J&J On Track To Meet 2010 Climate Goal

J&J On Track To Meet 2010 Climate Goal

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has cut emissions at its company-owned and larger leased facilities by 9 percent between 1990 and 2008, a period in which its worldwide sales have grown by more than 400 percent.

Though the company is currently meeting its goal of reducing emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2010, emissions increased in 2008. Its carbon footprint, which includes 364,000 metric tons of carbon offsets, grew 3.3 percent in 2008 compared to the year before, the company said in its 12th sustainability report published last week.  

“We fully anticipate meeting our 2010 goal, despite challenges such as reducing our absolute emissions while our business is growing and financially justifying energy-reduction projects when energy prices are down,” the report said.

The company has a $40 million carbon dioxide reduction capital fund to pay for reducing its emissions. As of late 2008, 61 energy-reduction projects were approved through its capital funding process, 45 of which were completed between 2005 and 2008. Seventeen projects focused on energy efficiency, followed by 15 chiller upgrades. The remaining projects include cogeneration, solar, HVAC, boiler upgrades, biomass, and wind. The $124 million in capital put toward these projects will generate a 17.2 percent average rate of return. In 2008, 34 percent of its electricity was derived from renewable sources.

J&J didn’t include fleet emissions in its worldwide emissions figure because it doesn’t have an adequate degree of precision in the measurements. The company sports the largest commercial hybrid fleet in the U.S. with more than 2,100 in service, or about 20 percent of its U.S. fleet.

It set a goal of reducing emissions per kilometer driven by 30 percent below its 2003 baseline, or to 150 grams/km. However, its CO2 emissions per unit distance grew in 2008 to 233 g/km, due in part to older vehicles that haven’t been phased out and its use of minivans to transport medical supplies and equipment.

“We acknowledge that our goal was more aggressive than anticipated, and it will be a challenge to meet it by 2010,” the company said in its report. “Nonetheless, we continue to work toward it, and we are exploring options to make progress in this area.

Waste is a proxy for inefficiency, according to J&J. It set a goal of reducing hazardous and non-hazardous waste in its company-owned facilities by 10 percent below 2005 levels, a goal that it is currently meeting. It reduced all waste by 16 percent in 2008.

The company also set a goal of lowering its water consumption by 10 percent below 2005 levels by 2010. By 2008, it had reduced water use by 8.7 percent below 2005 levels, largely through controlling cooling at its sites in energy-efficient ways and process changes or improvements. Each facility has a water conservation plan and has performed an assessment to identify ways to reduce water use.

Image -- CC licensed by Flickr user romainguy.