From selecting materials to waste disposal, and everything in between, how much impact do products have on the environment? The standards for objectively measuring this process are referred to as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Through LCA, Kao is working to ensure that all stages of the product life cycle are environmentally friendly. Here, we look at Attack ZERO, an ultra-concentrated liquid laundry detergent, as an example of eco-friendly Yoki-Monozukuri.*
*Kao defines Yoki-Monozukuri as a strong commitment by all to satisfy consumers with products and brands of excellent value.
The main ingredient in Attack ZERO and other detergents is oil produced from oil palms.
Palm oil is a naturally occurring, environmentally friendly raw material, but oil palms are only native to the tropics. Specifically, they grow in an area between 10 degrees north and south latitude.
Conforming to our Guidelines for Sustainable Procurement of Raw Materials, Kao creates products using sustainable materials that are managed effectively in order to protect the tropical forests that provide a rich and diverse habitat for various plants and animals.
We are working to make the most of raw materials through our proprietary technology. Bio-IOS, a new sustainable surfactant used in our latest concentrated liquid detergent Attack ZERO, is a key example of this. It is made from the material left behind after extracting palm oil from the fruit of the oil palm. Until now, this leftover material has not had any practical applications.
Oil palm fruit
“Utilize resources to the full!” is the golden rule at Kao’s plants.
Plastic scraps and other waste materials are reused or burned for fuel. These actions are part of our goal of zero emissions from Kao’s plants.
This goes for the plants that produce Attack ZERO as well. They are committed to promoting the effective use of resources.
To further reduce the environmental impact of all our production bases around the world, we have installed solar power generators and are promoting the use of zero CO2 emission energy.
From plant to storefront, Kao considers how product delivery affects the environment and determines its transportation methods accordingly.
For example, transporting 1 metric ton of cargo 1 kilometer by ship emits about 1/6 of the amount of CO2 released by a truck. By rail, it’s only 1/11 of the amount.*
Because of this, we choose to transport via ship and rail for long distances.
Replacing conventional transportation methods with more eco-friendly ones is called modal shift.
In cases where we transport cargo via truck, we reevaluate our loading and packing strategies in order to use as few trucks as possible.
Our proprietary technology for enhancing laundry performance with less detergent has led to the development of compact products like Attack ZERO, made transport more efficient, and lowered our CO2 emissions.
*Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport website (2017)
Loading containers onto a ferry
Attack ZERO is an ultra-concentrated liquid laundry detergent that has high cleansing power, even when used in small quantities, and requires only one rinse.
While it varies by washing machine type, Attack ZERO can reduce CO2 emissions by around 32% compared to conventional detergents.* The reason for this is twofold: it requires only one rinse during use and the production process itself has a smaller impact on the environment.
Kao is continuing to develop products for consumers while considering both ease of use and the environment.
[*CO2 emission calculations]
Calculated using a fully automated washing machine (8 kg capacity), 4 kg of clothing, and 47 L of water. Two rinse cycles: 130 L of water and 67 Wh of electricity used. Single rinse cycle: 102 L of water and 52 Wh of electricity used. Our conventional liquid detergents indexed as 100.
The ratio of plastic packaging is 20% original bottles and 80% refill packs.
2019 Kao study
Refillable products and replaceable parts are helping to reduce waste and plastic product packaging.
Over the years, customers have grown more and more accustomed to using eco-friendly products.
Kao currently has 326 refillable products and replaceable parts on the market, representing roughly 80% of our product lineup in Japan.*
*As of December 2019
Kao is working to ensure that all stages of the product life cycle are environmentally friendly, and will keep delivering products like Attack ZERO to consumers.
Kao will continue to pursue everything the Eco Way!
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