Which is better for the environment, Johnson & Johnson or Procter & Gamble ?

Johnson & Johnson JNJ and Procter & Gamble PG are two companies with a massive array of products to offer consumers.  Johnson & Johnson has more of a health related focus across its product lines, which includes names such as Neutrogena, Listerine, Tylenol, Rogaine, and Splenda.  On the other hand, Procter & Gamble has a general focus on branded consumer packaged goods, with household names like Crest, Gillette, Pampers, Vicks, and Pantene.

These two companies are competing with each other across dozens of products. Deciding which company to support can be stressful at any point, so we’ve tried to break down two of the more known chains and what your purchase will support.


Why you should trust us

At Ethically, we compile scores from over 700 verified sources to create a granular profile of more than 10,000 companies and brands, evaluating their impact on the environment, society at large, and good business. You can learn more about Ethically’s process in our Methodology and you can see the scores yourself by downloading the Ethically browser extension.

The companies


Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is an American multinational corporation founded in 1886 that develops medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods. Its common stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the company is ranked No. 37 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Johnson & Johnson is one of the world’s most valuable companies, and is one of only two U.S.-based companies that has a prime credit rating of AAA, higher than that of the United States government.


The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is an American multinational consumer goods corporation headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. It specializes in a wide range of personal health/consumer health, and personal care and hygiene products; these products are organized into several segments including Beauty; Grooming; Health Care; Fabric & Home Care; and Baby, Feminine, & Family Care. Before the sale of Pringles to Kellogg’s, its product portfolio also included food, snacks, and beverages. P&G is incorporated in Ohio.

Scores Overview

These two companies, while often compared side by side, have only a two point difference when it comes to ESG measurements. Below are some key differences that put one above the other.

Overall, J&J scored a 64/100 and P&G scored a 62/100. This difference is highlighted in their Environment and Social Responsibility scores. They both share the same score in the Governance category. 

Let’s dive in (Reminder, check out our Methodology for definitions on each of these subtopic scores)

Impact on the environment

Impact on the environment relates to how a company or brand impacts the natural world around us. This could be related to the products they create, their manufacturing policies, or even their corporate response to climate change. J&J and P&G both impact the environment in a number of ways, from their manufacturing policies to the products they produce. Below are more details comparing these two companies. 


Score: 73


Score: 67


J&J has scored a few points over P&G in this category, with the scores being 73 to 67. This category has to do with the companies’ compliance with environmental regulations, energy efficient operations and development of renewable energy and alternative environmental technologies. 

Double clicking on that score difference, J&J scored a 81/100 in Energy & Climate Change, a 74/100 in Environment Policy & Reporting and a 65/100 in Resource Management. On the other hand, P&G scored a 74/100 in Energy & Climate Change, a 64/100 in Environment Policy & Reporting and a 62/100 in Resource Management.

Impact on social responsibility

Social responsibility includes all the things that make a company “good”. Whether that’s giving back to the community, standing up for equal rights, treating workers fairly. J&J and P&G both have a number of policies around LGBTQ+ rights, community outreach, and equal pay and rights for all.


Score: 66


Score: 65


The smallest score distinction can be noted within the Social Responsibility category, where J&J scores a 66/100 and P&G scores a 65/100. This category includes all programs, policies and performance in diversity, labor relations and labor rights. It also focuses on compensation and benefits as well as employee safety.

The major differences were the respective companies’ Diversity and Labor rights rankings P&G: 65 vs. J&J: 66, Training, Health & Safety rankings P&G: 66 vs. J&J: 71 and Compensation with P&G: 64 vs. J&J: 62 score.

Quality of corporate governance

Corporate governance is much like social responsibility, but for how the company operates internally. Do they have a diverse board? Is there transparency in accounting? Are they doing what they need to do to survive and operate in an ethical and correct manner? J&J and P&G both are large public companies with shareholders and boards they answer to.


Score: 58


Score: 58


Both companies share the same score in the Governance category, a 58/100. The Governance score refers to leadership structure and the values that determine corporate direction, ethics and performance.

The major differences were the respective companies’ Board rankings P&G: 58 vs. J&J: 57 and Transparency & Reporting with P&G: 58 vs. J&J: 59 score.


Ethically partners with CSRHub as a primary data source, which in turn, aggregates over 700 data sources, compiling them into simple, easy to digest grades. 

P&G and J&J come into the world market with dozens of different products. Understanding the practices and policies of each company gives consumers the power to determine what they will and will not support.

 J&J’s score is four points higher than P&G’s. As observed throughout the comparisons, P&G lacks behind in the Environment Category; however, both companies score similarly in the Social Responsibility and Governance categories. If you’re a P&G’s advocate and want to see more evidence that they’re committed to these areas, email our CEO at jada@ethically.life and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

If you want to stay up to date on how these companies are progressing with their scores, make sure you download Ethically. We pull data regularly to make sure our scores reflect how companies are doing today, not years ago.

As always, please check out our Methodology page for more details on how we get our ratings data.

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