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Kao Included in the World’s Most Ethical Companies® List for a Record 16th
Consecutive Year

The Ethisphere Institute, a leading US think-tank, has named the Kao Corporation one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. Kao is a leading consumer goods company and the only Asian company to have made the list every year since Ethisphere began its ranking in 2007.
The Ethisphere Institute develops and shares best practices in business ethics and corporate social responsibility. The World's Most Ethical Companies list recognizes companies which have demonstrated outstanding performance in transparency, integrity, ethics, and compliance. The Institute surveys and
evaluates companies worldwide across five categories covering: ethics and compliance programs, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance, and leadership and reputation.
Commenting on the accolade, Yoshihiro Hasebe, Kao’s President and CEO, said: “We are honored to have been recognized as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for 16 consecutive years. Our business has always been based on walking the right path—a core value of our founder. External evaluations are therefore an important indication we are indeed going in the right direction. While we continue to walk on the right path, we should never be satisfied with the status quo. With our drive towards improvement, we renewed our corporate philosophy—The Kao Way—in 2021, which includes principles such as “We act with courage.” As CEO, I am determined we continue to aim higher in this ever-changing world.”
Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich, said: “We are, once again, delighted to include Kao in our World’s Most Ethical Companies list—the only Asian company we have honored every year since the award’s inception. This is a testament to Kao’s dedication to advancing ethical and ESG management best practices. We look forward to seeing Kao’s continued leadership in setting ethical standards in the industry globally.”
Kao’s purpose is to create a Kirei life for all. 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. The Kao Group will continue to integrate its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, into its management practices. It will also, through a high level of ethical awareness, develop its business, provide better products and services for consumers and society, and work toward the realization of a prosperous and harmonious world.
In July 2021, Kao renewed its corporate philosophy—The Kao Way—with the aim of realizing its aspirations and maximizing the vitality of each and every employee. In response to current social issues spreading around the world, such as pandemics and environmental concerns, the responsibilities and roles that companies are expected to fulfill are at a major turning point. For Kao, it must constantly change and evolve in order to continue being a meaningful presence in society. Consequently, Kao has strengthened its corporate philosophy—The Kao Way—to include ESG perspectives, such as the coexistence of people and the Earth, diversity and inclusion, and embracing challenges. With the renewal of its corporate philosophy, Kao has listed “walking the right path” as the first item in its fundamental values.
Additionally, Kao’s corporate code of conduct—the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines—guides its everyday business and is tailored to the special characteristics of Kao’s operations in different countries and regions.

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