This is the English translation of the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines applicable in Japan. All Kao Group companies worldwide have adopted the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines or their own ethical guidelines similar to the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines with such modifications, or having materially the same principles as the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines, as may be required by laws and legitimate business practices applicable in locations where those companies operate or sell products. These Guidelines set forth standards of conduct for employees of Kao Group Companies in Japan but are not intended to create rights or grant rights to anyone. Where a stipulation cannot be applied because of prevailing circumstances in any territory, the spirit of that stipulation should be applied as far as is practically feasible.
|To all executives and employees of Kao Group companies
|The Kao Group's corporate philosophy is defined in the Kao Way. The Kao Way is shared by our group companies and all members of the Kao Group worldwide. It specifies the principles that guide our daily work. By following them, each member can make a positive contribution, and together we can achieve sustainable growth of the Kao Group and society. At the same time we can advance business standardization and business collaboration at the Kao Group all over the world.
Integrity is one of the core values of the Kao Way. It is a value that is embodied in the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines, which provide specific guidelines on how to put the Kao Way into practice.
Since the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines were first written in 2003, they have been revised several times in response to changes in the international scene, social and environmental concerns, and to respond to society’s expectations of the Kao Group. In each revision, while continuing to remain true to the fundamentals of the Kao Way, Kao has reviewed the specifics of its corporate stance to reflect the Kao Group’s changing responsibilities in line with further globalization of the world's economy and the development of new industrial nations, the growing awareness and changing expectations of corporate activities among our consumers, customers, and other stakeholders, and our commitment to social sustainability.
Two statements by past leaders of Kao live on in the Kao Way. "Good fortune is given only to those who work diligently and behave with integrity."
And "Clean lifestyles are the foundation of a prosperous society."
These statements reflect the company’s fundamental mission of striving for the wholehearted satisfaction and enrichment of the lives of people through our business activities. They also reflect our determination to conduct fair business activities with integrity and for the benefit of society. Kao has always engaged in honest and fair business activities for more than 120 years. We wish to show this attitude in our everyday business and to pass this attitude on to the next generation.
So we ask each of you to follow the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines. Doing so protects not only the company but each and every one of you. It is only through your efforts that the Kao Group can succeed, and that our companies will continue to be respected and trusted by all of our stakeholders such as our consumers/customers, employees, business partners, shareholders and local communities. Your commitment to The Kao Way and the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines as well as practicing integrity in your everyday activities will allow us to achieve this goal, which will in turn, ensure the recognition of Kao’s corporate presence generating pride in all members.
|Principles of Corporate Ethics
- Kao Thailand seeks to be an honest and exemplary company, guided by sensible and fair actions and driven by a fundamental adherence to ethical principles that go beyond mere compliance with laws to earn the true respect of all stakeholders.
- We shall not pursue profits at the expense of the ethical principles set out in the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines.
- We support and implement the ten principles of the Global Compact [*1] advocated by the United Nations.
- Even within a legally acceptable scope, we shall take the most exemplary initiatives.
- Illegal and unethical action is prohibited even if for the purpose of seeking to benefit the company or if following instructions from a supervisor.
- We shall not ignore illegal, unethical or other questionable conduct. All such conduct should be brought to the attention of a supervisor, the Legal & Compliance Division or other appropriate department.
- Kao shall protect and safeguard, to the maximum extent practicable, the identity of anyone who reports information regarding illegal, unethical or other questionable conduct or seeks consultation about such conduct. In addition to the above, Kao does not tolerate any form of threat or retaliation against any person who reports suspected illegal, unethical or other questionable conduct or seeks consultation about such conduct in good faith. Kao does not tolerate behavior which obstructs or interferes with an investigation related to such report or consultation.
- No unfavorable treatment shall be accorded to anyone for providing such information or seeking such consultation.
- If an employee of a Kao Thailand breaches these guidelines, such employee will be subject to disciplinary actions based on the internal regulations of the company to which such employee belongs.
