We view sustainability as being critically important to our business.
Our Sustainability Steering Committee makes strategic decisions related to sustainability and guides the organization in its efforts to meet sustainability goals. The committee is composed of Colgate’s Chief of Staff, Group President, Global Innovation Group, Chief Sustainability Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Vice President, Global Compensation and Benefits, Chief Communications Officer, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Chief Supply Chain Officer, and Chief Investor Relations Officer. Our Chief Sustainability Officer has direct responsibility for implementing sustainability and environment, health and safety programs; she has accountability to our Group President, Global Innovation Group and to our Chief Supply Chain Officer. For our annual corporate social responsibility report, the Global Sustainability team gathers the content cross-functionally and the Sustainability Steering Committee reviews the final report content.
Our sustainability efforts span all aspects of our business, including supply chain, marketing, innovation, customer development and people development. Networks of senior leaders in each division and local champions support on-the-ground sustainability efforts, communications, and reporting. Moreover, to integrate sustainability tracking and disclosures into our business strategy, operations and employee review process, our global sustainability initiatives are among the individual objectives used to determine the compensation for many of our senior managers.
Oversight of environmental, social and governance initiatives is a key priority of our Board of Directors, particularly through the Nominating, Governance and Corporate Responsibility (Governance) Committee, which was reconstituted in 2020 to heighten the Board’s focus on these areas. The Governance Committee oversees the implementation of our 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Strategy and receives regular updates on environmental, social and governance matters and considers sustainability matters, risks and opportunities in decision-making.The Governance Committee oversees and receives regular updates on the implementation of sustainability, social responsibility and corporate citizenship matters. It also monitors the sentiment of various constituencies regarding our environmental and social footprint.
Our Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Committee, which includes Colgate’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer and other members of Colgate’s senior management, monitors current and emerging risks facing our company and has identified sustainability as a critical risk facing the company. ERM Committee members provide the Board and its Committees, including the Audit Committee, with regular updates on risks facing the Company. For example, as a member of the ERM Committee, our Chief Sustainability Officer provides the Board’s Governance Committee with regular updates on sustainability.
Please visit Colgate’s Policy Statements for a complete listing.
We are committed to doing business with integrity and respect for all people and for the world around us. With governance and ethics principles embedded into Colgate’s culture as well as standards supporting the well-being of all Colgate people, we ensure that our business success goes hand-in-hand with business integrity.
Code of Conduct and Global Business Practices Guidelines
Since 1987, our Code of Conduct has served as a guide for our daily business interactions, reflecting our corporate values and our standard for ethical behavior. Our Code of Conduct is available in 42 local languages. One hundred percent of salaried and clerical Colgate people participate in annual training and certification on the Code of Conduct. Factory workers certify annually and complete training every other year. Colgate’s Global Business Practices Guidelines provide further information to our employees on key topics in our Code of Conduct. The Guidelines offer clear, practical guidance and illustrate how the values and principles outlined in the Code of Conduct apply to particular business situations.
The Colgate EthicsLine provides a means for employees and external parties to ask questions, obtain guidance or report any suspected violations of the Code of Conduct. We work to create a workplace free of inappropriate or unlawful behavior in which people are encouraged to share their concerns with the Company without fear of retaliation. Consequently, at Colgate no adverse action will be taken against any employee, former employee, agent or third party for complaining about, reporting, participating in or assisting in the investigation of a suspected violation of the Company’s Code of Conduct, Company policy or applicable law unless the allegation made or information provided is found to be intentionally false or was not made in good faith.
All reporting activity provided when Colgate People “Speak Up” is reviewed and, if deemed to be a potential violation of the Code of Conduct, the matter is promptly and thoroughly investigated by Global Ethics & Compliance and/or the Global Legal Organization.
In 2020, Ethics and Compliance received 404 contacts through a variety of channels including the EthicsLine, Ethics web tool and email@example.com, which covered a wide variety of reporting activities including 62 consultations. Allegations reported to Ethics and Compliance, are grouped into the following categories: Accounting related, Conflict of Interest, Discrimination; Financial-related; Harassment; Regulatory/Legal; Retaliation; Work Environment; Miscellaneous Issues; and non-Ethics and Compliance matters. After a thorough investigation has been completed, if the allegations are substantiated, appropriate remedial action is taken.
Business Practices Guidelines Topics:
Our Business Practices Guidelines illustrate how the values and principles outlined in our Code of Conduct apply to particular business situations. Our guidelines detail not only our policies, but also our compliance with specific laws, regulations and practices.
To read more on the topics addressed by our Business Practices Guidelines, visit Colgate’s Ethics & Compliance Guidelines.