We would first like to express our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. We also extend our sympathies to those who have contracted the disease, as well as to their families, and pray for their full and swift recoveries. To the medical and public health professionals working with such selfless commitment on the front lines of the pandemic and to so many others, including those in production, logistics and sales, working to ensure the provision of essential goods, we offer our deepest respect and gratitude.
The Kao Group's first priority is the health and safety of all our stakeholders, including our customers and our employees and their families, and we are working hard to prevent the spread of the virus. As a company that has been committed to delivering products that support health, beauty and cleanliness ever since we launched our first product, Kao Soap, 130 years ago, we are united as one Kao and are working in collaboration with industry associations and business partners to provide the products and hygiene information consumers need to stay safe and healthy in their daily lives.
The Kao Group is complying with instructions from central governments and local authorities in all countries and areas where we do business. Although employees are working from home in most of our business locations, we have been able to continue production as planned. We continue to increase production capacity for sanitation- and hygiene-related products including sanitizers, hand soap, and bleach. In light of a significant increase in demand for sanitizers, in April we greatly increased sanitizer production capacity in Japan. Going forward, Kao will continue to work in close liaison with government and local authorities, industry associations, and other firms.
In addition, we have had many consumers contact us for advice and information on things like how to wash one's hands correctly and how to launder cloth face masks. On our corporate sites and social media channels we have published easy-to-understand information in multiple languages on lifestyle hygiene based on knowledge gained through many years of research.
We at Kao remain committed to the mission of our corporate philosophy, the Kao Way, and we will come together as a strong, united organization to fulfill it. We ask our consumers, customers, and business partners to believe that everyday life, with all its simple joys, will absolutely return. Kao is at your side. We will get through this together.
President and Chief Executive Officer
This page showcases some of our initiatives
Kao has worked to produce more sanitizer since January 2020 when COVID-19 was spreading. We prioritized supply of sanitizer to medical institutions, facilities for the elderly, and other organizations with an urgent need for these products. As the infection spread, we sought to build new systems for production and supply so as to meet the heightened demand in society. In April, we began production at all plants capable of doing so with the cooperation of related companies. Through these efforts, we are working to produce a significantly greater quantity of sanitizers. Everyone on the production floor carries out strict measures to prevent infection, with all personnel working together to protect health and safety in the workplace as they continue to produce hygiene-related products. We strive to bolster our supply capabilities so that we can deliver products to all those that need them, while also catering to the pressing needs of medical institutions, facilities for the elderly, and other organizations.
Kao's site in Germany is our largest in Europe. At this site, we work to produce and supply hygiene-related products so as to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
We started producing hand sanitizer at our Darmstadt plant in April, and we have supplied this product via the state of Hesse to hospitals in the region. We will pursue efforts to boost our production capacity and accommodate the growing demand of our salon customers, consumers and other parties. In response to the shortage of hand sanitizers, pharmacies in Germany have also started their own production, but there was a shortage of containers that were suitable for this purpose. To overcome this issue, we worked in cooperation with the Hessian Pharmacists' Association to donate bottles from John Frieda to pharmacies in our community in Darmstadt. The pharmacies filled these bottles with sanitizer, allowing them to sell the product to customers.
In Japan, our website offers easy-to-understand information on lifestyle hygiene and preventing infection in light of the spread of COVID-19, such as FAQs that briefly examine how to disinfect the home and other common inquiries from customers, as well as how to wash one's hands and how to launder cloth face masks. Kao Professional Services provides services for selling industrial detergents as well as for hygiene management. This company also offers information on COVID-19 to people working at care facilities and personnel in charge of preventing infection in hospitals.
In Japan and other regions across Asia, we are actively publishing lifestyle information related to preventing infection on our website and social media channels. Hand washing is one particularly fundamental element for preventing infection, and so we have released the "Foaming Hand Washing Song" in English, Chinese, and other major languages so that young children can wash their hands effectively and in a fun way. Sheet music and posters for the "Foaming Hand Washing Song" are available for download from our website, and are currently used by schools and nurseries to teach children and instruct them on hygiene.
The Kao Group is offering hygiene-related products and monetary donations to help a wide range of organizations near our business locations in Japan, Asia, the Americas and EMEA. In Indonesia, we presented the National Disaster Management Agency (Indonesian: Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana [BNPB])—the country's frontline taskforce for COVID-19, with funding along with Bioré body foam and Attack laundry detergent products. In the United Kingdom, we have donated soaps and hand lotions, and other products from Molton Brown, John Frieda, and Bioré to the charities Beauty Bank and Hygiene Bank, as well as to Britain's National Health Service (NHS). Apart from the examples highlighted above, we are working to support many other regions in ways that suit their needs.