The Global Compact consists of the following “ten principles” advocated by the United Nations and it encourages each company to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights within their sphere of influence;
Principle 2: Businesses should make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses;
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour;
Principle 6: Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation;
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8:Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility;
Principle 9: Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies; and
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
(1) We shall always strive to develop and provide high quality products that place emphasis on the health and safety of our consumers and customers.
(2) We shall strive to provide consumers and customers with appropriate information and facilitate effective communication so that they may choose products properly and use them safely, securely and comfortably.
- On the basis of Yoki-Monozukuri, which is defined in the Kao Way as a strong commitment by all members to provide products and brands that can provide satisfaction for consumers and customers while at the same time contributing to social sustainability, we shall strive to improve the quality, safety and reliability of our products and services.
- We are committed to thorough safety assessment, product quality testing, and quality management activities, paying particular attention to human safety as a top priority. We shall always strive to actively collect and confirm information about the safety and quality of products and materials from consumers, customers, retailers, the media, academic societies, literature, research papers, the government and industry groups. The aim is to continuously implement necessary measures to improve the safety and quality of our products.
- We shall earnestly attempt to apply the latest technology and expertise of the highest level possible at all stages of the product lifecycle, including development, production, distribution, usage, storage, and disposal of our products in order to promote human safety. We shall not bring any product to the market until confirming that the safety level of a product, at each stage, has achieved the standard designated by the company.
- To ensure product quality, we shall implement all processes necessary to provide our products in strict compliance with established standards and procedures, including those relating to selection of raw materials, quality verification, quality control in the manufacturing process, inspection, and distribution. At the same time, we are committed to continual improvement in quality control.
- We shall endeavor to respond to diversified consumer and customer needs and the progress of globalization to heighten the degree of consumer and customer satisfaction around the world.
- We shall strive to reduce costs to provide high quality and useful products and services at reasonable prices. We shall follow and carry out the Five Principles for Product Development, which advocates: 1) usefulness and value to society; 2) creativity and originality; 3) effective cost performance; 4) thorough market and consumer research, and 5) comprehensive features of retailers.
- To allow consumers and customers to properly select and use our products safely, comfortably and securely, we shall provide appropriate instructions regarding the features and proper use of products from the consumer’s and customer’s points of view. Such instructions should be labeled or placed together with the products.
- To prevent the misuse and improper use of a product that may cause serious injury or damage to consumers and customers or their property if used improperly, we shall issue a cautionary statement on or inside the product packaging. Cautionary statements shall act as a warning to advise the consumers and customers of possible injuries or damage that may occur through misuse or improper use, explain how to avoid such injuries or damage and provide first-aid or other appropriate information.
- We shall provide our consumers and customers with an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) or other safety information that may be necessary or appropriate in regard to the delivery of chemical substances. If a product is potentially hazardous, we shall issue suitable instructions and a cautionary statement on or inside the product packaging to enable the consumers and customers to easily understand the potential dangers of the product.
- If we find that an indication on products could reasonably cause a misunderstanding or is inappropriate, we shall promptly revise such indication on the principle of “consumer safety first”.
- We shall provide accurate information about product safety to consumers and customers in a timely manner. In the event of an accident or a potential accident involving injury to a person using our product, we shall promptly adopt preventative measures, investigate the cause and implement appropriate preventive measures to avoid recurrence of the accident, as well as provide precise information, with the highest priority given to the safety of consumers and customers.
(3) We shall provide honest and prompt responses to consumer and customer inquiries and complaints.
(4) We shall advertise honestly and sensibly.
- We shall listen sincerely to consumer and customer opinions and demands concerning our products. We shall share their opinions and demands with the relevant divisions and departments for improvement of our products.
- We shall earnestly attempt to understand complaints from the consumers’ and customers’ standpoint and we shall accept responsibility to resolve any valid complaints fairly.
- We shall strive to achieve consumer and customer satisfaction in terms of product quality and by quickly, accurately and considerately responding to consumer and customer inquiries.
- We shall strictly control our consumers’ and customers’ personal information and shall not improperly disclose such information to third parties without their prior consent. We shall not use nor disclose such information for any purpose other than that authorized by our consumers and customers or permitted by law.
