Tokyo—Kao Corporation, a leading manufacturer of personal care, household and cosmetics products, has been selected for inclusion in the A List for climate change, forest, and water by CDP, a leading international NPO. Just 10 companies out of 5,800 firms evaluated were selected for the A List, the highest rating, in all three categories based on a global survey of their responses to climate change and their activities in relation to safeguarding forests and water security. Kao is one of the first two companies in Japan to receive a Triple A score, having been included in the climate change A List for the second time, the forest A list for the first time, and the water security A List for the fourth time.
"It is a great honor to be awarded a Triple A score in CDP's rankings. Kao is committed to purpose driven innovation by integrating ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) into the core of the company's management, and this recognition will encourage us even more to pursue a purposeful business and to help people live a more sustainable, Kirei Lifestyle—a beautiful life inside and out." said Dave Muenz, Executive Officer in charge of ESG at Kao Corporation.
Recognizing its responsibility as an enterprise that provides products which people use on a regular basis in their daily lives, the Kao Group takes active steps to reduce the environmental footprint of its products throughout the entirety of the product lifecycle. In April 2019, Kao launched the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, its ESG strategy, which incorporates 19 key leadership actions. By integrating ESG into the core of its company management, Kao will drive business growth and better serve consumers and society through its enhanced products and services.
The inclusion of Kao in the climate change, forests and water security A Lists can be seen as reflecting a positive evaluation of the following points:
● Kao's setting of CO2 reduction targets for the entire product lifecycle, its "eco together" activities that involve collaboration with various stakeholders, including consumers and business partners, and its proactive disclosure of the climate change related risks and opportunities affecting the business.
● Kao's public commitment to support the reduction of forest destruction to zero through adherence to two sets of procurement guidelines (Sustainable Palm Oil and Sustainable Paper and Pulp), its promotion of sustainable procurement that takes ethical issues into account, its thorough implementation of traceability, its adoption of FSC-certified paper and cardboard, and its proactive disclosure of the forest related risks and opportunities affecting the business.
● Kao's positioning of water conservation as a key action item in its global ESG strategy, its efforts to reduce water usage in its production facilities worldwide and to provide water-saving products, its "eco together" activities that involve collaboration with various different stakeholders, including consumers and business partners, and its proactive disclosure of the water related risks and opportunities affecting the business.
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, said: "We extend our congratulations to all the companies on this year's A List. Taking the lead on environmental transparency and action is one of the most important steps businesses can make, and is even more impressive in this challenging year marked by COVID-19. The scale of the risk to businesses from climate change, deforestation and water insecurity is enormous, and we know the opportunities of action far outweigh the risks of inaction. Leadership from the private sector will create an 'ambition loop' for greater government action and ensure that global ambitions for a net zero sustainable economy become a reality. Our A List celebrates those companies who are preparing themselves to excel in the economy of the future by taking action today."
In the future, the Kao Group will continue to implement its unique ESG activities globally, for example by taking active steps in relation to climate change, forests and water security, so as to deliver 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.