The Colgate-Palmolive Company is an American multinational consumer products company focused on household, health care, and personal hygiene products.

After dialogue with As You Sow, personal care products giant Colgate-Palmolive has committed to making 100% of its packaging for three of four product categories completely recyclable by 2020. In addition, Colgate has committed to work towards developing a fully recyclable toothpaste tube or package, which would bring its fourth product category close to the same sustainability standard.

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The company also agreed to increase the average recycled content of its packaging to 50%. Increasing the recycled content of key materials such as polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), and paper pulp (fiber) is crucial to improving the sustainability of consumer packaging.

In 2012, As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution with Colgate-Palmolive requesting that it explore the feasibility of adopting an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy for post-consumer packaging. The resolution argued that such a policy would help reduce carbon emissions and other pollution resulting from the company's business practices. As You Sow withdrew the proposal after Colgate-Palmolive agreed to engage in dialogue which led to the new policy statement by the company.

Colgate is the first consumer packaged goods company engaged by As You Sow to commit to set goals for recyclable packaging. The company also agreed to continue to engage in good faith dialogue with As You Sow about the effectiveness of EPR for packaging systems.

Colgate's commitments include:

  • By 2020 achieve 100% recyclable portfolio of Home, Pet, and Personal Care packaging - three out of four of its product divisions;
  • Develop a recyclable toothpaste tube in the fourth division, oral care;
  • Increase recycled content of packaging from 40% to 50%; and
  • Reduce or eliminate uses of PVC in packaging.

Read more about our engagements with Colgate-Palmolive below.

Consumer Packaging 2013

STATUS: dialogue

As You Sow engaged in dialogue with Colgate-Palmolive, pressing the company to adopt extended producer responsibility policies to help minimize waste from consumer packaging.

Related 2013 Engagements

Consumer Packaging 2012

STATUS: Withdrawn; Company will address

Our 2012 shareholder resolution with Colgate-Palmolive requested they explore the feasibility of adopting an EPR policy for post-consumer product packaging as a means of reducing carbon emissions and air and water pollution resulting from the company's business practices. As You Sow withdrew the proposal at Colgate-Palmolive in exchange for a commitment by the company to ensure that as much of its post-consumer packaging as possible is recycled and to set and disclose goals in support of this commitment within one year.

Filing Documents


Related 2012 Engagements