NEW YORK: Johnson & Johnson, the healthcare company, is increasingly applying its business savvy to corporate social responsibility programs, marking the latest step in its long-term commitment to doing good.

Alice Lin Fabiano, global director/social innovation at Johnson & Johnson, discussed this subject at the 2018 Techonomy NYC conference.

More specifically, she referenced the firm’s official “credo” – a 70-year-old pledge to everyone from medical experts to parents – that promises to deliver high quality, charge reasonable prices, and treat all stakeholders responsibly and fairly.

“The fundamental aspect of being a purpose-driven company has not changed,” Fabiano said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Johnson & Johnson’s purpose looks beyond the balance sheet.)

“As one of the largest healthcare companies, we’ve been looking at how do we bring health to the furthest populations in the world, [and] the most vulnerable, for a really long time.”

Building on this theme, she suggested the “separation of church and state” that previously divided philanthropic efforts from business operations is being superseded by more of a “blending” of corporate knowledge and altruistic impulse.

“I think what has changed – and it’s partially due to internal dynamics, but partially also due to external dynamics – is the expectation, and also the willingness, for those [stakeholders] to see corporations as a part of the puzzle in solving some of society’s biggest issues,” Fabiano said.

“Now, you go out there and you say, ‘Why are we not accessing our medicines, our consumer products, our people, our talent? Why are we not looking at our technology? Why are we not looking at our human design-centered principles and delivering that same know-how and expertise within a field that we know a lot about?’” Fabiano asked.

Although J&J is injecting business savvy into its corporate social responsibility initiatives, the focus on proving return on investment (ROI) has not automatically followed.

“What I would say on the topic of the ROI … is that our approach is slightly different. I don’t think anyone in our company says, ‘We should do good so that we can make a buck, or we can do well’,” Fabiano said.

“It’s not part of the [corporate] DNA. We do good simply to do good. We feel that, as the largest healthcare company, it’s our opportunity, and it’s our obligation, to do that.”

Sourced from WARC