Colgate-Palmolive, a multinational consumer goods company, is making significant progress towards its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. One of the key steps in this journey is a recent deal involving a 20-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for renewable energy from a solar farm in Texas. The Markum Solar Farm, with a capacity of 209 megawatts, is being developed by Scout Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management. This solar farm is set to become operational in 2025 and will provide clean, renewable energy to cover 100% of Colgate’s operational power needs in the United States.
Colgate-Palmolive’s commitment to renewable energy aligns with its status as the first multinational company in the sector to have a Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)-approved Net Zero target. The company aims to achieve 100% renewable electricity across its global operations by 2030. Ann Tracy, Colgate’s Chief Sustainability Officer, emphasized the importance of renewable energy agreements in their overall strategy to achieve these targets. She stated that such agreements are a valuable part of their renewable energy master plan and will contribute to their goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Colgate has been actively addressing climate change and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions data for over two decades. Their 2025 Sustainability & Social Impact Strategy places a strong emphasis on accelerating action on climate change. The company has outlined specific targets to be achieved by 2025, 2030, and 2040. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions from purchased goods and services, operations, and consumer use, as well as increasing manufacturing energy efficiency. By 2030, Colgate aims to reach 100% renewable electricity in its global operations. Ultimately, their goal is to achieve net zero carbon emissions across their entire value chain by 2040.
To achieve these targets, Colgate follows a comprehensive approach that includes carbon reduction, low or zero carbon technology innovations, and carbon removal. The company prioritizes reducing carbon emissions throughout its value chain by investing in energy efficiency, developing less carbon-intensive products, and influencing suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint. They also focus on deploying lower carbon technologies and projects, such as zero carbon and renewable energy sources, systems electrification, and the use of renewable energy credits and virtual power purchase agreements. Additionally, Colgate leverages technology solutions to reduce carbon emissions in areas such as materials, packaging, manufacturing, transportation, and product use. Any remaining emissions will be neutralized through carbon removal initiatives.
In their pursuit of net zero emissions, Colgate-Palmolive is also investing in carbon removals. While the exact amount of investment has not been disclosed, the company is committed to nature-based solutions supported by verified carbon credits. These solutions include forest protection and reforestation projects that not only reduce carbon emissions but also bring additional benefits to the communities where they are implemented. Colgate seeks out reputable organizations that develop and manage nature-based carbon removal projects, ensuring that they contribute to biodiversity, ecosystem health, and local economic development. The company is also open to investing in carbon credits from technological removal solutions, such as carbon capture and storage or utilization, as they become more developed and scalable.
Colgate-Palmolive’s 20-year renewable energy agreement and commitment to carbon removals are significant steps towards their ambitious net zero emissions target by 2040. These actions demonstrate the company’s dedication to sustainability and their role in reducing emissions in the global fight against climate change.