- When advertising our products, we shall strive to explain the product features in a manner that is easy to understand while using creative and modern expressions. Specifics shall be communicated based on fact, using fair and accurate expressions so as not to provide misleading information.
- We shall advertise the appealing points of our products fairly and shall not defame our competitors or their products nor use any expressions in our advertising that discriminate unfairly against groups of people based on race, religion or other protected categories.
- We shall not select media whose programs for broadcast, magazine articles and other forms of advertizing media include content that is highly likely to damage society's faith in Kao or our reputation, or that is highly likely to undermine public order and morality. If such problems do occur in Kao-sponsored broadcast content, we shall request rectification. However we shall respect the editorial rights of advertising media bodies, and shall not interfere in their work unjustly.
- When using the corporate logo, corporate name, or brand name, we shall abide by internal standards for their use.
- We shall confirm in advance all relevant laws and regulations relating to advertising and premiums, unfair competition, trademarks, food, drug and cosmetic affairs and copyright in order that we shall not violate such laws and regulations in our advertising.
(1) We shall contribute to social sustainability by giving thorough consideration to environmental conservation and human safety in every aspect of our operations, including product development, materials procurement, manufacture, distribution, sales, usage and waste disposal.
(2) We shall develop and produce products and technologies with a minimum impact on the environment, and wherever practicable, in a manner that efficiently uses and recycles natural resources and energy.
- We shall recognize that addressing environmental problems is a common issue for all humanity and an essential requirement for the existence and conduct of activities of a company, and, in our business activities, we shall follow the Basic Philosophy and Policies on the Environment and Safety, which states that we shall: 1) Maintain employees’ health and safety and improve operational safety, 2) Develop products and technologies with attention to the environment and safety, 3) Promote conservation measures such as resource and energy saving and waste reduction, 4) Promote human safety in the community and take a responsible approach to environmental conservation, 5) Comply with laws and internal controls, 6) Provide adequate training, 7) Conduct self-evaluations, and 8) Disclose information and continue to improve credibility in the community. While doing so, we shall also abide by the Basic Philosophy and Policies on Biodiversity Conservation in our business activities.
- We shall promote activities that conform to the chemical industry’s Responsible Care (RC) Activities [*2] or voluntary management measures for the environment and safety. We shall address the five main RC concepts: environmental conservation; process safety and disaster prevention; occupational safety and health; chemical and product safety; and distribution safety. We shall also engage in a dialogue with society to enhance the effectiveness of such activities.
[*2] Responsible Care Activities: a voluntary program in which a company that handles chemicals takes voluntary measures for the environment, safety, and the use of chemical substances in all processes from development to disposal of chemical substances.
- By following environmentally sounder processes, we shall develop, produce and distribute products in a way that minimizes environmental impact, with a healthy balance between business objectives and environmental conservation.
(3) We shall strive to develop innovative technology, products and services that contribute to a resolution of environmental problems.
- By proactively promoting conservation of the global environment, its natural resources and recycling, we shall develop and produce products and technology with a minimum impact on the environment. We shall strive to utilize and recycle natural resources and energy efficiently.
- We shall strive to develop manufacturing processes that reduce waste. When disposing of waste, we shall carefully select a method of disposal that, to the greatest extent practicable, places the minimum burden on the environment. We shall comply with relevant laws and take responsibility up to and including the completion of the disposal process.
- We shall introduce and implement environmental audits and environmental accounting and also adopt such evaluation systems as life cycle assessment (LCA) in order to develop products with a minimum impact on the environment.
- We shall strive to establish logistics systems with a minimum burden on the environment through efficient and cooperative transportation of products.
(Note) For details on the Environmental Statement, the Basic Philosophy and Policies on the Environment and Safety and the Basic Philosophy and Policies on Biodiversity Conservation, please refer to the following URL:
- We shall strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases to prevent global warming.
- We shall strive to promote waste reduction through the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). We shall also promote the development and effective use of various recycled materials (such as paper, plastic, etc.,) and naturally recyclable materials.
- We shall strive to utilize equipment and systems that efficiently utilize energy such as cogeneration systems, and introduce renewable energy.
