Colgate squeezes out water use during manufacture

Colgate-Palmolive has developed a system to help identify and share best practice on water reduction throughout all of its global manufacturing sites.

The company has established what it called a ‘global manufacturing water reduction team’ with the mission to drive forward its water reduction goals while improving quality, safety and reliability – as well as reducing cost.

It has also devised a facility survey related to water risks, supply, equipment and reduction practices which will act as a global baseline – from this, best practice and further opportunities to save water will be identified.

Colgate’s 2015 goal is to reduce the water consumed per unit of production in the manufacture of its products by 40% compared to a 2005 baseline. In the company’s latest sustainability report, it claims it is on track to meet this target with a 30% reduction as of 2012.

The company is also looking to create social value from its water strategy, by providing access to clean water in some vulnerable regions where it operates and sells its products.

It recently partnered with Water for People, an organisation that aims to develops long-lasting solutions to the water, sanitation and hygiene problems in the developing world.

Last year the organisation reached over 10,000 people with new community water and sanitation systems, and health and hygiene education in both India and Guatemala.

Colgate will in turn implement its own initiative ‘Bright Smiles, Bright Futures’ on dental health – this will run alongside handwashing education programmes in the schools that will be receiving clean water.

Maxine Perella

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