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green forest

Background

Forests are vital to life on earth. They are a major force in countering climate change by storing carbon dioxide. They provide a livelihood for over 1.6 billion people, habitat for 80 percent of earth’s terrestrial species, and are a source for a variety of products for people and industries worldwide.

It is estimated that over the past 50 years, over half of the world’s forests have been lost. This has led not just to biodiversity loss and social instability, but also furthered climate change. Deforestation of High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock forests such as tropical rainforests and peatlands has been especially devastating to endangered animal species, and has led to significant release of carbon emissions.

Experts around the world now consider deforestation and climate change to be a major strategic threat, one which could affect each of us and how we live day-to-day. As a socially responsible company,  Colgate-Palmolive (“Colgate”) is committed to addressing deforestation. This deforestation policy, based on our core values, is an integral part of the Company’s strategy to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

Colgate-Palmolive operates globally with a set of shared values: Caring, Global Teamwork and Continuous Improvement. These three values serve to guide us in providing products that make people’s lives healthier and more enjoyable every day.  Our commitment to Caring – for people and the environment – motivates us to do our part to end global deforestation.

Our commitment to Global Teamwork means we will work within Colgate and together with external partners on this goal. Given this enormous global challenge requiring the commitment of people around the world, we recognize that our part can only be accomplished through Continuous Improvement… getting better every day in everything we do. We are committed to transparency and believe that it is important for our employees and other key stakeholders, including shareholders, suppliers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to know where we stand on key environmental issues. We share a vision with concerned stakeholders for a future without deforestation.  Colgate is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) - Forest Positive Coalition of Action.  We are  aligned with the CGF’s Theory of Change and Coalition of Action priorities to accelerate transformation of industries associated with deforestation and conversion of native landscapes.  Our work with the Forest Positive Coalition is focused on Palm Oil, Soy, and Pulp and Paper based Packaging and our commitments and expectations for ourselves and our supply chain are aligned with the Forest Positive Coalition goals.  With the CGF, we recognized the need for a new approach to meet the goal established in 2010 to end forest commodity associated deforestation by 2020.  While focusing on supply chain certification and traceability has had a positive impact at reducing the rate of deforestation, there is much work to be done to address ongoing deforestation, conversion and exploitation of people associated with forest risk commodities.  Only through sector-wide collective engagement and effective landscape monitoring with CGF members, suppliers, governments, smallholder farmers and all other stakeholders can there be success.  As we move into the next decade we will continue to strive to achieve a supply chain which is free of deforestation and respects the rights of workers and communities touched by our supply chain.

Our Commitment

This commitment applies to our four major forest commodities: pulp and paper; palm oil and derivatives; soy and soy oil; and beef and beef tallow.  Colgate-Palmolive aspires to build a transparent and responsible supply chain, and contribute to industry level transformation. We commit to eliminating exploitation and deforestation or conversion of native vegetation from our supply chain, and promote the protection of areas of significant environmental and social value.

Our overall commitment includes:

  • No deforestation and no conversion of native vegetation
  • No exploitation of people or local communities
  • Legal Compliance
  • Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Adoption of good agricultural practices

No deforestation and no conversion of native vegetation

We commit to eliminating conversion of native vegetation with significant environmental or social value from our supply chain. Conversion is the removal of natural forest by human activity, without subsequent regeneration. Conversion may occur due to changing land use (e.g. agriculture, urban development, etc.) or where forest has been cleared by forest management practices and not regenerated. This commitment prohibits both deforestation of forested biomes, and conversion of native vegetation in grassland or savannah biomes. Wherever possible, production should occur on already converted or degraded land.  Sustainably managed selective logging of natural forests does not constitute conversion. Our no deforestation and no conversion commitment includes the following areas:

  • Protection of High Carbon Stock Forests 
    • High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests encompass primary forests as well as High, Medium, Low Density and Regenerating forests. Young Scrub, Cleared/Open Land areas, existing plantations or other land already in agricultural production may be developed. We recognize and support the HCS Approach developed by the HCS Steering Group.
  • Protection of High Conservation Value Areas 
    • High Conservation Value (HCV) areas are lands that have particularly high environmental and social significance, with attributes such as significant concentration of biodiversity, rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems and areas critical to the cultural identity and needs of a local community. These areas should not be cleared nor, for forest-based products, should they be harvested in a manner that threatens the HCVs.
    • We will use HCV concepts to guide implementation of this commitment. We expect suppliers to identify and protect areas with attributes aligned with the six HCV values, including significant concentrations of biodiversity; landscape level ecosystems; rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems; areas providing important ecosystem services; and areas critical to the cultural identity and needs of local communities.  Colgate encourages landscape approaches and multi-stakeholder land use planning to identify areas of significant social and environmental value.
  • No Use of Fire for Land Clearance
    • We will only source from suppliers who prohibit the use of fire as part of land preparation, replanting or other developments.
  • No New Development on Peatlands, Regardless of Depth 
    • We will not accept new development of any peatland, regardless of its depth. In instances of existing plantations on peat, best management practices should be followed and, where possible, peat restoration should be attempted.

