At a Glance


Consumer Packaged Goods

Project Types

Goals/Targets, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




Piscataway, NJ


Matt Mahoney created a framework and process for marketing products for Colgate-Palmolive as “Carbon Neutral” (among other environmentally-focused labels).


With ever increasing demand for sustainable products (from consumers and regulators) and competitors and industry leaders pushing the market forward, Colgate-Palmolive wanted to better understand the process for claiming a product as carbon neutral. Matt Mahoney took on the challenge of identifying a process for enabling products to be marketed as carbon neutral (or some form of a carbon-related product label).


Matt approached the challenge using a three-part process: 

  1. Benchmark the landscape to understand how the market was moving. To do this, Matt identified those industry leaders and competitors that had already put carbon-related labels or stated claims/goals into the marketplace and determined trends among these products and claims. 

  2. Assess the regulatory framework to determine both the legislative past and its future trajectory. Using findings from his extensive research, Matt was able to synthesize and assess the “legislative inertia” and project the future state of the market for carbon-related labels. 

  3. Identify leading label vendors to understand best practices and those vendors who matched with Colgate-Palmolive’s identified strategy. 

Potential Impact

With the framework and process created by Matt, Colgate-Palmolive now has the ability to label and market its products to those sustainability-minded consumers it wants to appeal to, while also satisfying those regulations that may spur innovation or limit environmental claims (or balancing both). While Matt’s research focused on the European Union, the framework created is meant to have global implications and guidance and be replicable to a range of products Colgate-Palmolive could potentially market as carbon neutral. Moreover, Matt began to implement the process by working on a pilot project in the last couple of weeks of his internship that will help Colgate-Palmolive refine the process by agilely testing, measuring, and learning through the development process.

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