In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Hill's Pet website for a policy on genetically modified ingredients and the use of genetically engineered animal feed. No information was found.
Ethical Consumer noted that the company sold meat not labelled organic, therefore it was likely to be from animals fed a genetically modified diet. In June 2017 the British government website www.food.gov.uk stated that the EU animal feed industry imported 70% of its maize, soya and rapeseed requirements; that "almost all" of the soya from the major producers Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and the USA was genetically modified and that "much of" the maize imported from the USA was genetically modified.
The company therefore lost half a mark in the Controversial Technologies category.

Reference:

https://www.hillspet.co.uk/ (9 March 2020)

A search was made on Colgate-Palmolive's website in March 2020 and no policy statement could be found regarding genetically modified organisms (GMO). The company sold pet food containing meat that was not labelled organic, therefore it was considered likely that this was sourced from animals fed on GMO animal feed. The company lost half a mark under Controversial Technologies.

Reference:

https://www.colgatepalmolive.com/en-us/core-values/sustainability (9 March 2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Open Secrets website, it stated that affliates of Colgate-Palmolive made political donations of $22,502 during the 2020 election cycle.

According to Colgate's Political Contribution Policy viewed by Ethical Consumer in March 2020, "Colgate-Palmolive has a long standing policy against making contributions to political parties or candidates."

The Open Secrets website also stated that the company had spent $120,000 on lobbying in 2019. However it was unclear what the company was campaigning for or against and was therefore not marked down.

The company lost half a mark under Political Activities.

Reference:

Open Secrets generic ref 2020 (2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Colgate-Palmolive's family tree on the company's SEC filings. This listed at least two subsidiaries that Ethical Consumer considered to be at high risk of being used for tax avoidance purposes: a holding company in Singapore with a subsidiary in India (Colgate-Palmolive (Asia) PTE), a holding company in the British Virgin Islands with subsidiaries in Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan, and a pension company in Switzerland.

Subsidiaries also existed in jurisdictions that were on Ethical Consumer's list of tax havens at the time of writing. Of these there was either no indication of the company type or they were considered low risk.

An internet search using the search terms “Colgate-Palmolive tax policy statement country” found no country-by-country financial information or reporting (CBCR), nor clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes.

Given that Colgate-Palmolive had two or more high risk subsidiaries in jurisdictions on Ethical Consumer's tax haven list and no country-by-country financial information, nor adequate policy statement and narrative explanation, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a full mark under the anti-social finance category.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref (2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the SEC filing form DEF 14A statement of Colgate-Palmolive which included a Summary Compensation table. This showed that five executive officers had each received total compensation in 2018 of over £1million. Amounts ranged from $1.8m to $11.5m per person.
Ethical Consumer considered amounts over £1million to be excessive. The company therefore lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

DEF 14 - sec filing (27 March 2019)

A report published by Citizens for Tax Justice on 6 October 2015 criticized US tax policy on large multinational corporations. Many multinational corporations used accounting tricks to pretend for that a substantial portion of their profits were generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence could be as little as a mailbox.

The study examined the use of tax havens by Fortune 500 companies in 2014. It revealed that tax haven use was ubiquitous among America’s largest companies and that a narrow set of companies benefited disproportionately.

Amongst these companies Colgate-Palmolive was found to maintain 11 subsidiaries in tax havens: British Virgin Islands(1), Hong Kong(2), Ireland(1), Netherlands(2), Singapore(3) and Switzerland(2). The amount held offshore was $4.9 billion. Neither the overall rate of the tax paid on this overseas cash, nor any estimate of the US tax avoided, were disclosed.

The company lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Offshore Shell Games 2015 (5 October 2015)