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Our Company:  Sustainability

Recognizing Consumer Concerns

Colgate-Palmolive manufactures and sells products that improve the lives of consumers all around the world. Through our advertising, we generate awareness of our brands and communicate the unique value and benefits of our products. Our advertising is a reflection of Colgate's reliability, dependability and trustworthiness. Therefore, our advertising content and placement must be sensitive to the public and its concerns, interests and sensibilities.

Animal-derived Ingredients

One of the most important ways we demonstrate caring for our consumers is by providing them with information to help them choose the right products to meet their specific needs. For our vegetarian consumers, Colgate offers a large selection of products free of animal-derived ingredients. With more consumers seeking such products every day, Colgate is committed to making it easier for consumers to identify and select these products. Upon request, we provide a list that includes the Colgate products sold in the U.S. that currently are free of animal-derived ingredients and appropriate for consumers seeking to avoid products containing animal ingredients. The Product Guide for Vegetarians is updated periodically to reflect any changes to ingredients in Colgate's products and is available upon request from Consumer Affairs. If consumers are unsure of whether a particular Colgate product is appropriate for vegetarian consumption or use, or to obtain the most updated information, they can contact Consumer Affairs or check the information for vegetarian consumers. We also provide information for stakeholders interested in Colgate-Palmolive's commitment to animal welfare.


The term "nanotechnology" is generally used to refer to materials that have been engineered to have a dimension in the range of 1 to 100 nanometers and that possess novel properties because of their extremely small size.

At the present time, Colgate does not use any such ingredients or materials in its products anywhere in the world, although from time to time it has such ingredients or materials under study.

On an ongoing basis, Colgate's scientists actively monitor both the emerging science and the regulatory agencies' positions on nanoparticle safety. This information is considered and is incorporated into Colgate's process for evaluating the safety of any future nanoparticle ingredient which is proposed for use in a Colgate product. The Company has used, and will continue to use, appropriate external consultants along with Colgate experts in the area of nanotechnology to provide guidance on the opportunities and risks of any such materials under study.

Colgate has established a policy that any potential nanoparticle ingredient must undergo a safety assessment specifically factoring in the unique properties that being nanosized may present, prior to its use in any of our products. This is in keeping with our values and concern for consumer and employee safety.

Palm Oil

Colgate-Palmolive is committed to protecting and conserving the environment while meeting the needs of our consumers, customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.

Colgate-Palmolive has long focused its efforts on ensuring that the palm oil used in our soap products is legally sourced. In the past several years, we have increased our efforts to promote development of sustainable palm oil in a manner that will benefit the environment without adversely affecting developing local economies or the availability of palm oil. We are strongly committed to continuing these efforts.

To that end, a corporate officer met with the chief executive of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA), the director-general of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), and the head of research and development for MPOB to discuss their efforts and progress toward establishing ISPO certification standards, training auditors and legislating enforcement.

It is clear the Malaysian government believes that by working with the major producers of palm oil, they are making significant strides to develop increased sustainability, profitability and protection of the environment. They report that there are 15-18 large producers awaiting ISPO certification and that others will follow.

While palm oil is an important ingredient to our Company, we purchase less than 0.09 million tons per year out of an estimated 34.7 million tons per year from the combined output of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand — (two-tenths of a percent of these countries' total output). Our palm oil is purchased as a commodity and the brokers periodically assert that as best can be determined, it is sourced legally and in accordance with that country's environmental standards.

Colgate-Palmolive will continue to seek sources of sustainable palm oil. While we have previously sought to identify an alternative to palm oil, either organic or synthetic, we have been unable to identify a viable substitute. Therefore, our continuing commitment is to work with those who seek to develop sustainable palm oil supplies.

Colgate is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, an organization that seeks to develop standards in conjunction with the government and owners to ensure palm oil is grown and harvested in a sustainable manner thereby ensuring no harm to the environment, fairness to plantation employees and an ongoing supply of certifiable, sustainable palm oil.


The term "phthalates" is used to describe a large and diverse group of substances that are widely used in many everyday products. The specific members of the phthalate family of ingredients used in Colgate's products have an excellent safety profile and are present at very low levels.

Independent scientists and governmental bodies have extensively studied the compounds' health and environmental effects, making phthalates some of the most investigated and best understood compounds in the world. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health Canada and other scientific bodies in Europe, North America and Japan have examined phthalates and allow their continued use. Phthalates were also reviewed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an independent body that reviews the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics. CIR found them to be safe for use in cosmetics. As with all Colgate products, any specific member of this group of substances used in our products is supported by an extensive body of scientific research and data that confirms safety.

Product Contents

In an effort to help consumers understand the ingredients in our products, in 2005 we made Material Safety Data Sheets available online to anyone interested.

In addition, ingredient lists for our Home Care products in the U.S. are available on our web site.

Several Colgate products have been approved by the U.S. EPA to use the EPA's Design for the Environment logo. Products bearing this logo signify that the EPA's scientific review team screened each of the product's ingredients for potential human health and environmental effects. Several Colgate products have received approval to use the logo, including Ultra Palmolive Pots & Pans, Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid, Palmolive Ultra Green, Murphy Oil Soap Liquid, Ajax Scouring Creme, Ajax Expert Glass and Multisurface Cleaner. More products are pending approval. Learn more.


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InformaciĆ³n Relevante

Sustainable Cleaning Initiatives

Explore various sustainability initiatives for Colgate products around the world.

Caring For Animals

Learn how Colgate works to avoid animal testing.

Consumer Affairs

Submit questions or comments about specific Colgate-Palmolive products or programs inside or outside the United States.

MSDS Requests

Download health and safety information for our U.S. products.

Consumer Product Safety Certificates

Download safety certificates for many Colgate-Palmolive products.