- We shall prepare and promote mid- to long-term environmental measures and policies. (Environmental Statement)
(1) We shall observe both the letter and spirit of all applicable laws and regulations including antitrust laws.
(2) We shall implement strict internal checking to prevent unlawful or unethical transactions.
- We shall comply with all laws and regulations to ensure the continued trust of our consumers, customers and society, and we shall improve our corporate reputation and brand image through fair competition. We shall recognize the purpose of the laws and regulations in the operation of our business and understand that antitrust and other related laws have been enacted to prevent the restraint of competition in the market. In particular, we shall note that free competition is not guaranteed, unless everyone abides by these laws. Therefore, we shall not engage in any unfair action that limits free competition.
- We shall not engage in price agreements or cartels with other parties, resale price maintenance, monopolies, horizontal market divisions, unreasonable or discriminatory dealings or refusal of transactions, tie-in arrangements, reciprocal transactions, or other prohibited transactions that are contrary to applicable law. We shall not engage in anti-competitive dumping, the improper disturbance of competitors’ transactions, false labeling or the excessive giving or receiving of free gifts.
- We shall encourage a full understanding of these laws and an appreciation that violations of antitrust or other related laws may result in criminal liability to both the company and any individual involved in such violations.
- These laws are applicable not only to the sale of products but also to other business activities, including the procurement of materials, attainment of licenses for technology and intellectual property, M&A activities, establishment of joint ventures and business alliances, and the activities of industry associations. Given the complexity of these laws, we shall seek advice from the department in charge of legal affairs and/or from external legal advisors, and we shall not make decisions when we are uncertain about the law.
(3) We shall keep the receiving and giving of business gifts and entertainment within bounds that are recognized as acceptable business practice in order to avoid undue influence on business transactions or even the appearance of it.
- We shall implement lawful and ethical business transactions with other parties and strictly refrain from any conduct or improper interest that may promote misunderstandings or criticism of our company.
- When selecting a supplier, we shall make rational judgments on product quality, service quality and prices. We shall maintain fair and transparent relationships with suppliers with the standard practice being to compare and consider quotations from several suppliers.
- We shall maintain the integrity of all transactions for the procurement of products, raw materials and services by providing fair transactional opportunities to our suppliers, and by conducting regular competitive reviews of purchase terms and conditions. We shall diligently strive to prevent collusive relationships between the company and its suppliers by using two or more persons together, at the same time, to represent the company in negotiations with suppliers. We shall understand and comply with all laws related to procurement.
- In business transactions with other parties, we shall observe designated rules and standards and follow strict internal checking procedures to maintain a transparent decision-making process. When selecting a supplier, we shall not exert or attempt to exert undue influence on any particular supplier regardless of the degree of our relationship with them.
(4) We shall engage in good faith mutual evaluation with our suppliers in order to continue to raise the level of quality of our respective businesses.
- We shall comply with internal rules, and we shall follow necessary procedures to obtain prior internal approval and to submit proper reports. We shall take a simple approach; we may accept or provide business entertainment only as an opportunity to exchange information, and we may accept or provide gifts or money only when lawful and in relation to celebrations or condolences as an expression of appreciation or as a courtesy to our suppliers or customers. All gifts or money, given or received, should be of moderate value and suitable for the occasion under which it is given or received and, in order to maintain transparency, should be disclosed to the company in accordance with internal rules.
- We shall not receive or give any unlawful kickbacks in relation to business transactions.
- We shall exchange necessary information with suppliers, and mutually evaluate the quality and prices of the materials, services, and each other’s businesses.
- We shall take an interest in our suppliers’ social responsibilities with respect to human rights, environmental protection and other matters, specify to our suppliers the 10 principles of the Global Compact and other social responsibilities we expect them to fulfill, and provide support in the fulfillment or monitoring of those responsibilities.
(1) We shall respect employees’ human rights and value their diversity regardless of their culture, nationality, creed, race, gender, age or other protected category. We shall accept and integrate their diverse abilities, individualities and values in the company’s collective strength.
(2) We shall evaluate individuals fairly, according to their roles, duties, and job performance to develop individual members so that they can proactively challenge and overcome difficulties.
