Kao Corporation has received the Prime Minister's Prize, the highest award given, in the 2019 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (3Rs) Promotion Merit Awards sponsored by the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Promotion Council (3Rs Promotion Council).
The 3Rs Promotion Merit Awards recognize companies and institutions demonstrating exceptional performance in their efforts to reduce the use of, reuse, and recycle resources and ongoing related activities. The Awards were established in 1992 for the purpose of promoting the circularity of resources in society. This year, Kao has been awarded the Prime Minister's Prize, the highest award given, in the Businesses / Regional Public Bodies and Others category.
● Award-winning theme
Ongoing reduction in the use of plastic packaging through development of more concentrated products and use of refill packs
Kao offers products such as laundry detergents, shampoos, and body washes that consumers use every day, and these products use plastic packaging. Packaging accounts for approximately 55% (by volume) and 23% (by weight) of household waste in Japan. To reduce the use of this packaging, and plastic packaging in particular, Kao is continuing to practice 3R activities focusing primarily on developing more concentrated products and offering refill packs.
● Key points
・ Kao has established the Kao Universal Design Guidelines with the objective of providing products and services that meet the needs of all consumers by making them easy to understand and use. Kao has also established Our Philosophy and Action on Plastic Packaging, which include guidelines for providing products and services that are gentle on nature by reducing their environmental impacts. Kao continues to advance its technological development and 3R activities for packaging on an ongoing basis.
・ Kao has established the Packaging Technology Research to perform research and development on packaging made from plastics as well as other materials and promote technological development.
● Main initiatives
・ Developing more concentrated products
Developing more concentrated products reduces the amount of product consumed with each use, and this in turn reduces the amount of packaging used for the products.
・ Offering product refills
Compared with the original packaging, film-type refill pack products can reduce the use of plastic by approximately 80%. Kao is innovating film-type refills packs to make them easier to refill in the original product container according to the product's viscosity, volume, and shape of the original packaging.
・ Offering the Raku-raku Eco Pack Refill and Smart Holder
Kao offers the Raku-raku Eco Pack Refill, an innovative refill pack that makes refilling easy, and the Smart Holder, in which Raku-raku Eco Pack Refill products can be used as is like the original packaging.
・ Other initiatives
Kao also conducts awareness-raising activities through its award of the "eco together" logo as an environmental label for products meeting Kao's original criteria, and RecyCreation activities in cooperation with local residents and partner companies engaged in resource circulation.
The Kao Group established its new ESG strategy, named the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, in April 2019, with Zero Waste as one of its priority themes. Versatile and flexible plastic packaging plays an important role in Kao products. On the other hand, excessive use of plastic is a concern shared by Kao and consumers due to its effects on nature. For this reason, Kao is working to reduce the amount of plastic resources used in its packaging.
Kao is also developing its unique ESG activities globally to deliver wholehearted satisfaction and enriched lives for people around the world, and to contribute to the sustainability of society.
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 1,500 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.