2011/06/08

Eco-Technology Research Center (ETRC), Kao's New Research Facility, Completed

- Consolidating Environmental Research Functions and Accelerating Eco-Innovation Research
- Kao Eco-Lab Museum Opens to the Public from July

Kao Corporation (President and CEO: Motoki Ozaki) announces that construction of the Eco-Technology Research Center (ETRC) and the Kao Eco-Lab Museum was completed within the compound of Wakayama Plant (Wakayama City), and these facilities were opened today, June 8, 2011.

Within ETRC, a new organization named Eco-Innovation Research Laboratories has been established to begin eco-innovation research centering on development of functional materials.

Focal research themes include sophisticated use of such renewable raw materials as plant-derived biomass, development of non-edible oil plants, and development of fundamental technologies for water-saving products. Additionally, Kao will strive to develop next-generation environmental technology, which will become the core of Kao business in the fields of water, food, and "green" chemicals.

The total investment in the ETRC facility and the Kao Eco-Lab Museum amounted to approximately 16 billion yen.

Kao, placing ecology at the core of its management, announced the Kao Environmental Statement "eco together" on June 17, 2009.
To embody Kao's vision for ecology-centered management in the actual process of developing and manufacturing products, ETRC will consolidate environment- and ecology-related research activities, which have been conducted separately in existing laboratories. Also, ETRC will allow for integrated research by members in different fields, working along the axis of environmental studies, and leading to an acceleration of Kao's eco-innovation research.

On the ground floor of the Main Research Building (ETRC Main Building), where the Kao Eco-Lab Museum is located, visitors can experience Kao's cutting-edge environmental and ecology-conscious technologies. The museum will also be used to strengthen the company's communication function with society, serving as an environmental information dispatch facility. The Kao Eco-Lab Museum and the Greenhouse facility of ETRC will be open to the public from July 4, 2011. Advance booking by telephone is required for admission. For more information, please visit the following website:

Kao's Environmental Activities "eco together" website:
http://www.kao.com/jp/corp/eco/
(Information available in Japanese only)

Leftシ哘TRC Main Building and Plant Biomass Research Building
Rightシ哮ao Eco-Lab Museum (ground floor of ETRC Main Building)

Leftシ哘TRC Main Building and Plant Biomass Research Building
Rightシ哮ao Eco-Lab Museum (ground floor of ETRC Main Building)

Outline of the Eco-Technology Research Center (ETRC)

ETRC comprises three research facilities with an approximate aggregate floor area of 23,000 square meters- the largest scale among Kao research facilities in Japan. The three facilities are (1) the seven-story ETRC Main Building, the heart of the research center, on the ground floor of which the Kao Eco-Lab Museum is located, (2) the Pilot Research Building for research into scaling up product manufacturing processes, and (3) the Plant Biomass Research Building for research into plant cultivation. Moreover, ETRC Main Building has functions for environmental technology management research. Thus, ETRC serves as a base for Kao's comprehensive environmental research.

In the Greenhouse within the Plant Biomass Research Building, such oil plants as oil palms and coconut palms, used as materials for Kao products, are cultivated. Learning more about these plants窶 life cycles will assist Kao's research into next-generation plant raw materials. The Greenhouse reproduces a hot, humid environment similar to that of the Philippines or Malaysia, where palm trees thrive. It will hold over 80 different species of oil plants.

Such state-of-the-art equipment as photovoltaic power generators for supplying electricity, along with energy-saving draft regulating and air conditioning systems, have been introduced in the facilities. Additionally, special building structures support the company's matrix management system, which fosters joint research in two areas: product development research and fundamental research. Specifically, to promote open exchange of information and incorporate unfamiliar themes within different research fields, interior stairs have been installed to directly connect upstairs and downstairs laboratories, and a conventional laboratory design has been introduced, with large rooms that have no interior walls.

Outline of the Kao Eco-Lab Museum

Most Kao products are used by consumers in daily life. That is why Kao practices "eco together," incorporating an ecology-conscious viewpoint in all endeavors, from selection of materials to waste disposal, aiming for more ecology-conscious product development and manufacturing.

At the Kao Eco-Lab Museum, visitors can experience cutting-edge, ecology-conscious technologies. Each visitor's mind, body, and heart will be stimulated by the exhibits, films, and hands-on activities directed toward learning about the earth's environment today and about Kao's environmental technologies.

Meanwhile, the Greenhouse (within the Plant Biomass Research Building) and other areas of the Wakayama Plant can also be visited.

Exhibits in the Kao Eco-Lab Museum

The Kao Eco-Lab Museum presents three main themes, as follows:

窶「 Experience Kao ecology

Learn about Kao's cutting-edge, ecology-conscious technology. Exhibits, films, and hands-on activities explain how Kao takes into account the environment throughout product life cycles, from selecting materials for products (procurement of raw materials), manufacturing products (production), transporting products (logistics), and using products (consumption), to handling refuse (waste disposal).

窶「 Think together about the earth窶冱 environment

What's happening to our earth today? What can we do about it? The Kao Eco-Lab Museum examines realities and challenges on the earth today through three themes: "Global warming continues"; "Water - essential to our survival and everyday life"; and "Biodiversity."

窶「 Have fun learning at the Lab for Eco-friendly Housework

This is a test lab for learning about housework from an ecology-conscious, scientific viewpoint. Plans call for programs that include various scientific experiments that offer fun ways to learn about the essential nature of housework.


Visitor Information for Kao Eco-Lab Museum

窶「 Location
Located inside the Wakayama Plant, Kao Corporation
1334 Minato, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture, 640-8580 Japan

窶「 Hours
9:30 am to 4 pm

窶「 Closed
Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, company holidays, and New Year holidays

窶「 Admission
Free (advance booking required). For reservations, please contact us by telephone between 9 am and 4:30 pm (Japan time), from two months prior to the visit.
Tel.: +81-73-423-8151
* Tours combined with a visit to the Wakayama Plant are available.
* Bookings may be declined if corporate events have been scheduled for the facilities.

窶「 Access
- Approx. 20 minutes by taxi from JR Wakayama Station (Approx. 40 minutes by limousine bus from Kansai International Airport to JR Wakayama Station)
- Approx. 10 minutes by taxi from Nankai Main Line, Wakayama-shi Station

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products to help consumers around the world enrich their everyday lives. Over 20 leading brands such as Asience, Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown are part of the lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe and help generate about 1,200 billion yen (about $US13 billion) in annual sales. Kao employs about 35,000 people worldwide and has more than 120 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao group web site for updated information.
http://www.kao.com/group/en/group/

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