- We shall promote human resource measures to properly employ persons and assign personnel according to their capabilities and job performance, and shall not discriminate on the basis of culture, nationality, religion, creed, race, gender, age, physical handicap or other protected category.
- We shall respect each individual’s dignity and value to develop an “Equal Partnership” as team members.
- We shall not engage in conduct that harasses co-workers, sexually or in other ways. We shall not use words or behave in ways that insult, discriminate or violate human rights or demean an individual’s spiritual values.
- We shall not use unjust or “sweat-shop” child labor which impairs the physical, mental, moral and social development of children who are not of the minimum working age. We shall not force anyone to work against their will.
- When discrimination or harassment occurs, we shall respond swiftly, take adequate actions to help the victim, and prevent a recurrence. When practicable, we shall protect the privacy of all parties, including the victim, the informer and the alleged offender.
- We shall exert ourselves to further develop an open and active corporate culture that allows everyone constructively to put forth their opinions and raise complaints.
- We shall respect each individual’s privacy, and we shall handle our employee’s personal information with the greatest care and to the maximum extent practicable in a confidential manner.
- We shall faithfully fulfill our own roles, duties and responsibilities as required. In addition to operational instructions and orders, we shall also correctly understand and observe the rules and regulations specified in the company’s policies, working regulations, ethical codes, and other guidelines.
- We shall conform to all labor laws and regulations, share information about the company’s condition and its management-related issues among the company, its employees, and their representatives, and establish trust and a cooperative relationship among them through honest interactive communication.
(3) We shall strive not only to maintain a safe, clean, comfortable and hygienic workplace, and also strive to offer a healthy balance between job performance and the individual’s life (work-life balance).
- We shall further improve the organization and our various employment systems so that we can promptly respond to changes. In order to acquire and allocate the right personnel for the right job at the right time, we shall also identify and describe the duties and the requirements of each individual’s role.
- We shall provide various measures for human resource development and assistance that are focused on the aptitude, efforts, and enthusiasm of each employee. We shall develop a system and corporate culture in which everyone can realize their own progress and involvement.
- We shall clarify each individual’s role, duty and responsibility, and we shall promote and provide compensation according to a fair evaluation of their abilities and job performance, corporate performance, and market value.
- We shall prioritize the maintenance of operational safety and hygiene in the workplace to ensure that everyone can work comfortably. We shall also make efforts not only to promote physical and mental health in our daily life, but also to create a comfortable working environment including measures that seek to prevent health problems caused by overwork and mental stress. In the event of an operational disaster, we shall keep the safety of human life first and foremost in our minds, and remain fully committed to our planned response.
- We shall strive to create awareness and a climate for realizing a rational work-life balance and make efforts to improve and promote systems for child care and nursing care.
(1) We shall strive to deliver appropriate returns to shareholders through profitable growth that is based on lawful and ethical business activities.
(2) We shall strive to disclose material corporate information to our shareholders and investors accurately and in a timely fashion.
- We shall strive to improve EVA and business results from a long-term viewpoint, by recognizing and tackling management challenges and business risks in an appropriate manner, we shall maintain stable management in compliance with rules in business society, and we shall enhance corporate value. We shall endeavor to maintain an adequate standard of return on investment to our shareholders by considering profit per share and ratio of earnings to dividends from a long-term standpoint.
- We shall not invest in risky financial products such as speculative derivatives or commodity futures that could considerably decrease our asset values and increase liabilities. When investing in derivatives, we shall abide by internal regulations. We shall not buy or sell real estate or marketable securities for the purpose of speculation.
- We shall minimize potential risks across all business activities. If we should become aware of a potential risk, we shall take proper actions as outlined in the policy and operational procedures regarding risk management.
(Note) For details on information disclosure, please refer to the Disclosure Guidelines.
- We are committed to timely, accurate and fair disclosure to all shareholders and investors of our business results and material information that may affect the share price of the company.
- We shall proactively communicate Kao’s management policies and issues to shareholders and investors. We shall listen sincerely to the opinions of and criticisms by our shareholders and investors, and when called for we shall strive to have such views reflected in our management.
