Our 2019 Progress - Planet
Learn about the progress we've made on our 2020 Sustainability Performance Commitments in 2019.
Deforestation is one of Colgate’s key sustainability issues. It is critical from a business, social, environmental and reputational risk standpoint. Our policies and commitments help us manage the deforestation risks in our supply chain for pulp and paper, palm oil and its derivatives, soy and soy oil, and beef tallow. In line with Colgate’s values, we are committed to protecting the global environment, enhancing the communities where people live, and operating in compliance with government laws and regulations. Because we share a vision with our key stakeholders for a future without deforestation, we are committed to being transparent with our employees, shareholders, suppliers and NGOs about our commitments, challenges and the progress we have made in this area.
Colgate has made significant progress in policy development on commodity sourcing and deforestation over the past three years. Contributing to this progress is the company’s active membership in the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a large network of retailers, manufacturers and service providers dedicated to a vision of “better lives through better business.” Colgate is a member of the CGF’s recently established Forest Positive Coalition of Action and has been actively engaged in the development of commodity roadmaps supporting Coalition actions. Colgate believes the implementation of an effective deforestation program is critical so we can manage the impact our activities have on ecosystems and habitats, meet stakeholders’ expectations, protect our reputation and comply with regulations.
Included below are the key elements detailing our approach and progress for the key commodities included under Colgate’s no deforestation program: palm oil, soy, pulp and paper, and tallow.
1. Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil and Derivatives
Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil and Derivatives Approach
Palm oil is the most widely produced vegetable oil in the world and continues to grow in its use, replacing other vegetable oils. More than 85 percent of the world’s palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia, where land is sometimes converted from forest to palm plantations, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions, impacts on biodiversity and social issues linked to deforestation.
Colgate uses palm oil, palm kernel oil and palm oil derivatives in some of our soap products, toothpastes, antiperspirants, deodorants and household cleaners.
In July 2016, Colgate published a stand-alone policy on the Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Palm Oils. This policy addresses the key requirements for our suppliers to build global supply chains that meet Colgate’s palm oil policy criteria. Colgate continues working in partnership with Earthworm Foundation to move the palm oil responsible sourcing strategy to the next level by executing transformation projects and engaging with stakeholders from government, civil society and palm oil producers.
Colgate has specific commitments to source palm oil, palm kernel oil and palm derivatives that are responsibly produced and that can be traced from plantation to product. As we strive for zero deforestation in our palm oil operations and activities, we will partner with stakeholders and our suppliers to build a transparent global supply chain that meets the following criteria:
- No deforestation of High Carbon Stock (HCS) forest
- No deforestation of High Conservation Value (HCV) areas
- No use of fire for land clearance
- No new development on peat lands, regardless of depth
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
- No exploitation of people or local communities
For additional information on our work and regular progress updates on our activities on Palm Oil, please see our specific policy on Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Palm Oils
Colgate uses soy and soy oil as ingredients in certain products. Colgate currently sources these materials from the United States and South America. The United States, Brazil and Argentina account for more than 70 percent of the global soy supply. In Brazil, soy production has been linked to deforestation of highly biodiverse forest regions and its cultivation has contributed significantly to the clearance of the Amazon forest, the Cerrado, the Atlantic Forest, the Gran Chaco and the Chiquitano.
We are committed to using responsibly and sustainably sourced soy products from South America, which is considered the highest risk area for soy products. We will procure soy products that are responsibly and sustainably sourced and are certified by credible certification schemes, including Roundtable for Responsible Soy, Proterra or equivalent organizations to verify that the soy Colgate sources poses a low risk of contributing to deforestation.
For material procured in Brazil, our primary source, we use soy and soy oil suppliers that are in compliance with the Brazil Forest Code, including registration in the Rural Environmental Registry.
Colgate has completed an initial mapping of our indirect volume for soy. To support our current sourcing strategy for soy we have initiated the following critical actions:
- Supported efforts, such as the Soy Moratorium, that help minimize deforestation from soy expansion and increase transparency in the soy sector
- Completed mapping of our soy footprint for indirect soy, following CGF and RTRS guidelines
- Engaged with our suppliers in Brazil and other high-risk areas to assess the availability of soy that does not contribute to deforestation in our soy supply chain, such as soy certified by the Roundtable on Responsible Soy or Proterra, and will continue to increase our purchase from these suppliers (Ongoing)
- Increased usage of certified sources to 100 percent for the volume sourced from Brazil
- Incorporated sustainability and responsible sourcing requirements in the supplier selection criteria and process
- Included soy suppliers in our Supplier Responsible Sourcing Assessment (SRSA) program
- Joined efforts on supporting the Cerrado Manifesto through the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) to minimize deforestation from soy expansion in Brazil and increase transparency in the soy sector
- Began a partnership with Earthworm Foundation to continue the traceability work back to the origin, risk assess our supply chain and identify transformation opportunities in collaboration with our suppliers in South America (ongoing)
3. Pulp and Paper
Pulp and Paper Approach
Colgate is committed to sourcing paper and packaging from recycled sources and responsibly managed forests that do not contribute to deforestation. Much of Colgate’s packaging materials utilize wood-derived or paper-based products. Approximately 92 percent of our pulp and paper is recycled and/or certified as sourced from responsibly managed forests.