No Exploitation of People or Local Communities

Colgate commits to a supply chain that respects and upholds the rights of workers, indigenous peoples and communities.

  • Respect for Human and Labor Rights 
    • Guided by the UN Declaration on Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, under a policy of no exploitation, Colgate-Palmolive requires its suppliers at all tiers and across all global operations at a corporate group level to commit to: no child or forced/bonded labor; no unethical recruitment practices; and no discrimination or harassment in its supply chain. Suppliers must be compliant with all relevant laws and regulations and additionally commit to working conditions, health and safety, hours and wages that are in accordance with International Labour Organization standards. Written contracts, where required by law, will be provided to all workers in a language that they understand that details the nature of the work, rate of pay and pay arrangements, working hours, vacation and other leave, and other benefits of employment. Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining will also be guaranteed. Colgate supports the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Industry Resolution on Forced Labor and the Priority Industry Principles in which 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 the CGF - Human Rights Coalition - Working to End Forced Labour.
  • Respect for Land Tenure Rights
    • Colgate-Palmolive suppliers will respect the legal or customary land-tenure and use rights of indigenous and local communities, as well as their rights to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for operations affecting their land or resources.  Forest commodity producers are expected to demonstrate legal title for the property where materials originate, including official documents demonstrating the farm or plantation boundaries. Suppliers are expected to gather information about actual or potential social conflict in their supply chain, and ensure they are not sourcing from growers involved in illegal land acquisition or conflict with local communities.
  • Conflict Resolution: 
    • Colgate-Palmolive suppliers will resolve complaints and conflicts through a mutually agreed upon and transparently documented system that is implemented and accepted by all relevant parties.  
    • Violence or retaliation by suppliers or upstream producers against human rights defenders or local communities will not be tolerated.

Legal Compliance

Colgate commits to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations at the national and international levels. Suppliers must demonstrate compliance with legal requirements.

Reduction of Greenhouse Gases: Suppliers are expected to work continuously to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutant emissions from existing mills and agricultural activities.

Adoption of good agricultural practices: Colgate encourages implementation of regenerative agriculture practices at the farm and plantation level. Good agricultural practices should contribute to improved soil health, carbon sequestration, and on-farm biodiversity. Relevant practices include responsible use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides; responsible use of water; soil health practices; personal protective equipment; responsible waste management; and management of soil to prevent erosion and build soil health. Suppliers are expected to encourage good agricultural practices among growers, gather information about current practices, and share guidance on best practices appropriate to the local context.

In addition to the above commitments and expectation; additional commodity specific requirements and commitments may apply and can be found in our individual commodity policy sections.

This policy applies to the sources of all Colgate-Palmolive's operations, subsidiaries and joint ventures.  Our suppliers will be expected to apply this policy at the corporate group level across all operations including landholdings, joint ventures and third-party suppliers.

Furthermore, it is expected that all suppliers of forest risk commodities, including palm oil, soy, pulp & paper packaging and beef and beef tallow; implement a NDPE policy aligned with this policy, our individual commodity policies and broader industry norms such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) principles and criteria for palm oil.

Colgate will work closely with employees, customers, suppliers, NGOs and other key stakeholders to increase awareness and commitment to our no deforestation policy and to build our capability to achieve compliance with this policy. 

The policy expectations will be included in the Colgate supplier selection process.  To confirm compliance, we will employ commodity specific tools and use independent certification and verification mechanisms as they are developed, along with monitoring tools including geospatial monitoring.  In the event of non-compliance, Colgate will work with suppliers to create an action plan, with reasonable time commitments to meet our requirements. Suppliers failing to meet our time-bound requirements will be subject to non-renewal or termination of contracts. 

