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Kao Joins The Climate Pledge – A Commitment Co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism

Underlining its global commitment to reduce its carbon emissions to be net-zero by 2040, Kao signed The Climate Pledge, a commitment co-founded by online retailer Amazon and environmental advocacy group Global Optimism.

As a signatory of The Climate Pledge, Kao agrees to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis, implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement and take action to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Kao already set new targets for realizing a decarbonized society in 2021 and is aiming to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to be net-zero by 2040, and become a carbon negative company by 2050.

Sustainability is at the core of Kao’s corporate philosophy and ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan. The Japanese word 'kirei' describes something that is clean, well-ordered and beautiful, all at the same time. Implemented in 2019, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan encompasses three main pillars, namely “Making my everyday more beautiful”, “Making thoughtful choices for society, and “Making the world healthier and cleaner”. Included in these pillars are 19 key leadership actions, which include decarbonization and the development of clean and environmentally safe products.

By 2030, Kao commits to improve consumers’ quality of life, promote a sustainable lifestyle and make the world healthier and cleaner through decarbonization, zero waste, water conservation and air and water prevention. Kao aims to be net-zero carbon by 2040 and carbon negative by 2050 in its business activities.

To achieve its global goal to reduce its carbon emissions to be net-zero by 2040, Kao is accelerating its carbon reduction pathway by transitioning to non-fossil fuels, implementing measures to further reduce the environmental impact of its products across the entire lifecycle, and proactively introducing innovative technologies. As part of these measures, Kao installed the largest photovoltaic power generating facilities for on-site power generation at its Sakata Plant in 2021. Since last year, the company was also able to further reduce its scope 1+2 emissions and increase the use of renewable energy, achieving 100% renewable energy on all 55 logistics sites in Japan, the Sumida Complex (including the Tokyo Plant), and the Sakata Plant.

In the EMEA region, all factories and owned offices operated by Kao Consumer Products have been using 100% renewable electricity since 2014. Furthermore, energy saving measures were implemented, resulting in a 31% reduction in energy consumption since 2010. In 2022, Kao made its production and administrative facilities in Germany and in the UK climate neutral by complementing its existing efforts to reduce and prevent carbon emissions with a compensation program to offset currently unavoidable emissions. Until 2025, Kao plans to further reduce its carbon footprint in the EMEA region by continuing to cut water consumption, installing LED lights in its facilities, switching to low energy consuming cold mixing process and reducing waste in its production sites. By 2030, the plan is to replace any fossil fuel heating with alternative heating technologies.

“In order to achieve the goals set by our Kirei Lifestyle Plan, we are fully committed to becoming net-zero carbon by 2040. Beyond our own efforts, we believe that strong alliances and partnerships make all the difference. By signing The Climate Pledge, we are part of a meaningful network of some of the world’s largest and most important companies that act today for a better tomorrow”, commented Dave Muenz, Managing Executive Officer and Senior Vice President, ESG, Kao.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kao to The Climate Pledge,” said Sally Fouts, Global Lead of The Climate Pledge at Amazon. “Urgent innovation and collaboration from the private sector, across regions and industries, is critical in order to decarbonize the global economy at scale, and The Climate Pledge offers the opportunity to join a community of leading businesses, all committed to transformational action on climate. We look forward to working with Kao and the more than 300 signatories of the Pledge to achieve this ambitious goal, together.”

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