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 climate change & water stewardship.
THIRD-PARTY CODE OF CONDUCT
Colgate’s Third-Party Code of Conduct which 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 require our Third Party Partners to 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.
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. All of the ingredients we source and use in our products are safe for people and the environment. They meet our strict safety standards and all applicable government regulations everywhere they are sold around the world. To learn more, please view our Policy on Ingredient Safety.
THIRD-PARTY SCREENING AND DUE DILIGENCE
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.
CLIMATE CHANGE & WATER STEWARDSHIP
For many years we have requested that our key Tier I 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.
Additionally, through this engagement with our suppliers we are helping our product developers and procurement teams to understand and identify our most carbon-intensive and water-intensive raw and packaging materials. This enables us to source materials and design products that support Colgate’s environmental stewardship expectations.
For more information on our activity on climate change and water stewardship please refer to the Planet section in our online Sustainability Report.
RESPONSIBLE SOURCING CORE PROGRAMS
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:
Since the inception of the ESM Program, over 7,000 supplier sites have been risk assessed and over 1,200 sites have been 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. Suppliers are selected for audit based on a risk assessment and compliance is evaluated by way of Sedex SMETA (Sedex Member Ethical Trade) 4-Pillar Audits.
Since the inception of the SRSA Program, as of 2019 over 550 suppliers and service providers have completed a risk assessment with over 45% having conducted third-party social compliance audits. Through audit corrective actions the SRSA Program has helped to ensure fair and safe working conditions of over 60,000 employees in Colgate’s extended Supply Chain.
No Deforestation 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 materials. Colgate also has a stand alone policy on the Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Palm Oils.
Key components of our commitment include mapping and traceability of our supply chain, purchasing of certified palm, soy and paper based 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 alerts.
In addition, Colgate is participating in numerous transformation projects in Indonesia and Thailand focused on addressing environmental and social issues as well as building supplier responsible production capabilities.
To learn more about our policies, commitments and activities addressing deforestation in our supply chain please see our No Deforestation Policy , Our Policy on Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing of Palm Oils and the Planet section in Colgate’s Sustainability Report Our Commitment to No Deforestation.
Human Rights and Forced Labor Program
Colgate is committed to compliance with all applicable labor laws including 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 and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Core Labor Standards. In addition, we have confirmed our support for the UN Global Compact and it’s principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
Colgate is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and supports the Forum’s Social Resolution on Forced Labor and it’s 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.
To learn more about Colgate’s commitment and activities supporting our commitment to respect human and labor rights and please see our Sustainability Report under the People section and our annual publication, “Respecting Human Rights and Labor Rights”.
Colgate-Palmolive supports ending the violence and human rights violations by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and those neighboring countries.
Conflict Minerals refers to raw materials, like gold, cassiterite, columbite-tantalite (coltan), wolframite and gold, including their derivatives, tin, tantalum and tungsten (3TGs), that come from a particular part of the world where conflict is occurring and affects the mining and trading of those materials.
Conflict minerals are sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries, like Angola, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, South Sudan, and Uganda.
100% of our suppliers that currently use 3TGs have been assessed and they are sourcing mines outside the DRC and neighboring countries, or are sourcing from smelters and refiners that have been designated as Conflict Free by the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative.
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.
To learn more about Colgate’s Partnerships, please visit the Partnerships page our Sustainability website