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Case Studies Becton Dickinson

Creating a Balanced Strategy for Becton Dickinson


Headquartered in New Jersey, Becton Dickinson (BD) is a global medical device company in the dynamic and quickly evolving healthcare field. They have an ambitious approach to delivering on some of the world’s most pressing global healthcare challenges.

The company had already been actively working to improve its overall sustainability impacts for a number of years when they approached SustainAbility to help them develop a more ambitious, overall sustainability strategy. Having made excellent progress in their environmental work, including energy reduction, investment in renewables, and waste reduction, the leadership team wanted to broaden their perspective to also include the social issues in which the business was already so actively engaged. Our brief was to help create a new sustainability strategy that balanced both social and environmental issues in a comprehensive and more integrated way.

Defining what’s material

Our first step was to work with a cross-functional team from BD to better understand where the company stood in relation to their peers and to gain greater insight in the areas where the executive leadership was most ambitious. Our next step was to help the BD team define their material issues, honing in on a narrow set of topics that are of most strategic relevance to the company and its stakeholders.

Building on the materiality assessment, we then helped the company to create a strategy that could facilitate the delivery of their long-term vision, including new 2020 sustainability goals. Grouped into four key areas; Innovation, Access, Efficiency and Empowerment, the goals focus on the role the company can play in addressing the wide range of challenges facing the healthcare industry today and into the future.

The new sustainability strategy was agreed internally in 2014, and was published in their most recent report in 2015. As the company continues to play a significant role in global health, this balanced strategy will guide the priorities and choices the company makes and enable clear and focused communications with key stakeholders.


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