(1) We shall conduct public relations activities that are factually based, and we shall be honest in disclosing necessary and appropriate information to the public. We shall strive to maintain openness. We shall also listen carefully to the voices of the stakeholders and be sensitive to opinions and criticisms that are sincerely expressed.
(2) We shall not engage in any activities which are detrimental to society. Furthermore, we shall resolutely resist pressure by any individual, group or organization to support such activities.
- We shall strive to gain the trust and support of society by further improving our corporate reputation as that of an “open company.” Through proactive communication activities, we shall make efforts to disclose corporate information properly and promptly to all stakeholders, including consumers/customers, employees, suppliers, communities, shareholders and investors. To improve the transparency of management and fulfill our corporate responsibility for accountability, we shall disclose precise information about the company to as many people as practicable in a timely fashion, through our media relations activities and reports which disclose economic, environmental and social issues, and releases on our website.
- Public announcements relating to company activities and the expression of opinions on behalf of the company shall be made by or through the Public Relations Department.
- We shall deal with mass media sincerely, courteously and impartially, and we shall conduct fact-based public relations activities appropriately and swiftly.
- We shall proactively listen to frank public opinions and comments about the company through interactive communication with various stakeholders and attempt to have management that appreciates and seeks to accommodate those opinions and comments that are informed and supported in reason.
- To gain trust and support from society, we shall strive to communicate to society via mass media precise information about our management principles, management policy, technologies, products, financial status, and activities that promote corporate social responsibility.
- We shall endeavor to establish fair relationships with the mass media, and we shall endeavor to gain their long-term support and trust.
(3) We shall maintain legitimate and lawful relationships with political and governmental entities.
- We shall understand that activities which are unlawful or contrary to the public welfare will have a material and adverse effect upon society and the company. Accordingly, we shall maintain a resolute attitude against such activities.
- We shall not participate in any activities that are illegal or contrary to the public welfare regardless of any competing pressure to do so. We shall gain fundamental legal knowledge, acknowledge social norms, maintain a firm sense of morality and ethics, and take a sensible course of action in order to avert such activities. Any attempt to force or induce any employee to engage in such activities shall be rejected decisively, be reported to the company, and be firmly addressed with adequate procedures.
- We shall reject any relationship with groups that act contrary to the public welfare, and shall not yield to any attempt of blackmail or threat. We shall not involve ourselves in any activities or conduct which offends social norms or morality, such as money laundering, offers of illegal interest, etc.
- We shall not offer special advantages to specific shareholders, for example, by selecting suppliers for the reason that they are our shareholders.
- Although we respect each individual’s political convictions, we shall not, on behalf of the company, support any particular political party or politician.
- We shall maintain a balanced and healthy relationship with governmental and public administrations, and shall refrain from any conduct that is regarded as collusive. We shall maintain conspicuous and transparent relationships with public officials with whom we make contact in relation to our duties. We shall have confidence and pride in ourselves as company members, and when necessary and appropriate we shall proactively express views publicly in support of the company.
- We shall understand and be reminded that in principle, the receipt and offer of business entertainment or gifts to or from government officials, except those based on a truly personal relationship, are prohibited. However, a legitimate gift of minimal value that follows generally accepted business practice, and is otherwise lawful, may be permitted after careful consideration of the relevance of the gift and the circumstances.
- We shall understand that the company never offers political contributions or general support, either directly or indirectly, to particular politicians or political parties. Therefore, we shall not make such contributions or provide such support on behalf of the company. Such contributions or support may be made if it is lawful and on a personal basis.
(1) We shall maintain a correct file of all business records, including accounting records.
(2) We shall conscientiously implement internal control procedures.
- We shall ensure the accuracy of accounting records in compliance with the relevant accounting standards and related laws. We shall also keep other business records and data, and shall report correctly, based on facts. We shall understand that fraud, forgery, misleading interpolation, and the improper destruction of records or data may cause serious violations of law, may lead to misjudgment by management and may also result in major damage to the company. Therefore, we shall not tolerate and shall earnestly strive to prevent such conduct.
- We shall not intentionally exaggerate individual, divisional/departmental, or company performance contrary to fact.
