, the company will focus energies in 2012 on promoting these products internally so that all product teams throughout the enterprise appreciate the value of sustainable product development and are aware of the tools and resources available through the EARTHWARDS™ process. “EARTHWARDS™ is creating a turning point in our evolution as a sustainable company, and now we will build on the early successes we’ve had since launching the program just three short years ago,” says Al Iannuzzi, Senior Director of Worldwide Health & Safety.

To learn more about EARTHWARDS™, including the process and criteria used for consideration, please visit the Johnson & Johnson Responsibility website.


Caring for the world, one person at a time…inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science -- bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our 114,000 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

(This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; economic factors, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care reforms and governmental laws and regulations; trends toward health care cost containment; and increased scrutiny of the healthcare industry by government agencies. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2011. Copies of this Form 10-K, as well as subsequent filings, are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.)