As part of our responsible sourcing strategy, we continue working with our partner, Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit organization, to assess our supply network for paper-based materials. We are also actively working with our suppliers to implement our longstanding strategy to increase the volume of certified or recycled pulp and paper-based materials each year, setting a goal to source 100 percent by the end of 2020. Our partnership with Rainforest Alliance helps us engage with our suppliers to increase the use of certified materials, giving preference to suppliers that use pulp and paper compliant with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards. Rainforest Alliance also supports mapping our supply chain to identify hot spot areas, which present the highest risk to our business, the environment or the local community.
We will continue partnering with our suppliers to build a low-risk global supply chain that meets the following criteria for pulp and paper:
- No illegally harvested wood
- No exploitation of people or local communities
- No deforestation of High Conservation Value (HCV) areas
- No sourcing wood from forests that were converted to plantations or non-forest use after December 31, 2010
In addition, we have taken additional steps to ensure compliance with the U.S. Lacey Act, which requires all product and disposable packaging to be composed of legally sourced wood or other plant-based material.
Pulp and Paper Progress
Our partnership with Rainforest Alliance will support the execution of our responsible sourcing strategy for pulp and paper and drive transformation in our supply chain.
As part of the work plan with Rainforest Alliance, Colgate is focusing first on the following pulp and paper based materials:
- Paper-based cartons
- Corrugated materials for shipping
- Paper-based labels
- Corrugated materials for displays
- Dryer sheet products and cleaning wipes
Due to the complexity in the pulp and paper portfolio, Colgate has prioritized policy implementation with the suppliers of these products representing 80 percent of our spend, with a long-term goal of reaching suppliers representing 100 percent of spend.
The following actions were identified to support our current responsible sourcing strategy for pulp and paper:
- Issued a commodity-specific Policy on Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Pulp and Paper
- Communicated our policy to our direct suppliers
- Map pulp and paper supply chain to country of origin to identify any controversial sources and drive actions toward policy conformance (Ongoing)
- Requested information on traceability to the mill level from the suppliers that represent 80% of our spend
- Conduct risk assessment analysis to determine areas of focus and develop a roadmap for policy implementation, with the support of Rainforest Alliance (Ongoing)
- Launched second phase on traceability request, focusing on the suppliers that represent the remaining 20% of our spend
- Increased awareness of policy commitments by conducting supplier webinars
- Increased awareness of policy commitments and requirements to suppliers by conducting webinars for procurement professionals and packaging teams
- Purchase increasing volumes of certified or recycled pulp- and paper-based materials each year with a goal to source 100 percent by the end of 2020, using the Forest Stewardship Council and other respected certification schemes as geography and availability necessitate (Ongoing)
- Included pulp and paper suppliers in our Supplier Responsible Sourcing Assessment (SRSA) program
- Incorporated sustainability and responsible sourcing requirements in the supplier selection criteria and process
- Report and communicate performance and progress against policy (Ongoing)
We have also set packaging targets for 2020, including increasing the recycled content of our packaging to 50 percent. Currently, approximately 44 percent of Colgate’s paper and board packaging materials by weight globally come from recycled sources. Colgate will continue our long-standing strategy to increase the use of recycled materials as well as our efforts to optimize the use of other packaging materials.
Tallow, a cattle byproduct, is a key ingredient in bar soap production. Colgate sources tallow from suppliers in North America, Latin America and Europe. In Brazil, there are concerns that rising demand for beef as a food source is prompting farmers to clear parts of the Amazon rainforest for cattle ranching.
As a result, we mainly focus on the tallow sourced from Brazil, and work with our Brazilian suppliers to transform practices in our tallow supply chain. We require our suppliers in Brazil to meet the following criteria:
Certify that suppliers follow environmental and social requirements set forth by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources
Confirm that their operations are conducted in conformance with the Minimum Criteria for Industrial Scale Cattle Operations in the Brazilian Amazon Biome, which aims to stop deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
To support our program and commitment we have initiated the following important actions:
Developed a risk assessment tool to evaluate and assess the sustainability performance of 100 percent of our tallow suppliers
Included tallow suppliers in our Supplier Responsible Sourcing Assessment (SRSA) program
Certified that our suppliers operate in compliance with the environmental and social requirements set forth by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA)
Confirmed that 100 percent of our suppliers’ operations conform with the Minimum Criteria for Industrial Scale Cattle Operations in the Brazilian Amazon
Exclude suppliers that do not meet our policy criteria and requirements
Work with our suppliers on verification by using satellite systems to proactively address issues linked to deforestation and assure the material is sourced responsibly
We are publishing below the list of our primary beef tallow suppliers. This snapshot reflects our primary supply network refresh as of year end 2019. We optimized our supply network to only source from suppliers that meet our policy requirements and operate in compliance with IBAMA and the Cattle Amazon sourcing criteria.
It is Colgate’s worldwide policy to manufacture and market our products and operate our facilities so that we conform to, and often exceed, applicable environmental rules and regulations. Our environmental standards, including the management systems standard, define environmental performance expectations for Colgate facilities. All Colgate facilities have a fully implemented Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Management System covering a wide range of categories, including energy, water and waste management. Colgate’s manufacturing environmental performance goals are included in our Global Supply Chain annual objectives, which are cascaded to site-level facility managers, energy managers and EHS managers. Colgate facilities are expected to self-assess compliance with our standards and local regulations every 18 months. Corporate audits are conducted every three to five years, closure progress is reported quarterly and verification audits are conducted to provide closure assurance.