Annual progress against our goals and commitments will be updated in our commodity policies and implementation plans and through our annual Sustainability Report, which can be located on the Colgate-Palmolive Company public website.  Colgate-Palmolive as a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) will also be engaged in collective reporting against our commitment as a member of the CGF’s Forest Positive Coalition.

The following sections represent commodity specific areas of focus and commitments building on our overarching No Deforestation commitments documented above.

POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE SOURCING OF PALM OILS

Palm oil is the most widely traded vegetable oil in the world and is used in many food and household products. Over 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 concerns.

Colgate is committed to sourcing responsible palm oil, palm kernel oil and palm oil derivatives that do not contribute to deforestation or conversion of native landscapes or exploitation of workers or communities. For more information and to see our specific commitment and actions on palm oil please see Colgate's Policy on Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Palm Oil.

POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE SOY PROCUREMENT

Soy, or soy oil, is an ingredient used in certain Colgate products. Colgate sources soy and soy oil from the United States, Europe and Brazil. 

Colgate recognizes that soybean is one of the top commodities responsible for the majority of deforestation globally, and is a signatory to the Cerrado Manifesto Statement of Support.  To guide implementation of Colgate’s overarching No Deforestation Policy within the soy supply chain, Colgate has developed an independent “Responsible Soy Procurement Policy.”  Please see our Responsible Soy Procurement Policy for specific actions and progress on our soy program.

POLICY ON PULP AND PAPER RESPONSIBLE SOURCING

Colgate-Palmolive is committed to sourcing paper and packaging from responsibly managed forests and recycled sources. By 2025 Colgate-Palmolive will only source pulp and paper-based packaging materials from recycled and responsible sources.  This approach will be achieved through a combined use of certified sustainable products and verified recycled materials and limiting the sourcing of virgin fiber based materials from high risk countries.  This represents a commodity-specific policy that addresses pulp and paper based materials.

Scope

This policy applies to our pulp and paper based materials sourced by all Colgate-Palmolive's operations, subsidiaries and joint ventures:

  • Paper based cartons
  • Corrugated for shipping
  • Paper based labels
  • Corrugated materials used to create displays
  • Dryer sheet products and cleaning wipes 

Since 2017, Colgate has prioritized policy implementation with our top suppliers, annually increasing the scope of spend included in our annual supplier risk assessment.  For our latest 2020 risk assessment, we have covered 100% of our pulp and paper based packaging volume from 2019 in the scope of our risk assessment.     

As we strive for no deforestation in our operations and activities, we will partner with stakeholders and our suppliers to build a low risk global supply chain that maximizes the use of recycled materials and aligns with our No Deforestation commitments. 

Our Progress

  • Mapped our pulp and paper supply chain to country of origin to identify any controversial sources and drive actions to policy conformance (ongoing - annually)
  • Communicated our policy to 100% of our direct paper based packaging suppliers (2020)
  • Engaged 100% of our supply volume in country mapping and risk assessment against our policy expectations (2020 - ongoing annually) 
  • Incorporated sustainability and responsible sourcing requirements in the supplier selection criteria and process (2017 - ongoing)
  • Committed to increase volume of certified or verified recycled paper based materials each year with a goal to source 100 percent by the end of 2025
  • Increased awareness of policy commitments by conducting supplier webinars (ongoing - annually)
  • Increased awareness of policy commitments and supplier requirements  by conducting webinars for procurement professionals and packaging team (ongoing - annually)
  • Included pulp and paper suppliers  in our Supplier Responsible Sourcing Assessment (SRSA) program (ongoing)

Accountability & Verification 

Compliance with this policy requires suppliers to source either certified materials, 100% verified recycled materials or materials from countries considered to be low risk for deforestation or conversion of native landscapes.  The goal of our policy requirements is to minimize the risk of sourcing virgin fiber from high risk regions or countries.

To ensure paper based materials meet our sourcing requirements, we will place a preference on Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified materials.  Additional certification schemes and verification mechanisms will be accepted provided they comply with the requirements of this policy.  

To evaluate compliance with our policy and map our supply chain we annually survey our suppliers with support from Rainforest Alliance, a trusted, international non-profit organization with 30 years of experience in forestry and responsible forest practices.  The survey responses are collected and analyzed along with documented evidence to validate supplier claims and categorize sourcing risk based on our policy requirements.  Suppliers identified as noncompliant with our policy are categorized as high risk and are required to develop an action plan to achieve compliance.

