AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Lobbying / political engagement
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Staples
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved, that the shareholders of Colgate Palmolive Co. hereby request the Company to prepare and semiannually update a report, which shall be presented to the pertinent board of directors committee and posted on the Company’s website, disclosing the Company’s:
(a) Policies and procedures for making electoral contributions and expenditures (direct and indirect) with corporate funds, including the board’s role (if any) in that process; and
(b) Monetary and non-monetary contributions or expenditures that could not be deducted as an “ordinary and necessary” business expense under section 162(e)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, including (but not limited to) contributions or expenditures on behalf of candidates, parties, and committees and entities organized and operating under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as the portion of any dues or payments made to any tax-exempt organization (such as a trade association) used for an expenditure or contribution that, if made directly by the Company, would not be deductible under section 162(e)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The report shall be made available within 12 months of the annual meeting and identify all recipients and the amount paid to each recipient from Company funds. This proposal does not encompass lobbying spending.
Supporting statement
Supporting Statement
As long-term shareholders of Colgate, we support transparency and accountability in corporate electoral spending. We appreciate the Company’s decision publish a Political Spending policy that prohibits direct corporate contributions to Federal, state, and local candidates, and similarly restricts trade associations from using Colgate dues for political spending purposes.
Despite this progress, we believe that the amount of disclosure is insufficient because it does not address all direct and indirect corporate-funded election-related spending, particularly payments to 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, payments to 527 groups, and payments to influence the outcome of ballot measures. We feel strongly that a company’s reputation, value, and bottom line can be adversely impacted by election spending conducted through such third parties.
The Conference Board’s 2021 “Under a Microscope” report details these risks, recommends the process suggested in this proposal, and warns “a new era of stakeholder scrutiny, social media, and political polarization has propelled corporate political activity—and the risks that come with it—into the spotlight. Political activity can pose increasingly significant risks for companies, including the perception that political contributions—and other forms of activity—are at odds with core company values.”
Information on indirect electoral spending cannot be obtained by shareholders unless the Company discloses it. This proposal asks the Company to disclose all of its electoral spending, direct and indirect. This would bring Colgate in line with a growing number of leading companies, including Coca-Cola Co., Conagra Brands Inc., and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., which present this information on their websites.
Without knowing the recipients of our company’s political dollars we cannot sufficiently assess whether our company’s election-related spending aligns with its policies and core values. We urge your support for this critical governance reform.

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