At Colgate, we are aware of the potential consequences of climate change. We are committed to acting responsibly and conscientiously to protect people and the environment wherever we operate. We recognize that businesses and their suppliers, customers and consumers along with other stakeholders have a vital role to play in addressing the global issue of climate change. Climate change is one of Colgate’s key sustainability issues. It is a key focus for our business from both a reputational and an operational standpoint. Consumers, non-governmental organizations and other external stakeholders expect companies to do their part to mitigate climate change. Reducing our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions also enables Colgate to mitigate costs. Since 2002, our energy reduction program has helped us avoid more than $613 million in energy costs. Managing the risks associated with climatic events, such as storms and droughts, is also important to ensure the continuity of our own operations and that of our supply chain. See “Climate Resilience” for more information. Our approach for climate change management and reporting is based on the guidelines of the GHG Protocol, covering about 95 percent of operations and sales where we have financial control.
Key elements of our Climate Strategy include:
We set science-based climate goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Management and Investment
We continue to improve our global energy management system and invest in planet-related improvements via our manufacturing capital program.
We promote the use of renewable energy and support the development of low-carbon energy supply.
Low-Carbon Products and Supply Chains
We quantify greenhouse gas emissions throughout our value chain and focus on reducing the most significant emissions. Colgate ensures responsible sourcing of the forest commodities associated with deforestation.
We integrate climate resilience into our risk management process.
Collaboration and Disclosure
We collaborate with stakeholders to demonstrate business leadership on climate. We are also committed to transparency. We publicly disclose our climate strategies and goals, and report on our progress.
In 2019, Colgate continued to work with Walmart’s Project Gigaton to support their goal to work with their suppliers to reduce 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the global value chain by 2030. Through Project Gigaton, Colgate has committed to GHG goals in six areas: emissions, energy, waste, deforestation, packaging and product use. Colgate reports against these goals annually.
Colgate commits to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from manufacturing by 25 percent from 2002 to 2020, with a longer term goal of a 50 percent reduction by 2050. As a way to reduce our most significant Scope 3 GHG emissions, Colgate is committed to promoting water conservation awareness to 100 percent of our global consumers and reducing emissions associated with consumer behavior by up to five percent from 2016 to 2022, and increasing the recycled content of our packaging to 50 percent by 2020.
As part of our strategy to track and reduce GHG emissions, Colgate also tracks direct and indirect CO2, or carbon dioxide, emissions as well as direct nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFC and PFC emissions. We additionally estimate NOX, or nitric oxide, emissions from Colgate’s North American and European car fleets and from the trucks that deliver Hill’s Pet Nutrition products to retail customers in vehicles that are controlled by Colgate. We track VOC data as needed to comply with local regulations.
Energy Management and Investment
Colgate has a longstanding energy reduction program that has helped us lower GHG emissions and energy use intensity as well as increase financial savings. Our energy management system is modeled after the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and is implemented globally. In 2020, Colgate was named a U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the tenth year in a row, recognized specifically for Sustained Excellence.
Key elements of Colgate’s energy management program include:
- • “Top 10” Energy Actions
- For the past several years, as a way to help our global sites prioritize the most effective energy reduction activities, we have used our Top 10 Energy Actions program. Implemented over two-year increments, this program tracks progress against our ten best global energy reduction opportunities.
- • 5% for the Planet
In 2011, Colgate initiated a program to set an annual capital expenditure budget as a way to drive investment in environmental sustainability projects across our global manufacturing sites. Our “5% for the Planet” program helps ensure that sites identify, fund and implement climate, energy, water, and waste projects that drive both environmental improvement and cost savings. The program sets an annual goal to invest a minimum of five percent of our manufacturing capital expenditure budget on energy reduction, water conservation, and reduction of waste to landfill. Upgrades for environmental compliance and product design are funded separately. A minimum of two percent of the manufacturing capital budget is targeted specifically toward energy reduction projects. Since inception, Colgate has invested more than $248 million in more than 1,300 planet projects, delivering an estimated savings of more than $59 million.
- • Energy Treasure Hunt Program
We engage people across Colgate’s operations to participate in the Energy Treasure Hunt program. Over a three-day period, 30 to 50 participants visit all areas of a facility, searching for energy waste and brainstorming opportunities to drive continuous improvement.
- “At Colgate-Palmolive, fighting climate change isn’t about one big idea. It’s about seeking out, hunting down and implementing hundreds of ideas across our business, including manufacturing,” said Vance Merolla, Worldwide Director, Global Sustainability of Colgate-Palmolive. “As an ENERGY STAR® Partner company, Colgate’s global manufacturing sites have been taking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry since 2011.” Read more on how our global teams hunt down energy waste and fight climate change.
- • Our factories in Boksburg, South Africa, Cali, Colombia, Guatemala City, Guatemala and Rillieux, France earned ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry Achiever status for 2019 by reducing their energy intensity by at least 10% within 5 years.
