Working at Colgate allows each of us to serve a purpose bigger than ourselves—to reimagine a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. This purpose is shared by Colgate People around the world and it guides our ambitions to drive social impact by being a best-in-class employer and a responsible corporate citizen, to help people develop habits that improve their health and their homes, and to preserve and enhance our environment.
Colgate People know that we have a unique opportunity to shape a better world. The Colgate brand is found in more homes than any other—more than 58% of households—which provides a world of opportunity for us to make a difference through innovation, education and partnership.
Innovation to Achieve Breakthroughs
Innovation can move the needle. Our first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube aims to make plastic tubes part of the circular economy, not just for our toothpaste, but for all toothpaste tubes. We proudly support transparency and are working to educate consumers about our recyclable toothpaste tubes by inviting them to learn more at colgate.com/goodness. And everywhere you look across our product portfolio, you see large and small reinvention: toothpaste tabs in metal tins, mouthwash in aluminum cans, just-add-water tablets for liquid hand soap and concentrated gels for dish liquid, toothbrushes with handles made from bamboo or designed with replaceable brush heads that use 80% less plastic than our similarly sized toothbrushes. All of these changes help us reduce our use of plastic and cut plastic waste, which is a top priority for our team. Innovating to find a better way has also helped us reduce the energy we use in our operations by 37%, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 38% and reduce our use of water 52%, all since 2002.
Education to Rally Change
We know that about 80% of our environmental footprint occurs when people use and dispose of our products, so we seek opportunities to encourage better habits. Our Save Water campaign encouraging people to turn off the tap when brushing has contributed to the avoidance of approximately 206 billion gallons of water since 2016, plus 10.8M metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the energy needed to treat, heat and pump water. And recently, when we introduced our breakthrough recyclable toothpaste tube under the Colgate brand in the U.S., we included a bold "Recycle Me!" message to build awareness among consumers, and begin changing their behavior.
We also know that education holds a key to better health. We’ve reached over 1.4 billion children and their families with our Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® (BSBF) oral health education program. And our new oral health literacy campaign to empower people to Know Your OQ™—to understand and improve their oral health quotient—calls out the links between oral health and overall health and well-being, so people take action for a healthier future.
Partnership to Power Progress
The world’s challenges are daunting, and no company can go it alone. So while innovation and education are two ways we get things done, it's partnership that amplifies their impact. Examples are many. The reach of BSBF in 80+ countries is only possible through partnership with schools, retailers, dental professionals and others. Our decision back in 2019 to share our recyclable tube technology encouraged the transition for other toothpaste companies. And to advance recycling, we joined eight other companies as original investors in funds with the Closed Loop Partners to support new infrastructure at scale. That partnership led to another benefit: it connected us with Algramo, which helped us experiment with a refillable model for our Softsoap liquid hand soap.
To conclude, our purpose to reimagine a healthier future for all brings extra meaning to our work for sustainability and social impact. Innovation is key to our progress, education is essential for building momentum for change and partnership makes both far more powerful. I invite you to review our progress and plans in the pages of this report.