Colgate-Palmolive on a +3ºC pathway with ‘no clear strategy’ for Scope 3 emissions

Emissions, Shareholder Engagement, Equity

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Planet Tracker – In the next decade the consumer goods giant could be hit by a USD 2.1 billion increase in annual operating costs due to potential Carbon Pricing Mechanisms and water scarcity.

  • Colgate-Palmolive is on a path to missing its approved Science-based Targets emissions by a factor of 7 when optional indirect use emissions are excluded.
  • The company provides ‘no clear strategy’ to mitigate its main source of emissions, namely, upstream Scope 3 activities.
  • The consumer goods giant’s climate engagement with its value chain has not resulted in positive results over the last half-decade, with the GhG emissions from key ‘targeted’ areas experiencing substantial growth.


London, 8 June 2023: Planet Tracker’s latest report on CA100+ companies today finds Colgate-Palmolive’s emissions are on a pathway seven times higher than the level recommended by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), aligning with a +3ºC warming scenario by 2030.

Under current trends, Planet Tracker estimates that Colgate-Palmolive’s mandatory to mitigate emissions will reach a total of 24,634 KTCO2e per year by 2030, whereas the SBT’s recommended level stands at 3,521 KTCO2e per year. In more detail, when indirect use emissions are excluded, as these are optional under the SBTi guidance, upstream Scope 3 emissions would account for almost 98% of the total GhG emissions by 2030 which overall would represent a 600% overshoot – i.e., 7 times higher compared to the recommended level set by the SBTi, placing the company on a business-as-usual (BAU) pathway of +3°C.

Planet Tracker also finds that Colgate-Palmolive may be significantly underestimating the risks associated with potential Carbon Pricing Mechanisms, by failing to quantify the financial impact of its emissions, particularly regarding upstream Scope 3 activities. Planet Tracker estimates that failure to mitigate scope 3 emissions alone could result in an increase of costs of over USD 1.1 billion per year in the next decade due to expected carbon costs, representing 31% of its current five-year average annual operating profit

The report notes that Colgate-Palmolive is failing to meaningfully engage with its suppliers, having not disclosed any investment targeting a reduction of its upstream Scope 3 emissions. The company lags behind its peers in the effectiveness of its engagements, as the emissions it has targeted have registered a considerable expansion over the past half-decade, while its engagement strategy has remained unchanged.

Also, the company fails to provide quantified financial impacts and metrics for managing climate change and transition risks, leading to doubts about Colgate’s ability to meet its reduction targets by 2030.

Ion Visinovschi, Research Analyst at Planet Tracker comments, “Despite Colgate-Palmolive’s public commitments, the company’s climate transition disclosures have major gaps. These bring into question the company’s commitment to achieving its targets under the present strategy.

For instance, the company has a limited engagement with suppliers on addressing deforestation, and its no-deforestation commitment is not time-bound, nor does the company disclose progress. Also, there is a lack of investment disclosures in mitigation initiatives and quantified metrics for managing the related identified climate risks.

Investors should require these disclosures as Colgate-Palmolive could be underestimating its climate transition and water scarcity risks”.

The Climate Transition Analysis of Colgate-Palmolive is the sixth in a series examining the climate transition plans of Consumer Goods companies in the Climate Action 100+ list. Planet Tracker’s research into Colgate-Palmolive follows analysis of Unilever, whose emissions trajectory is on a path to a 2ºC scenario by 2030.

The report can be downloaded in full here.



For more information please contact:

Izzy Schaw Miller, ESG Communications | t: +44 7905 619881 |



Planet Tracker is a non-profit financial think tank producing analytics and reports to align capital markets with planetary boundaries. Our mission is to create significant and irreversible transformation of global financial activities by 2030. By informing, enabling and mobilising the transformative power of capital markets we aim to deliver a financial system that is fully aligned with a net-zero, nature-positive economy. Planet Tracker proactively engages with financial institutions to drive change in their investment strategies. We ensure they know exactly what risk is built into their investments and identify opportunities from funding the systems transformations we advocate.



As part of its Food and Land Use programme, Planet Tracker is examining the transition plans of the food system (Consumer Goods) companies covered by the Climate Action 100+ list ( The goal is to provide investors with the key information and analysis they need to be able to hold food system companies to account for the quality of their climate transition plans and their execution against those plans, and to encourage them to use this information to engage effectively with these companies with the ultimate aim of driving the sustainable transformation of the global food system.