- • Global Energy Reduction Team
Colgate’s Global Energy Reduction Team leads the technical implementation of Colgate’s energy strategy in our manufacturing sites by setting annual objectives and developing tools and programs to help our sites reach their energy reduction targets. This cross-functional global team is composed of individuals with expertise and passion for reducing Colgate’s energy use and GHG emissions. For 17 years, the Global Energy Reduction Team has continued to focus on supporting our plants with many tools, activities, and initiatives. In 2019, the team supported our global Energy Treasure Hunt program and “Top 10” Energy & Water Actions program.
Energy Intensity Goal
Colgate’s 2020 goal is to reduce the energy intensity of manufacturing our products by one-third compared to 2002. As of 2019, our global energy programs have already resulted in the reduction of energy per ton of products by 33 percent.
As part of our strategy to achieve a 25 percent absolute reduction in GHG by 2020, we are working to promote the use of renewable energy and support the development of a low-carbon energy supply.
As a way to further develop our balanced approach to renewable energy, Colgate developed a Renewable Energy Master Plan, which helps the company identify and prioritize renewable energy opportunities at our facilities around the world. In 2019, Colgate implemented phase I of a multi-phase solar project at our Global Technology Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey. Phase I will generate 903 kWh and when complete, the total project is expected to generate 3.2 MWh.
Colgate has been a U.S. EPA Green Power Partner since 2014, supporting the voluntary use of green power to reduce the environmental effects associated with conventional electricity use. In 2019, Colgate purchased 230,000 MWh of Green-e certified wind power renewable energy certificates generated from wind power farms located in Kansas. This green power purchase was recognized by the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership Leadership Club, achieving the rank of No. 51 in the United States. The purchase cost of green power is allocated back to our facilities in proportion to their carbon emissions as a way to help assign a cost-of-carbon to its source.
In 2019, Colgate hosted an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps fellow whose primary objective was to develop a global strategy for electric vehicle (EV) charging station implementation and to evaluate WELL Building certification at our Piscataway, New Jersey technology campus.
Although Colgate uses only a small quantity of refrigerants in our air conditioning and chilled water systems, we continue to take steps to minimize refrigerant losses and transition to lower global warming potential refrigerants over time. Colgate has aligned with the Consumer Goods Forum’s resolution on refrigerants, which calls on Food and Beverage supply chains to phase out hydrofluorocarbons. Although Colgate is not in the Food and Beverage sector, we have proactively aligned our global refrigerant standard to meet the intent of the CGF’s resolution as a way to support these efforts. In addition, we developed an associated e-learning training tool to assist our global facilities in transitioning toward less carbon-intensive refrigerants.
Low-Carbon Products and Supply Chain
Each year, Colgate works to assess the carbon consequences and opportunities across our value chain. We have expanded our knowledge into areas beyond our own direct energy (Scope 1 emissions) and indirect electricity (Scope 2 emissions) to include areas such as raw material procurement, transportation and logistics, business travel, waste, employee commuting, consumer use of products, and product end-of-life.
The predominance of our GHG emissions is associated with the consumer use of our products. Our category GHG footprint indicates that the impact of brushing, showering, washing hands, and washing dishes differs greatly.
To reduce GHG emissions associated with our products we are focused on:
• Raising consumer awareness of water conservation
• Designing products that allow consumers to use less water or temperate water
• Designing packages that can be recycled
Low-Carbon Supply Chain
We are also focused on GHG emissions in our supply chain. To reduce these emissions we are focused on:
• Supplier engagement
• Carbon-intensive materials
• No deforestation
• Sustainable and efficient logistics
We request that our key Tier I suppliers and suppliers of carbon-intensive materials participate in the CDP Supply Chain Program Climate Disclosure to help us understand and address climate effects and associated risks and opportunities in our upstream supply chain. In 2019, 42 percent of our Tier I direct material suppliers, by spend, responded to the survey, including our largest raw material suppliers and contract manufacturers. We achieved 82 percent supplier participation.
We have identified the oral care, personal care, and home care raw and packaging materials that have the highest carbon footprint. This information has been shared with our Research and Development and Procurement teams to help them identify and prioritize opportunities through material and supplier choices without negatively affecting consumer experience, quality or cost.
We also recognize that deforestation and forest degradation contribute significantly to the release of GHG. Our No Deforestation policy commits to sourcing forest commodity materials responsibly and sustainably by 2020. See “Our Commitment to No Deforestation” for more details on Colgate’s progress on policy implementation.
Sustainable and Efficient Logistics
Customer Service and Logistics teams at Colgate continue to focus on sustainable and efficient logistics initiatives around the world. Through these efforts, we are reducing costs as well as our carbon footprint, all while improving customer service.
Our sustainable and efficient logistics efforts in 2019 included initiatives such as:
- • Load Optimization: Through the use of SAP Transportation Management—a tool currently in place in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam—we are automatically planning shipments to their optimal capacity. This has led to more efficient load planning and minimization in the number of shipments to deliver our products in a timely fashion. In 2020, we will be rolling out this technology for Hill’s exports, which will continue to drive freight planning efficiencies.
- • Route Optimization: By analyzing trends in lane level detail, using internal tools and partnering with third parties, we are identifying transport solutions aimed at reducing transit time, emissions and costs.
