Colgate-Palmolive Progress Report February 2016

February 19, 2016

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Colgate-Palmolive Company – Update on Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing.



Colgate-Palmolive’s Policy on No Deforestation reflects our values of Caring, Global Teamwork, and Continuous Improvement. The cornerstones of our strategy to source responsibly produced palm oil are:

  • No deforestation of High Carbon Stock (HCS) and High Conservation Value (HCV) areas
  • No use of fire for land clearance
  • No new development on peat lands, regardless of depth
  • No exploitation of people or local communities
  • Traceability back to origin



Colgate-Palmolive has recognized the need for a strategy to source responsibly produced palm oil since 2007, when we became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Since then, we have taken action to responsibly source palm oil in the following ways:

  • Purchase RSPO certified palm oil: physical volumes where possible and supplementing with GreenPalm certificates (on-going);
  • Developed a cross commodity Policy on No Deforestation, highlighting palm oil as one of four commodities to target for implementation (March 2014);
  • Began partnership with The Forest Trust (TFT) to map our supply chain and engage our suppliers (May 2015);
  • Communicated our policy to our direct suppliers (on-going);
  • Requested information on traceability to the mill level from 100% of our direct suppliers of palm oil and PKO (on-going);
  • Engaged direct suppliers of palm oil and PKO to encourage increased transparency and to understand their plans for transformation of their supply chain (on-going).



Colgate-Palmolive buys palm oil and palm kernel oil (excluding derivatives) for production in the USA, Latin America, Thailand, Turkey, and South Africa. We have engaged 100% of our direct suppliers of palm oil and PKO to understand the source of their supply, down to the mill level. By tracing palm oil back to known mills, we can better understand social and environmental practices at the plantations and smallholder farms the mill sources from, and collaborate with our suppliers to help transform the supply chain.

The percentages in Table 1 below reflect the percentage of palm oil and palm kernel oil for each purchasing market that can be traced back to the origin mill. Overall, Colgate-Palmolive can identify the mill sources for 71% of our palm kernel oil supply, and 54% of our palm oil supply, by volume. Being able to identify the mill sources for our palm supply allows us to prioritize upstream suppliers for engagement based on associated risk. It also allows us to seek further information and respond if concerns arise against stakeholders within our supply chain.


Market PKO Traceability PO Traceability Overall traceability
USA 98% N/A 98%
Latin America 71% 94% 81%
Thailand 39% 57% 54%
Europe, Middle East, and Africa 36% 46% 44%
Weighted Total 71% 54% 61%

Table 1 Colgate-Palmolive Global Traceability

Colgate-Palmolive sees our initial traceability percentages as opportunities for improvement. A number of our suppliers were new to the request for traceability; some of these suppliers were therefore less receptive to our initial request. We continue to pursue visibility of the remaining untraced volumes, which are primarily purchased by our operations in Thailand, the Middle East and Africa. Our work with these suppliers has been to communicate to them our values of responsible sourcing and the role that traceability will play in allowing us to support key stakeholders to improve their practices on the ground.

We have compiled our palm oil derivatives volume and supply data. Within the next six months we will develop an action plan to prioritize and engage our derivatives suppliers on their traceability.


Next Steps

Over the next six months, we will have in-depth conversations with our suppliers regarding the robustness of their own responsible sourcing policy and implementation plan, or their plans to achieve compliance with our policy if they are lacking their own. We will continue discussions to encourage greater transparency with the suppliers who have yet to provide complete information on traceability to the mill level. With the traceability information we have and will continue to receive, we will be able to make informed decisions about which producing suppliers to support in transformation. Through our partnership with TFT, we will be able to contribute to supplier assessments and training in order to have a positive, tangible impact on the practices on the ground within our supply chain. This direct transformation work is in addition to monitoring and ensuring progress of our suppliers’ own efforts at transformation.