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Committed to Responsible Sourcing


Colgate-Palmolive is committed to source materials and services, responsibly, meaning with the goal of not causing harm to or exploiting people or the environment. To support our commitment to Responsible Sourcing, we focus on four key pillars: protection of the environment, ethical labor practices, the health & safety of people, and business integrity.

Through execution of the Colgate programs, policies and initiatives shared here, we continue to make steady progress along our responsible sourcing journey. Colgate is continuously assessing and benchmarking its policies and evaluating our suppliers and the industries in which they operate to ensure our ingredients continue to be responsibly sourced.

Fundamental to our commitment are four key policies and initiatives; our third party code of conduct, ensuring the safety of our ingredients, our due diligence practices with third parties and our focus on the environment, climate change & water stewardship.


Colgate’s Third-Party Code of Conduct conveys our expectations regarding the ethical conduct we expect from our suppliers, distributors, agents, customers, research partners, and all other third parties with whom we work. We communicate to our Third Party Partners that they should take reasonable steps to ensure that Colgate’s Third Party Code of Conduct is communicated throughout their organizations and made available to their employees and subcontractors who work on Colgate business. As a standard practice, Colgate’s Third Party Code of Conduct is included in our purchase and service agreements.

The strength of Colgate's reputation is based, not only on our own conduct, but also on the actions of those with whom we do business. For that reason, we aspire to work only with third parties who share our values and reflect the same high ethical standards. In the event that a non-compliant supplier does not want to engage in the resolution process within expected timeframes or remains non-compliant with our Policies, we reserve the right to take further measures including reviewing commercial relationships with suppliers and including them on Colgate’s No Buy List.


The safety of every ingredient and each product we market is core to Colgate-Palmolive’s values. We are committed not only to making safe products, but also to making those products with ingredients and processes that have minimal impact on the world around us. Our scientists strive to develop products that are environmentally sensitive and effective, while also ensuring that they meet our high product standards and comply with all applicable government regulations everywhere they are sold around the world. To learn more, please view our Policy on Ingredient Safety.


Colgate is committed to conducting business with ethical third parties. As an initial step to conducting business with suppliers or service providers, all third parties undergo a screening process against various watch lists, sanctions lists, negative media, and regulatory notice of violations. Following the initial screening third parties conducting business with Colgate are subjected to continuous monitoring with alerts to potential red flags. All red flags are investigated and as required corrective action is taken. Third parties who may engage with a government entity on behalf of Colgate are required to complete a comprehensive due diligence process prior to engaging in business with Colgate.


For many years we have requested that our key raw material and packaging suppliers and suppliers of carbon-intensive and water-intensive materials participate in the CDP Supply Chain Program Climate and Water Disclosures to help us understand and address climate effects and associated water risks and opportunities in our upstream supply chain.

In 2020, we launched our 2025 Sustainability & Social Impact Strategy focused on accelerating action on climate change and reducing our environmental footprint.  This included working with our partners and operations to eliminate waste, decrease plastic usage, save water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and conserve natural resources.  To that end, we have defined specific actions we expect our Third Party Partners to take addressing their operations and supply chain impact on the environment:

  • Reduce GHG emissions

    • The sourcing of our ingredients and packaging accounts for approximately 80% of Colgate’s Purchased Goods and Services emissions, so we’re working directly with our ingredient & packaging suppliers, focusing on those who represent the majority of the emissions. With a focus on accelerating action on climate change and driving sustainable sourcing, we have created clear expectations that will enable our suppliers to take holistic action for decarbonization. These expectations include setting public emission reduction targets, reporting their climate progress on CDP, providing accurate material carbon footprint data and most importantly sharing absolute carbon reduction opportunities like low carbon material alternatives or regenerative agriculture projects.

    • By focusing on climate action and absolute carbon reduction opportunities along with encouraging suppliers to set Net Zero Carbon targets aligned with the SBTi, we can accelerate our cumulative efforts.  The aim of our supplier engagement is for our targeted suppliers to have clear carbon reduction roadmaps with identified priority decarbonization levers, preferably across all three scopes, and for us to be able to enhance and track their progress.

    • To enable better supplier engagement, we executed two internal initiatives: (1) we devised  climate education modules for our procurement teams and (2) we created a climate focused organization structure by assigning climate champions in each procurement division. Both initiatives together will enable scaling of our climate efforts across our global supply chain.  Additionally, we host annual “Sustainability Days” events to deep dive with priority suppliers across all our sustainability programs, including climate. In 2023 we hosted two such events - one in our global headquarters and one at the Hill's Pet Nutrition Center.

