The Odawara Office of Kao Corporation has had very positive evaluation of its biodiversity-friendly environmental protection initiatives by the Association for Business Innovation in Harmony with Nature and Community (ABINC)*1 and has now received Business Location in Harmony with Nature*2 certification. The Odawara Office is the third Kao business location to receive ABINC certification, following on from the Kashima Plant in 2015 and the Kawasaki Plant in 2018.
ABINC certification is awarded based on third-party evaluation by ABINC for initiatives relating to the creation, management, usage etc. of biodiversity-friendly green space by business enterprises, on the basis of the JBIB Guidelines for Sustainable Business Sites and JBIB Land Use Score Card compiled by the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB).*3
The Odawara Office began operation in 1969 as a Kanebo Cosmetics plant. In 2014, the plant was restructured as an integrated facility that combined the R&D and manufacturing functions of the Kao Group's cosmetics business. The Odawara Office is located 2.2 km to the northeast of Odawara Castle, with the Sakawa River to its east providing superb water resources, in an area of great natural beauty that has many wild birds flying around. The site covers a total area of 60,797 m2, of which 9,146 m2 (15% of the total area) is green space. A total of 4,762 trees have been planted on the site, of which 4,313 (90.6%) are native species. The Odawara Office began implementing biodiversity conservation initiatives in the year 2018 with the planting of flowering and fruiting trees, and the installing of nest-boxes for birds at the Shinto shrine and on the row of cherry trees located within the site. The Office has also installed Eco Stacks,*4 piles of stones and other structures in the area of green space located near the cargo entrance, forest thinnings have been repurposed to create Beetle Apartments,*5 tables and chairs, etc., and residual material has been repurposed as fertilizer for use on the site.
The Odawara Office has also registered to participate in the stewardship system organized by Odawara City Government to protect the Japanese Killifish (Odawara Killifish) that live in the Sakawa River drainage basin. In May 2018, the Odawara Office received five Japanese Killifish from Odawara City Government; the Office succeeded in breeding from these fish using artificial hatching, and the number of fish has now increased to 25. In the future, the Office plans to create ponds for the Japanese Killifish so that they can reproduce naturally. In addition, with support from Kao's Kawasaki Plant (which has already been awarded ABINC certification), the Odawara Office is engaged in conservation activities to protect the Byasa alcinous (a species of butterfly), etc., and is implementing periodic monitoring of plant, bird and inspect species.
In accordance with the Kao Basic Policies on Conservation of Biodiversity (which were established on April 1, 2011), the Kao Group is implementing measures to foster biodiversity at the local level. In the future, the Odawara Office will continue collaborating with the local community to promote "Monozukuri manufacturing that takes reducing our environmental impact as its foundation" to support biodiversity and foster harmonious coexistence with natural ecosystems, and will continue contributing to environmental conservation in areas near Kao worksites, such as the Sakawa River drainage basin.
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.