Working with Our Suppliers

Suppliers of paper and packaging are expected to meet the requirements of this policy in addition to respecting all local laws and regulations. We educate suppliers regarding our policy, and evaluate them against our policy expectations. If a supplier is not able to immediately meet our policy expectations, we work with them to develop an action plan with time-bound milestones for conformance.

If a supplier is unable or unwilling to take the necessary actions to conform to the expectations outlined in our policy, Colgate-Palmolive may terminate the business relationship with the supplier. 

Transparency & Traceability

Our annual volume for paper based packaging materials is approximately 300,000 metric tonnes.  Based on our latest supply chain traceability assessment, we mainly source paper based packaging materials from the United States, Latin America, Europe, China and Thailand.  

Our 2020 supplier risk assessment (2019 volumes) included 100% of suppliers of materials in scope, covering approximately 140 suppliers. The risk assessment evaluated country of origin, material certification and virgin and recycled content.  Materials sourced from high risk countries that were not certified or 100% verified recycled were categorized as high risk.

Of the volume's evaluated, 72% was identified as recycled content and 28% was virgin fiber. Approximately 39% of the volume is certified supporting verified sustainable volumes.  Based on our risk assessment, approximately 81% of our current sourced volume conforms to the requirements of our pulp and paper sourcing policy.  Our criteria for compliance with our sourcing policy is for all volumes to be either certified (FSC certification preferred), verified 100% recycled content or only sourced from low risk countries / regions.  We continue to engage with our suppliers who are working towards achieving the above criteria through the development and implementation of time bound action plans.

Consistent with our commitment to supply chain transparency, please find attached here a list of Colgate’s top paper material suppliers See List of Pulp and Paper Suppliers for more detail. 

We will report on progress toward our goals annually in our annual Sustainability Report,  published on the Colgate-Palmolive Sustainability website. In addition, Colgate-Palmolive discloses progress on responsible and sustainable sourcing of pulp and paper via our CDP Forest disclosure.

Implementation Plan & Next Steps

As the next step on our journey toward responsible and sustainable sourcing of pulp and paper based packaging, we will strive to meet the following goals:

  • Conduct source mapping to country of origin and risk assessment against our policy compliance for 100% of our 2020 volumes (by the end of 2021)
  • Engage with suppliers identified as high risk to develop action plans to source certified materials, source recycled content materials or to shift sourcing to low risk countries (ongoing)
  • Continue to advance 100% compliance with requirements of our policy (by year-end 2025)
  • Report and communicate performance and progress against our policy annually

POLICY ON BEEF AND BEEF TALLOW

Beef or meat from cattle is an ingredient in some Hill’s Pet Nutrition products.  Hill’s only uses beef sources from North America and Europe.  We consider beef sourced from North America and Europe to be of low risk for deforestation or conversion of native landscapes.

Tallow is a key ingredient in bar soap production and is a cattle byproduct. 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.

We source approximately 29,000 metric tonnes of Tallow, beef by-product, in Brazil.  We continue to work with the Brazilian suppliers to assure conformance with our policy requirements.

Our Progress

  • Developed a risk assessment tool to evaluate and assess the sustainability performance of 100 percent of tallow suppliers (achieved 2016)
  • Incorporated sustainability and responsible sourcing requirements in the supplier selection criteria and process (achieved 2017)
  • Included Beef and Tallow suppliers in our Supplier Responsible Sourcing Assessment (SRSA) program (ongoing)
  • Certified that Latin American beef and tallow suppliers operate in compliance with the environmental and social requirements set forth by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) (ongoing)
  • Confirmed that 100 percent of our Latin American suppliers operations are conducted in conformance with the Minimum Criteria for Industrial Scale Cattle Operations in the Brazilian Amazon (ongoing)
  • Exclude suppliers that do not meet our policy criteria and requirements

Moving forward, we will:

  • Collaborate with industry and stakeholder groups such as the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef to work toward zero deforestation in this area.
  • Publish our list for all Latin American tallow suppliers. We do not currently source any beef (meat) from Latin America.  This snapshot reflects our current supply network refresh as of July 2020. We have worked to optimize 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.
no deforestation grid
  • Ensure that existing and all new suppliers maintain compliance with our policy expectations and that all new suppliers conform with the environmental and social requirements set forth by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and Minimum Criteria for Industrial Scale Cattle Operations in the Brazilian Amazon.
  • Provide annual updates against our progress through updates to this policy and by way of our annual Sustainability Report.

Last Updated: August, 2021.