Colgate-Palmolive has issued a new "Policy on No Deforestation," including a pledge to achieve full traceability of its palm oil supply back to the plantation by 2015. The policy outlines commitments to responsibly source the forest commodities of pulp and paper, palm oil and derivatives, soy and soy oil and beef tallow and is an integral part of the company's strategy to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
It is estimated that over the past 50 years, about half of the world's original forests have been lost. Deforestation of tropical rainforests and peatlands has been especially devastating to endangered animal species and has led to significant release of carbon emissions. Colgate and other consumer packaged goods companies can have an impact on deforestation through sourcing decisions for packaging and ingredients. Colgate has joined the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) in pledging to mobilize resources to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, and this policy will enable Colgate to fulfill this pledge.
"Our values of caring, global teamwork and continuous improvement are the foundation of our sustainability commitments," said Ian Cook, chairman, president and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive. "This policy reflects our values and our commitment to grow the business ethically and responsibly."
The policy, which was published on the company's sustainability website, details specific requirements for the sourcing of forest commodities, including:
- Obtaining verification that pulp and paper materials from high priority countries are of low risk of coming from controversial sources contributing to deforestation
- Increasing the purchase of physical certified sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil where possible each year, and continuing to purchase GreenPalmcCertificates to cover the remaining percentage of requirements, gradually phasing out the need for the purchase each year
- Requiring additional independent verification that the palm oil supply to Colgate does not come from areas where high carbon stocks (HCS) and high conservation value (HCV) forests were deforested; fire was used for clearance; and peat lands were developed into plantations or drained
- Procuring soy and soy derivatives that are not linked to deforestation by 2017
- Requiring all applicable tallow suppliers to be in compliance with the "Minimum Criteria for Industrial Scale Cattle Operations in the Brazilian Amazon Biome" by 2017
Colgate, in consultation with key stakeholders such as Greenpeace, developed this policy to clearly communicate its commitment on this critical issue. The company will work closely with customers, suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other key stakeholders to increase awareness and commitment to the new policy and to build the capability to achieve the 2015-2020 targets.