- • Distribution Network Optimization: By using a customer location study, which reorganizes the freight to customers through a buffer warehouse and/or new warehouse location, we reduce costs, better serve our customers and reduce our carbon footprint.
- • Co-Loading Trailers: Colgate is working to minimize the number of trucks on the road by co-loading trailers with other companies. This creative freight load-sharing program enables us to minimize the number of our trucks on the road as well as wasted space in our trailers.
- • Improving Vehicle Fuel Efficiency: Our logistics providers are upgrading their fleets to include more aerodynamic and efficient vehicles, resulting in improved miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency.
- • Intermodal Shipping: We are using intermodal shipping globally to drive reductions in CO2 emissions, diesel consumption and cost. Hill’s has been a prime example of our commitment to this initiative and has reached 100 percent utilization on lanes set up for transport by rail two years in a row.
Colgate has a long-standing operations risk management process that includes managing the effects of episodic climatic events, such as storms, floods, droughts and temperature extremes, to our facilities and supply chain. Climate risk is defined as part of the operational, regulatory and reputational and market risks; therefore, Colgate is committed to developing a long-term strategy to mitigate risks from climatic events. As part of this process, we assess potential climate vulnerabilities and risks to ensure our business is able to respond to and recover from climatic events. As part of our loss-prevention program, our strategic manufacturing sites are mandated to be highly protected against risks. Third-party assessments on property loss control are conducted annually for all strategic sites. Additionally, we develop and routinely update category contingency product sourcing plans.
Collaboration and Disclosure
Colgate is committed to transparency and has reported publicly on our carbon and energy reduction performance since 2004. Through these disclosures, we report on financial, regulatory, physical and reputational risks as well as savings associated with eco-efficiency. In 2019, we continued to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders and engaged with leading organizations to inform our climate strategy and drive continuous improvement on a broader basis.
Further details of our risk management strategies related to climate change, water availability and forest commodity risk can be found in our response to CDP’s annual climate change, water and forest surveys. Please go to our Reporting for more details.
Colgate Quantifying Scope 3 emissions and goals
Colgate was recognized as a U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the tenth year in early 2020
U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership National Top 100 List
Global LEED commitment for new construction of all owned facilities
Water is an ingredient in many Colgate products and required in almost every phase of products' life cycles. Clean water is also vital to the communities we serve, yet in many regions of the world, it is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Additionally, other related issues, such as flooding, threaten to have negative consequences on our supply chains and the delivery of raw materials, as well as the finished goods to the customer.
These challenges define the boundaries of Colgate’s Water Stewardship Strategy, which covers the following areas where we have the opportunity to manage impact and create a better environment for communities: Direct Operations, Supply Chain, Consumer Use, Water and Sanitation Access, Ecosystem Protection, and Collaboration and Disclosure.
Key elements of our Water Stewardship Commitment include:
We continue to invest in water conservation and assess water risks associated with our global operations. We replenish water in highly stressed regions and manage our wastewater appropriately.
Supply Chain Management
We are increasing the participation of our suppliers in our water stewardship standard to identify opportunities and mitigate water risks.
We strive to develop innovative products that enable consumers to use less water while meeting or exceeding efficacy expectations. Colgate also promotes water conservation awareness globally.
Water and Sanitation Access
We respect the human right to water, sanitation and hygiene. We partner with local and global organizations to offer clean water to underserved areas around the world. We also provide health and hygiene education in our communities.
Colgate continues to work to protect water-related ecosystems through our commitment to No Deforestation, water replenishment, aquifer protection, wastewater treatment and community partnerships. In the U.S., Colgate continues to support The Nature Conservancy in its mission to protect and restore the health of rivers, lakes, wetlands and forests as well as to educate consumers about the importance of clean, accessible water for people and nature. This includes helping to protect the 2.9 million miles of rivers that cover the United States through projects like ensuring abundant water in the Colorado River basin (which provides clean drinking water to 40 million Americans and irrigates more than five million acres of cropland) and safeguarding clean water along the Ohio River (which provides hydropower navigation, water supply, flood protection and recreation to communities across 14 U.S. states).
Collaboration and Disclosure
We partner with stakeholders and our communities to help drive water stewardship programs. We are committed to transparency and publicly disclose our water stewardship strategies and goals, and report on our progress.
As a way to inform our water stewardship efforts, Colgate engages with leading water experts. This collaboration helps build expertise, align efforts and ensure our water programs meet stakeholder expectations.
Our Water Footprint
Colgate’s water use footprint consists of the water used by our suppliers to produce the raw and packaging materials we purchase, the water used by our facilities to manufacture our products, and the water associated with consumer use of our products.
Although we continue to focus on reducing the water used in our own operations, increasingly we are making efforts to help manage water use along each step of our value chain. The results of our ongoing water footprint exercises have helped quantify the opportunity to have a positive water impact beyond our own operations.
Colgate has had manufacturing water conservation goals since 2002, and since then we have reduced the water consumed per unit of production in the manufacture of our products by 50 percent.(1) Our goal is to reduce our manufacturing water intensity by half compared to 2002 and find ways to replenish water withdrawn in highly stressed regions.
Key elements of our program include:
- • 5% for the Planet
Colgate invests in water conservation strategies at our global facilities through our manufacturing capital expenditure program, 5% for the Planet, and by implementing our Water Stewardship Strategy. A minimum of one percent of the manufacturing capital expenditure budget is targeted specifically toward water conservation projects.
