Kao Named One of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" for Six Consecutive Years

Kao (President and CEO: Motoki Ozaki) was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies 2012, announced by Ethisphere Institute, a U.S. think tank, on March 15, 2012 (U.S. time). Since the first listing in 2007, Kao is the only Japanese company that has been included in the lists for six consecutive years.

Ethisphere Institute specializes in research on corporate ethics and social responsibility. Since 2007, the institute has surveyed and evaluated companies the world over to select World's Most Ethical Companies in four categories: Ethics and Compliance Program; Reputation, Leadership and Innovation; Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility; and Governance. This year, companies in over 100 countries and 36 industries were surveyed. Among the record-high number of candidates, 145 companies were selected. Even among global companies, only very few companies have had the honor of being recognized for six consecutive years.

As a foundation of its business activities, Kao advocates Integrity. This principle, inherited from the Kao founder, indicates that Kao is committed to abiding by laws and ethics to engage in honest and healthy corporate activities. To apply this principle in daily business practice, Kao has established "KAO BUSINESS CONDUCT GUIDELINES," and instills the concept in all Group members through training programs that incorporate the characteristics and case studies of individual countries. Moreover, compliance hotlines that members can contact to report or consult about matters that might infringe legal and ethical guidelines, have been organized at each Group company, allowing them to take responsible actions without worry.

In addition to these approaches, based on the company policy of positioning ecology at the core of management, Kao has strengthened its environmental initiatives, having opened in June 2011 a new research facility, Eco-Technology Research Center, which was also highly evaluated for the selection. Kao continues to contribute to sustainability of the earth and society by further promoting Yoki-Monozukuri* which contributes to the solution of environmental and societal issues through developing products in consideration of the environment and in the pursuit of universal usability.

* Kao defines "Yoki-Monozukuri" as "a strong commitment by all members to provide products and brands of excellent value for consumer satisfaction." In Japanese, "Yoki" literally means "good/excellent," "Monozukuri" means "development/manufacturing of products."

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.