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Johnson & Johnson: Together for a healthy future

Innovation & Sustainability

Johnson & Johnson: Together for a healthy future

For over 130 years, J&J has pursued the goal of keeping people healthy at every stage of life. The world's largest and most diversified healthcare company assumes social and environmental responsibility. This includes a sustainability approach with a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and clear targets for 2025.


J&J uses its reach and size for the common good and the environment - one example of this is the recycling project launched by Johnson & Johnson Medtech in Swiss hospitals in April 2021. This initiative focuses on returning valuable materials from operating rooms to the material cycle and helps Swiss hospitals to minimise their waste. The medical instruments are collected in a special box, retrieved using the existing transport channel, decontaminated and then broken down into up to 50 individual parts.

Careful work is crucial because the instruments contain high-quality materials such as medical steel or pure plastic. By analysing all J&J disposable instruments for their «recyclability», a recycling rate of 70 to 80 percent can be achieved. A particular focus is placed on ensuring that recycling takes place in Switzerland and that transport routes are kept short.

Over 46 tonnes of CO2 saved with 30 clinics

By the end of March 2024, over 63,000 disposable medical instruments had been successfully returned to the resource cycle. Over 8.4 tonnes of material were collected and 1.1 tonnes of aluminium, 1.9 tonnes of metal and 5 tonnes of plastic were recycled. In collaboration with over 30 clinics, we were able to save more than 46 tonnes of CO2. This is the CO2 equivalent of a mid-range car travelling around the world almost 7 times.

The company's pharmaceutical division, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, is similarly focussed: the aim is to enable circular material flows for auto-injectors, i.e. syringes that patients can administer themselves at home. The programme pursues the collection, automatic disassembly, recycling and reuse of materials.

Plastic-free and sustainable packaging

Optimising packaging is part of this sustainable product ecosystem. With this in mind, J&J Innovative Medicine introduced plastic-free and sustainable packaging for self-injectable medicines in 2021. One year later, the company launched the «Safe Returns» programme, which offers patients a safe and convenient way to dispose of their used syringes and pens from home and return them to the recycling cycle via Swiss Post.

These initiatives are part of Johnson & Johnson's strategy in Switzerland to generate sustainable and measurable benefits for patients, healthcare providers and the healthcare system, based on the principles of Value Based Health Care.

Blog post by Lisa Maria Crevola, Manager Government Affairs & Policy, Johnson & Johnson in Switzerland


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