  • Take Action on Water Security

    • Our 2025 Water Stewardship Goal is to engage with 100% of our suppliers in water stressed areas. Having identified our priority suppliers, we are now engaging with suppliers in different geographies each year to complete our goal by 2025. In 2023 we engaged with suppliers in water stressed areas in North America and Latin America and in 2024 we plan to engage with identified suppliers in Europe and Asia Pacific, with an aim to achieve the majority of our target in 2024 itself.  We are asking suppliers to assess water conservation and security across their operations, identify water risks, create action plans to mitigate those identified risks, and report publicly their actions and progress against their goals and targets.  We encourage our third-party partners to report their water use and water security actions via CDP.

  • Reduce waste

    • Third Party Partners should reduce waste in their entire operations, engaging with their suppliers and communities as appropriate.  Where applicable, recyclable materials, recycled content or approaches to minimize packaging materials should be used for raw materials, packaging materials or in the construction of other materials or products sold to Colgate.  Third Party Partners should establish clear and transparent goals and targets related to waste reduction and publicly report on their actions and progress against their goals and targets.

For more information on our activity on climate change, water stewardship and waste management please refer to our online Sustainability & Social Impact Report.


In addition to the above policies and initiatives, Colgate has the following core programs supporting our four pillars and commitment. Third parties are selected for inclusion in one or more of the core programs based on risk factors including: inherent country or industry risks, select services provided to Colgate or criticality to Colgate’s business.

Enhanced Supplier Management (ESM)

Colgate’s ESM Program is a global risk assessment and audit process for our raw material, packaging suppliers and contract manufacturers focused on three key areas:

  • Compliance with Colgate’s quality standards and regulatory requirements ensuring the quality and safety of our products

  • Quality of service to ensure an effective supply of Colgate-Palmolive products to our customers and consumers

  • Compliance with good environmental management processes and respect for worker safety and labor rights

Annually on average, there are approximately one thousand supplier site risk assessments conducted  and 120 supplier sites audited.

Supplier Responsible Sourcing Assessment (SRSA)

Colgate’s Supplier Responsible Sourcing Assessment (SRSA) program is a risk assessment and audit program focused specifically on social and environmental compliance at Colgate manufacturing facilities, contract manufacturers, raw and packaging material suppliers, warehouses, and co-packers. All suppliers are assessed through a country/sector risk pre-screen. Based on the results of this pre-screen, suppliers are selected for further evaluation through the Sedex Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). The SAQ allows suppliers to share information about their business with their customers by completing a set of questions based on Labour, Health & Safety, Environment, and Business Ethics. 

After reviewing SAQ results and/or evaluating other external risk factors, suppliers are selected for SMETA 4-Pillar Audits to evaluate compliance on site. On average approximately 200 suppliers are evaluated annually by way of an SAQ or Audit.

Forest Positive Commitments

Colgate-Palmolive supports a vision of a future without deforestation. We are committed to sourcing forest commodities from responsibly managed forests. Our no deforestation policy covers the following forest commodities: palm, soy, beef tallow and paper based packaging materials. Colgate also has stand alone policies on the Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Palm Oil and Soy.  Colgate annually updates its policies and provides details on actions implemented and planned activities in the No deforestation and commodity specific policies.

Key components of our commitment include mapping and traceability of our supply chain, purchasing of certified palm, soy and paper based packaging materials, verifying supplier compliance with Colgate’s policies, local regulations and standards such as the Minimum Criteria for Industrial Scale Cattle Operations in the Brazilian Amazon for our beef tallow suppliers and implementation of satellite monitoring capabilities to identify and manage potential deforestation events.

In addition, Colgate is supporting five transformation projects in Indonesia, Malaysia  and Latin America focused on addressing environmental and social issues as well as building supplier responsible production capabilities and improving the livelihoods of smallholders and farmers.

Colgate’s actions in 2023 focused on deepening our traceability of forest-risk materials back to the point of origin.  For example, we implemented methodologies to assess and engage our suppliers on deforestation and conversion free supplies; we elevated our grievance management process by publishing a palm oil grievance log;  we expanded our actions on the ground with a new palm oil landscape project in Perak, Malaysia supported by the NGO Solidaridad and Colgate’s supplier Sime Darby.  We have also prioritized our engagement with external stakeholders, peers and industry organizations to further accelerate and scale our efforts.