- • True Cost of Water
Colgate’s True Cost of Water Toolkit, developed with Rutgers University Business School’s Supply Chain Management Program, is a manufacturing-based tool designed to help sites quantify some of the hidden costs of water, such as pretreatment, pumping, and wastewater treatment, thereby increasing both economic and environmental opportunities for reduction.
- • Water Stewardship Standard
Colgate’s global Water Stewardship Standard is intended to help ensure that all of our manufacturing facilities and technology centers develop responsible and appropriate programs to ensure that water-related risks are understood and managed, and that water conservation opportunities are continuously evaluated and implemented in support of Colgate’s environmental and sustainability goals. Water Stewardship Strategy expectations vary by the level of geographic water stress.
Canelands, South Africa facility
In 2019, the Canelands, South Africa facility began to realize savings from a recently completed multi-faceted project that reduced its water and energy consumption, reduced absolute material losses, improved product quality and increased capacity. The Canelands team replaced four poor-performing dryers with one highly efficient dryer. This reduced the facility’s fuel consumption by over 60%. The team also upgraded its boiler to include a condensate recovery system which recovers an estimated 750 liters of water/hour. The project also included decommissioning an old highly inefficient cooling tower with a new cooling tower with an estimated water savings of 500 liters/hour. This is a great example of a facility project that supports our global water, energy, CO2 and waste reduction goals.
Guatemala City, Guatemala facility
The team at our Guatemala City facility implemented a strategy to control and reduce water consumption focusing on a systematic control of daily water consumption in every area of the site to identify and repair leaks and the decommissioning of obsolete piping. Their focused efforts helped save the facility nearly 4,000 m3 per month.
In regions with high water stress, we continue to assess water risks and implement appropriate resilience measures as a way to anticipate and mitigate the effects. In 2015, Colgate developed a framework project to create replenishment criteria, define geographical boundaries and identify both environmental and community-related options to meet our commitment to replenish water in highly stressed regions.
Subsequently, we leveraged this project’s output by piloting the overall replenishment approach for our manufacturing sites in India. Through this work, we identified future opportunities to maximize on-site water reduction by increasing rainwater harvesting and community water projects.
Supply Chain Management
We continue to address supply chain water risks in several ways. We are increasing supplier engagement in our Water Stewardship Strategy by participating in programs such as the CDP Supply Chain Program. Additionally, we are helping our product developers and procurement teams understand and identify our most water-intensive raw and packaging materials.
We requested several of our Tier I suppliers and suppliers of water-intensive materials to participate in the CDP Supply Chain Program Water Disclosure to help us understand and address water consequences and associated risks and opportunities in our upstream supply chain. In 2019, 40 percent of our Tier I direct material suppliers, by spend, responded to the survey, including our largest raw material suppliers and contract manufacturers. We achieved 68 percent supplier participation.
To help reduce the water associated with the production of raw materials, we are working to identify the most water-intensive materials in each of our product categories. With this information, we are able to engage our suppliers to better assess where there are opportunities to reduce the water footprint of our products through feedstock choices and conversion efficiency, particularly in markets under high water stress.
In 2018, we collaborated with the Mint Industry Research Council (MIRC) to gather and analyze data from mint suppliers to better understand the climate and water challenges across North America and share the insights with the industry. In 2019, Colgate continued to engage with MIRC on sustainable mint farming. MIRC invited Colgate to present our mint farmer marketing campaign at their annual meeting to demonstrate our shared commitment to North America's mint farming industry. Colgate collaborated with North America's mint farmers to create a marketing campaign that featured MIRC member mint farmers on displays in retail stores.
Colgate also has representatives on the MIRC Scientific Affairs Committee and the MIRC Board of Directors. We support the identification and financial support of new research on improving the growth and use of North American mint oils. An example of this type of research is in the support of methods of irrigation. Understanding the position of sprinkler heads to get closer to the roots and reducing evaporation while providing enough water needed and not over watering. The research measures the water savings versus more traditional overhead watering. Much of overhead watering can be evaporated and can cause mint oils in the leaves to be washed away. New methods reduce evaporation, increase yields and save overall water used to irrigate the crop.
Colgate understands that the water required to use our products represents the largest portion of our overall water footprint. To that end, water scarcity is an opportunity for innovation. Colgate’s portfolio now includes a number of products that allow consumers to use less water and we’re developing more
Palmolive Dish Eco-Respect is Colgate’s first bottle using 100% post-consumer recycled PET in Europe. It has an improved sustainability profile, allowing for effective use with cold water, is hypoallergenic with a biodegradable formula free from fragrance and dyes. It also carries the EU ‘Ecolabel Certified’ seal on-pack.
Water Conservation Awareness
To help consumers conserve water as they use our products, Colgate seeks to promote water conservation awareness to all our global consumers. Through actions, such as turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth and washing their hands, much water can be conserved. In 2019, Colgate continued to expand our Save Water campaign globally with messaging around World Water Day on March 22 and beyond.
Colgate’s Save Water campaign, launched worldwide in 2016,continues to increase consumer awareness through messaging on our packaging, online and in stores. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Colgate People around the world, we are helping drive greater awareness of water issues―on World Water Day and every day―among consumers, customers and fellow Colgate People.
