Kao Releases Progress Reports on Its ESG Strategy – the Kirei Lifestyle Plan

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ESGKao Corporation, a Japan-based Group whose brand portfolio includes Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries, and Molton Brown, released progress reports on its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, which was first announced in April 2019. Details of its progress is released in the “Kao Sustainability Data Book Kirei Lifestyle Plan Progress Report 2021.” It is available in English on Kao’s website from today.

Over the past 130 years, Kao has worked to help consumers lead fulfilling lifestyles. For instance, in 2018, Kao outlined its solution with regards to the social issue of plastic packaging with “Our Philosophy and Action on Plastic Packaging.” In April 2019, Kao established the “Kirei Lifestyle Plan,” which is an ESG strategy that includes 19 leadership actions to achieve a sustainable and desirable way of living. The Japanese word ‘kirei’ describes something that is both clean and beautiful. For Kao, Kirei not only encapsulates appearance, but also attitude—to create beauty for oneself, other people, and for the world around us. In September, Kao announced its Innovation in Reduction and Innovation in Recycling initiatives to promote plastic resource circulation in society. In collaboration with local and national governments, enterprises, universities, as well as many individuals, Kao is implementing initiatives in line with the Kirei Lifestyle Plan. In addition, the Kao Group Mid-term Plan 2025 (K25) proclaims “Sustainability as the Only Path” as its vision. By contributing to an enriched sustainable world and growing its businesses through proactive engagement in ESG activities and investment, the Kao Group aims to be an essential company in the future.

One of the notable medium- to long-term targets for Kao’s “Responsibly Sourced Raw Materials” initiative is the utilization of 100% certified-sustainable palm oil for consumer products and industrial purposes by 2025. Moreover, Kao has announced its intention to complete traceability confirmation for palm oil smallholders by 2025. This new goal reflects Kao’s continuing promotion of activities for sustainable raw materials procurement.

Kao’s ESG efforts have been recognized and validated by several external bodies. The CDP, a leading international NPO, gave Kao its highest evaluation with their inclusion on the A List, based on a global survey of business enterprises. Kao was recognized for their initiatives concerning climate change, forest and water security, Kao was also included on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the seventh consecutive year, which is among the world’s most renowned socially responsible investment (SRI) indices. Furthermore, Kao was selected for inclusion in the World’s Most Ethical Companies® 2021 list by U.S. think tank Ethisphere Institute. This marks the 15th consecutive year for inclusion on the list, an achievement that is a KPI for executive officer compensation at Kao.

To mark the release of the Kirei Lifestyle Plan Progress Report, Dave Muenz, Executive Officer in charge of Kao’s ESG Division, notes that: “2020 was a challenging year with the entire organization adapting to the myriad of changes triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this did not hinder but rather accelerated our commitment to ESG. Kao rapidly responded to the urgent need for hygiene products across its markets, including substantially increasing our production capabilities of hand sanitizers in Japan by thirtyfold. Our efforts to minimize plastic waste saw the launch of MyKirei by KAO in the US with our innovative thin air-in-film packaging. Addressing climate change continues to be one of our top priorities, and Kao will pursue its RE100 and CO2 reduction goals aligned to SBTi 1.5 degrees scenario in order to achieve our ambitious targets of Carbon Zero by 2040 and Carbon Negative by 2050. As the company works its way into the first year of our mid-term business strategyK25, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan will continue to form our ESG strategy and serve as the cornerstone of making Kao an indispensable partner of a sustainable society and the people that we provide for.”

About the Kirei Lifestyle Plan

Over the past 130 years, Kao has worked to improve people’s lives and help them realize more sustainable lifestyles—a Kirei Lifestyle. The Japanese word ‘kirei’ describes something that is clean, well-ordered and beautiful, all at the same time. In the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, Kao lays out its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy that is designed to deliver this vision of a gentler and more sustainable way of living. By 2030, Kao aims to empower at least 1 billion people, to enjoy more beautiful lives and have 100% of its products leave a full lifecycle environmental footprint that science says our natural world can safely absorb.

For more information please click https://www.kao.com/global/en/sustainability/

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries, and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America, and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,400 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.


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Makiko Takahashi

Corporate Strategy

Kao Corporation

Tel.: +81-3-3660-7043

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