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 new policy outlines the company’s commitments “to responsibly source” forest commodities, including pulp and paper, palm oil and derivatives, soy and soy oil and beef tallow.

This shift, which echoes similar decisions from L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble, is presented as “an integral part of the company’s strategy to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

View of palm oil plantation in Indonesia - photo: Achmad Rabin Taim...

View of palm oil plantation in Indonesia - photo: Achmad Rabin Taim (Creative Commons)

It is estimated that over the past 50 years, about half of the world’s original forests have been lost. Deforestation of tropical rainforests, in particular, has led to significant losses in biodiversity and release of carbon emissions.

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 GreenPalm Certificates to cover the remaining percentage, while gradually phasing out the need for the purchase each year,
- Procuring soy and soy derivatives that are not linked to deforestation 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,” said the company.