All our divisions engage Colgate People around the world regardless of office size or location on World Water Day, inviting them to take a Save Water pledge and spread the word about water conservation. Some locations also hold events with guest speakers and or employees volunteering in the local community. The Save Water message appears on our toothpaste and toothbrush packaging, soaps and cleaning products. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Colgate People around the world, we are helping drive greater awareness of water issues—on World Water Day and every day—among consumers, customers and fellow Colgate People.
Celebrating Our Save Water Commitments
- Colgate hosted a media event panel at the United Nations headquarters in NYC during 2019 Climate Week to share insights from our ongoing Save Water campaign, launched in 2016. To date, our Save Water program has helped avoid using an estimated 99 billion gallons of water and an estimated 5.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
- In celebration of World Water Day, we asked children related to Colgate People working in our plants why they think saving water is important. Hear what they had to say.
- Colgate presented “Running Dry: Saving the Verde River”. As part of Colgate’s Save Water campaign, we partnered with The Nature Conservancy scientist Kari Vigerstol and water activist and ultra-runner Mina Guli to bring attention to the Verde River basin which provides water to the Phoenix metropolitan area. The water quantity has been decreasing in the last 15 to 20 years.
- Colgate partners with a number of organizations, including Water for People in Latin America and Asia, to provide underserved communities with access to clean water. In 2019, Colgate India, continued its partnership with Water For People India Trust, and its Amravati Water initiative in the villages of Amravati District of Maharashtra. This expansion of Colgate’s partnership with Water For People continues as a result of their successful collaboration in Bihar and West Bengal, since 2013. The program aims to support projected cumulative coverage to 36 villages by 2022. Collaborations and engagement with local communities, local and district level government authorities and stakeholders have played a vital role in building the infrastructure, operation and maintenance of water facilities and ownership. Innovative solution to water testing is executed through water quality testing toolkits which are handy to test bacterial contamination. Local youth and women are trained to carry out these tests. See how our partnership in India is changing lives.
- Colgate continues to raise public awareness of the global water crisis and the importance of water conservation because #EveryDropCounts. Around the Colgate World viewings were held of the charity event One Night for One Drop, a performance by Cirque du Soleil sponsored by Colgate. The show aired on national television in the U.S. on March 16th, 2019.
Water and Sanitation Access
One of Colgate’s 2020 Sustainability Strategy goals is to work with local and global organizations to help promote access to clean water and provide oral health and hygiene education in communities around the world.
In that spirit, Colgate is proud to continue our commitment to support water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programming through our partnership with Water For People as they pursue their mission to reach Everyone Forever with WASH services across Guatemala, India and Peru. From 2013 through 2019, Colgate’s total support of more than $1.8 million has helped more than 322,000 people in communities and 207,000 people in public schools and health clinics gain access to safe water services, more than 245,000 people gain access to improved sanitation and more than 460,000 people learn about proper hygiene.
In 2019, Colgate continued our partnership with Water For People in Guatemala and India to strengthen and support the municipal water and sanitation offices that were established since we began our partnership in 2013. Our partnership exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses and governments.
We also recognize that communities facing inadequate access to safe water often do not have sufficient sanitation services and that handwashing is not widely practiced. Colgate continues to work with public health officials, academia, local schools and clinics to educate millions of children and their families about the health and hygiene benefits of handwashing. Further, as a matter of long-standing practice, Colgate provides safe water, sanitation and hygiene to all people in our workplaces.
Wastewater discharges from Colgate’s operations are generally treated on site and/or by the local municipality prior to discharge to a body of water. We continue to work to reduce pollutant-loading in our wastewater discharges prior to treatment. In selected locations where water stress is high, Colgate treats wastewater to tertiary levels, allowing it to be reused for cooling, toilet flushing, gardening and other purposes.
Collaboration and Disclosure
As a way to inform our water stewardship efforts, Colgate engages with leading water experts. This collaboration helps build expertise, align efforts and ensure our water programs meet stakeholder expectations. We are also committed to transparency and reporting publicly on our water stewardship and reduction performance. Colgate participates on the United Nations CEO Water Mandate Action Platform as part of our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). This initiative seeks to mobilize business leaders to advance water stewardship, sanitation and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Colgate is working with the UNGC to leverage the SDGs in the ongoing development of our water stewardship and sustainability strategies. Additionally, we have joined the UNGC Action Platform on climate related Pathways to Low-Carbon and Resilient Development.
- • 5% for the Planet
Colgate sites are reducing, reusing and recycling waste. As part of our 2020 Sustainability Strategy, we have committed to halve our manufacturing waste sent to the landfill per ton of product compared to 2010, working toward our goal of Zero Waste.
In 2017, Colgate initiated a new relationship with the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) on its TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Zero Waste certification program, adopting it as our global platform to drive Zero Waste. Currently, manufacturing facilities in all geographies are using the TRUE Zero Waste approach and tools. Additionally, we are aligning our global waste data management systems with TRUE Zero Waste to ensure uniform measurement of results.
