Graeme Newell

Johnson & Johnson: the importance of corporate social responsibility

The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

At 602 Communications, we talk a lot about the importance of corporate social responsibility. Don’t worry, we will get to that today, but first, let’s talk about something more basic and familiar.

How many times have you used a Band-Aid? What about providing one for your children when they get scrapes and bruises? Without this simple product, our lives would be messier and more complicated. Band-Aids are just one of the innovative products provided by Johnson and Johnson.

Johnson and Johnson is a pharmaceutical and economic powerhouse, with over 250 subsidiary companies. In 2015, the company brought in over $70 billion in revenue. Johnson and Johnson is listed as a Fortune 500 company. It operates in 60 countries, and sells its products all over the world. Johnson and Johnson has been in business since 1886.

Dealing With a Devastating Incident

But even with this storied history, Johnson and Johnson has experienced its share of bumps in the road. Its response to crisis shows the importance of corporate social responsibility. Not that long ago, in 1982, a scare erupted when seven people in the Chicago area died after taking Tylenol. Tylenol is a pain reliever and one of the company’s flagship products. An investigation eventually revealed no wrongdoing on the company’s part. Someone tampered with the Tylenol, loading it with poison before it reached each consumer. The person responsible has never been found or identified.

Even so, the incident could have permanently tarnished the Johnson and Johnson name. The CEO at the time, James E. Burke, responded swiftly and proactively. He decided to pull all Tylenol products from store shelves nationwide. This cost the company over $100 million, but it also saved its reputation and confirmed its status as a company with a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Extending its commitment, Johnson and Johnson became the first company to install child proof caps on its medicinal products. Other companies followed its example, and child proof packaging is now the industry standard. Instead of ending its run or driving it out of business, the poisoning scandal helped Johnson and Johnson position itself as one of the most responsible and caring companies in their sector.

Guiding Principles

Way back in 1943, then chairman Robert Wood Johnson wrote the credo that has guided Johnson and Johnson ever since. He wrote:

“We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.”

Has there ever been a corporation that better embodied the importance of corporate social responsibility?

Johnson’s full credo also touched on environmental sustainability, prompt customer service, and fair treatment of suppliers. With these ideas, Johnson was ahead of his time. He set a gold standard that has helped the company grow and succeed until the present day.

Most recently, Johnson and Johnson launched its Healthy Future 2015 goals on its website. Goal areas included increases in community wellness, measuring health outcomes from philanthropy, and advancing global health. The company also announced goals in the areas of employee health and safety education, environmental sustainability, and transparency in its operations.

Johnson and Johnson is a giant in the pharmaceutical industry. Its commitment to constant improvement in the corporate social responsibility area has helped shape it into a successful global company. With such a great example to learn from, we are sure you can adapt some of these ideas into your own csr program and boost your company’s standing in the community.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Credo.

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Johnson & Johnson talks about their conscious effort for sustainability through every product they make.

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Johnson & Johnson is proud to help Nyumbani by supporting programs that bring clean water, education and access to new medicines.

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Love is the most powerful thing in this life.

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Love is timeless.

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