TOKYO, July 5, 2021 — Kao Corporation has revamped the corporate philosophy—the Kao Way—to realize Kao Group's vision and maximize the vitality of every Kao member.
The Kao Way was established in 2004 and has been functioning as the explicit message of Kao Group's corporate culture and beliefs based on experiences and guiding principles that the management and Kao members have cultivated since its inception. Since it was released as the cornerstone or basis of every Kao activity, all Kao members, as one team, have practiced the Kao Way, mainly in the areas of cleanliness, beauty, and health, according to the changes of the times.
In December 2020, the Kao Group released the Mid-term Plan K25. For the future, the Kao Group will begin a new challenge with the aim of establishing an economy where all of the following are realized: the wholehearted satisfaction and enrichment of the lives of people globally and the sustainability of the world.
Today, faced with compelling social issues such as the pandemic and environmental issues, the responsibilities and roles of companies are undergoing significant changes. As a company aiming to be continuously essential in society, Kao must reform itself and keep evolving. The corporate philosophy—the Kao Way—has also evolved in response to this current transition by integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) perspectives such as a harmonious relationship between human beings and the earth, diversity, and inclusion, and making bolder moves, while maintaining its core values. In addition, the revamp project was carried out by a global team consisting of Kao members from various parts of the world, and the original text is presented in English to reach all global Kao members directly.
With the aim to continuously contribute to society in light of the drastically changing environment, as the Kao Group, we will resolutely challenge ourselves to enter new fields that we have not yet stepped into.
As one Kao, we work together with passion to provide comprehensive care and enrichment to create a Kirei life – a cleaner, more beautiful, and healthier life for all people and the planet. Through innovation that provides excellent value, we share joy and create a safer, more harmonious world for all.
The Japanese word kirei describes something that is clean, well-ordered, and beautiful all at once. For Kao, this concept of Kirei not only describes appearance but also attitude—a desire to create beauty for oneself, for other people, and for the natural world around us. At Kao, Kirei is the value we want to bring to everyday life through our brands, products, technologies, solutions, and services—now and in the future.
By deeply knowing and understanding our world and its people, we aim to improve people's lives beyond their expectations for a future where humans and nature thrive together.
The Japanese word we use for "integrity," seido wo ayumu, literally means "walk the right path." This unique phrase comes from our founder, Tomiro Nagase. He taught us that good fortune is given only to those who work diligently and behave with integrity. We will always choose the path of integrity, even when it is not easy.
In Japanese, "yoki" means good or excellent, and "monozukuri" means making or craftsmanship. For us, Yoki-Monozukuri means an excellent creation process that is good for everyone involved and enriches the lives of consumers and customers.
Innovation is a way of thinking. Our openness to new ideas has advanced our business since the days of our founder. Whether it is steady improvements, breakthrough technologies, or new ways of doing business and communicating the uniqueness of what we offer, we are committed to growth and change.
We believe that people and the planet are inextricably linked. We know we must consider this deep relationship carefully and holistically, and want our actions to result in a positive impact on both people (our consumers, our employees, and our business partners) AND the planet.
In Japanese, genba means the actual spot or on-site. At Kao, we believe that the deepest knowledge, best ideas and smartest decisions can be found in the Genba, both externally and internally. When in doubt, we go to the Genba.
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.