As of 2019, a total of 16 Colgate manufacturing facilities achieved GBCI TRUE Zero Waste certification. Colgate has the first TRUE Zero Waste facilities in Latin America, continental Europe, India, China and Vietnam. Colgate is truly a global leader in this space with more TRUE Zero Waste projects than any other company in any industry. As a result, Colgate received a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2019 Leadership Award in recognition of exemplary work and leadership in the green building industry.
The TRUE Zero Waste program goes beyond just looking at diversion rates. It is a whole system approach that encourages companies to find ways to reduce waste throughout their supply chain. For example, it encourages facilities to work with vendors to identify alternatives to non-recyclable packaging and inspires facilities to implement strategies to reduce the amount of packaging for outbound materials.
An aspect of the TRUE Zero Waste program that embeds the concept of waste diversion at our facilities is the high level of employee engagement. From “Green Teams” to “Trash to Treasure Dumpster Dive” events, our employees are engaged to achieve zero waste every day.
Our commitments in action:
● Trash-to-Treasure Exercise, Goa, India
Colgate is the first company in India to be recognized for having TRUE Zero Waste facilities and is finding innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste at our four Indian manufacturing sites.
● The Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI) has approved a new on-pack certification mark for all Colgate products manufactured in any of our TRUE Zero Waste facilities. With this TRUE mark on-pack, we can share our sustainability commitment with consumers and customers.
● Multiple Colgate sites have worked with suppliers to replace cardboard cores on materials, such as shrink wrap rolls and label rolls, with reusable cores that are returned to the supplier for reuse.
We recognize the importance of reducing waste at every stage of the product lifecycle, including at the end-of-life of our products and packaging. We have committed to delivering 100 percent recyclable packaging in our Personal Care, Home Care and Hill’s Pet Nutrition categories by 2020 and 100 percent recyclable packaging in all categories, including Oral Care, by 2025.
Our investments in packaging innovation continue to bear fruit. In 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube, the first oral or personal care tube to be recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers. The recyclable toothpaste tube debuted under the Tom’s of Maine brand in the United States and the Colgate Smile for Good brand in Europe. Consistent with the Company’s commitment to sustainability, Colgate is making this innovative technology available to interested third parties as part of its campaign to increase recyclability of toothpaste tubes. Read more information on our packaging commitments and progress.
We believe building a circular economy in which industrial materials and packaging can be recycled and reused is an important part of a sustainable future. In addition to commitments for our own packaging, Colgate has committed to work with stakeholders to drive continuous improvement in local recycling systems.
In 2014, we became one of the initial investors in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund to develop local recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing technologies that advance the circular economy. In the United States, municipalities often lack access to the capital to invest in recycling programs and infrastructure. The Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund provides zero-interest loans to municipalities and below-market loans to private companies with a goal to develop infrastructure and improve recycling rates. The fund also seeks to co-invest with local private and public entities to magnify its impact. The fund has invested in the collection, sorting and processing of recyclables. To learn more, visit ClosedLoop Partners' website here. Progress is measured using five key metrics:
1. Tons of material diverted from landfill
2. Metric tons of GHG emissions avoided
3. Economic benefit to municipalities
4. Households represented
5. Co-investment dollars leveraged
Since its inception, the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund has invested in 27 projects and deployed $58M to date, with an additional $220M contributed by co-investors. One of Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund’s investments – to Eureka Recycling in Minneapolis-Saint Paul – has enabled Eureka to triple their recovery of polypropylene (the commonly used plastic in to-go containers). Eureka sorts 100,000 tons of recyclables every year, diverting valuable materials from landfill. To learn more, read the Closed Loop Fund’s 2019 Impact Report.
Colgate has committed to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for all of our new construction projects around the world. We have used the LEED green building rating system to help design and construct our manufacturing sites, technology centers, warehouses and offices as one way to help reduce our overall exposure to water and climate change-related issues and offer a healthier, more comfortable work environment.
Currently, Colgate has 19 facilities that have achieved 26 LEED Certifications, with one additional project underway. Our LEED projects have been conducted in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Europe. In addition, we use several LEED-certified third-party distribution centers. Colgate has been a member company of the USGBC since 2007. Colgate continues to collaborate and engage with USGBC in the advancement of LEED and green building practices for the global manufacturing sector. Further information about Colgate’s LEED-certified buildings is available on the USGBC Green Building Information Gateway.
In 2018, Colgate achieved three new LEED certifications at our Burlington, New Jersey Oral Care manufacturing site (LEED Silver), our Greenwood, South Carolina Personal Care manufacturing site (LEED Certified), and at our Sri City, India Toothbrush manufacturing site (LEED Gold). In 2019, Colgate’s Burlington, N.J. flavors facility was the first site in the world to achieve LEED Zero Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for net zero carbon, energy, water and waste.
More rooftops across Colgate are supporting solar panels as we strive to reach our goal of 100% renewable electricity in our global operations by 2030. Our Technology Campus in Piscataway, NJ, is the latest facility that's harnessing the power of the sun.
- ●The renewable energy generated by the project’s phase 1 is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions saved by nearly 1,600,000 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, 74 homes’ energy use for one year or our Technology Campus Datacenter Building being offset 100%.
- ●This also equates to the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by 217 tons of waste recycled instead of landfilled or 24,300 incandescent lamps switched to LED.
“LEED” and related logos are trademarks owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and are used with permission.