Colgate Sees Organic Growth Through Sustainability, Outreach and Education


Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future

Multinational oral care giant Colgate has a footprint in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. With sales surpassing $15 billion—representing 86 percent share of the oral care market—Colgate’s recent success can be attributed to its best-in-class organic sales growth, a strong global footprint and emerging market exposure, strong investments in e-commerce geared to long-term growth and sustainability initiatives.

Begun in 1806 by William Colgate as a starch, soap and candle business in New York City, the company started selling toothpaste in jars in 1873 and by 1896, introduced toothpaste in a tube.

Marking its 25th anniversary this year, Colgate’s flagship oral health education program, “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures,” has reached more than 850 million children across 80 countries with free dental screenings and multilingual oral health education.

“We sell products to billions of people all over the world—two-thirds of the world’s households buy Colgate oral care products,” said Justin Skala, president of Colgate North America & Global Sustainability. “Of course accompanying this activity comes a responsibility to our employees, our supply chain, our consumers, our retail partners and the communities we serve to operate with the highest ethical standards.”

Further supporting sustainability, Colgate’s first-ever Super Bowl ad debuted this year, encouraging viewers to conserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth.

“Ultimately,” added Skala, “we don’t see it as a trade-off between the bottom line and ethical sustainability—operating this way makes good business sense—we reduce supply chain risks, operational risks, reputational risks, and build brand reputation and value.”

Colgate exceeded its 2015 energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals with a 21.7 percent reduction in energy intensity and a 26.2 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity between 2005 and 2015.

The brand’s water usage was down more than 33 percent since 2005, and its continues progress in all areas of its Water Stewardship Strategy including reaching out to consumers in over 60 countries on World Water Day 2016.

Colgate holds more than 70 percent market share in Brazil, while in India, 4.9 million consumers participated in the brand’s Oral Health Care Month providing free dental check-ups. In 2015, the company added 40 million new households boosting its global penetration to 67.7 percent, and it continues to explore avenues of growth in Asia.