Colgate is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) - Forest Positive Coalition where we work with more than 20 leading consumer product companies and retailers to leverage collective action and accelerate efforts to remove deforestation, forest degradation and conversion from key commodity supply chains.  Colgate also partners with leading industry expert organizations such as the Earthworm Foundation supporting our sustainable sourcing programs for palm oil and soy and the Rainforest Alliance supporting our sustainable pulp and paper packaging sourcing program.

In working with our suppliers and upstream supply chain, third party partners should strive to ensure that their operations do not contribute to deforestation, loss of biodiversity or result in conflict with local communities.  Suppliers sourcing or trading palm oil, soybean, paper pulp and beef (tallow) materials are expected to be aware of and in compliance with Colgate’s forest commodity policies; specifically Colgate’s Palm Oil Policy, Soy Policy and No Deforestation Policies. Additionally, our third party partners should understand and measure the impact of deforestation effects and their actions related to GHG emissions resulting from their operations. 

To learn more about our policies, commitments and actions  addressing deforestation in our supply chain please see our No Deforestation Policy , Our Policy on Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Palm OilsResponsible Soy Procurement Policy and the Preserving Our Environment  section in Colgate’s Sustainability and Social Impact Report.  .

Respecting Human and Labor Rights

Colgate is committed to compliance with all applicable labor laws and modern slavery laws in countries where we operate. Colgate has a long-standing commitment to respecting human rights and labor rights worldwide and supports the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Core Labor Conventions. In addition, we have confirmed our support for the UN Global Compact and its principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

Colgate is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) - Human Rights Coalition (HRC), which consists of 30 manufacturers and retailers committed to eradicating forced labor from consumer goods supply chains.   Through the coalition's collective action we seek to drive the social sustainability conversation forward and help implement actions that lead to positive impacts.  As a member of the coalition we  support the Forum’s Social Resolution on Forced Labor and its supporting Priority Industry Principles; every worker should have freedom of movement, no worker should pay for a job and no worker should be indebted or coerced to work.  Colgate is a member of and sits on the leadership team of AIM-Progress, through which we collaborate with peer consumer goods companies, suppliers and industry leaders to drive action on the responsible and sustainable sourcing of materials.

To learn more about Colgate’s commitment and activities supporting our commitment to respect human and labor rights, please see our Sustainability & Social Impact Report under the People section and our annual publication, “Respecting Human Rights and Labor Rights”.

In addition to specific actions Colgate is taking, we expect our third parties to take action to protect human and labor rights of their workers and workers in their upstream supply chain.  These actions include:

  • Implement a code of conduct or policy for their own operations which includes a statement committing to respect & protect human rights and referencing at least one key international standard (eg. United Nations - Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (UNGP), International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions)

  • Implement a third-party code or policy that establishes expectations for actions their suppliers should take to respect human and labor rights

  • Demonstrate an understanding of where human rights risks exist in their own operations and their supply chain and establish a process to assess the identified risks (e.g. conduct human rights due diligence)

  • Demonstrate risk mitigation actions, in their own operations and in their supply chain, for identified human right risk area (eg. supplier engagement actions, grievance processes, training)

  • When sourcing high risk materials potentially associated with forced labor or child labor, suppliers should demonstrate an extra duty of care to mitigate forced labor and child labor risks in their operations and supply chain.

In 2023, we deepened our human rights engagement with suppliers sourcing agricultural and farm commodities to Colgate’s Hill’s Pet Nutrition division through the rollout of a supply chain human rights due diligence assessment.  Additionally, we developed a human rights due diligence framework which we are implementing across our own manufacturing and warehouse facilities beginning in 2024 focused on potential human rights risks with third-party labor and service providers working in Colgate’s owned and operated sites.  

Conflict Minerals

Colgate-Palmolive supports ending the violence and human rights violations by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries that has been funded in part by proceeds from the mining of cassiterite, columbite-tantalite (coltan), wolframite and gold, including their derivatives, tin, tantalum and tungsten (3TGs).

In line with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure requirements regarding 3TGs, we are committed to strengthening our due diligence capabilities and processes to identify the sources of 3TGs used in our products, with the goal of ensuring that the 3TGs contained in our products do not directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the DRC or neighboring countries. To learn more please see; Our Policy on Conflict Minerals.


Colgate realizes that we cannot achieve our ambitious goals alone. A critical element of our commitment to responsible sourcing is our engagement and collaboration with external partners.


Colgate partnerships

To learn more about Colgate’s Partnerships, please visit our Sustainability website.