(3) We shall carefully manage the company’s confidential information, intellectual property, and tangible and intangible assets. We shall respect and shall not unlawfully or improperly obtain or use confidential information, personal information or the intellectual property of others.
- We shall perform accounting procedures strictly, following the appropriate internal control system. We shall review the adequacy and effectiveness of the system and revise it as necessary. When revising the system, we shall follow the appropriate and required procedures.
- We shall earnestly facilitate and assist audits by our corporate auditors and accountants, tax examinations, Kao global internal audit and other business audits and inspections so as to support accurate financial statements and a proper audit and inspection. In the event that a public agency investigates or inspects our business records due to suspicion of a violation of the law, we shall cooperate with such agencies for swift clarification of the truth.
- We shall faithfully exercise our individual authorities, and not make decisions that are beyond our respective authority. We shall submit reports as designated without delay.
- We shall secure and protect the results of our R&D and technologies as intellectual property, and shall efficiently utilize and exercise all rights associated therewith.
- All intellectual property and other rights of invention, designs and literary works developed or acquired as a result of our work belong to the company. We shall strive to treat these rights appropriately, and ensure that such rights are not used unlawfully by others.
- We shall prevent the leaking of confidential information and in particular we shall prevent such leaking due to careless management. We shall be careful not to discuss the company’s confidential information with or permit it to be disclosed to unauthorized persons, taking particular care in places where a third party is present, for example, outside on cellular phones, in transportation facilities or in restaurants. To prevent viruses and hackers from getting into our computer system, we shall implement regular virus checks and manage passwords.
- No employee or former employee of the company shall leak confidential information concerning the company, either during or following his employment.
- Any confidential information that belongs to others shall be obtained from its proper owners or from other legitimate sources in a lawful and appropriate way, and we shall maintain accurate and specific records of receipt. We shall use such confidential information in compliance with agreements and usage conditions to protect confidentiality. In particular, information sourced from the internet, newspapers, magazines, and business documents shall be treated carefully so as not to commit wrongful acts such as plagiarism, piracy, or violation of copyrights due to the unauthorized usage of photographs of models or other personalities for advertising. We shall refrain entirely from the illegal copying of computer software.
- We shall adopt policies in compliance with relevant laws, regulations and guidelines to thoroughly control protected personal information.
- We shall efficiently utilize the company’s various assets both tangible and intangible, and we shall properly maintain and control such assets so that they can be utilized in business activities whenever necessary. We shall endeavor to prevent loss, theft, or illegal use of our assets.
- We shall not use the company’s assets (i.e. equipment, facilities, vehicles, samples, products, computer systems, software, etc.) for any purpose other than for business related activities or such other activities as may be authorized by our supervisors. We shall handle these assets in accordance with internal rules. In particular, communication and correspondence via the Internet or via other company communication systems shall be limited to proper business related purposes, and shall not to any substantial extent be for personal use.
- Without permission from our supervisors, we shall not bring to or keep at the company, any personal belongings other than those that are necessary for our duties. We shall not mix our personal belongings with the company’s assets, nor engage in any conduct which undermines safety.
(1) We shall conduct activities with the theme, “Create an environment cultivating human resources and promote development of future generations” in order to contribute to the enrichment of society and to its sustainability.
(2) We shall make suitable donations considering social standards, public interest and usefulness.
- Our main activities though which we make a social contribution are focused on the following three areas: “environment”, “education,” and “community.” For sustainable development of society, we shall conduct activities to solve social problems in partnership with NPOs, NGOs, and local communities.
(3) We shall seek to earn goodwill and trust by contributing to local communities as responsible members of society.
- We shall direct the company’s donations to high-priority local communities where such contributions can be put to effective use. We shall also donate our products to social welfare facilities and temporary living accommodations with the aim of supporting the local communities.
- When disasters occur, we shall proactively offer our products needed by victims, and, in the case of catastrophic disasters, may make monetary donations together with our employees to provide assistance.
(4) We shall respect the volunteer spirit of individuals who take initiative and responsibility to contribute to society.
- We shall conduct and participate in local activities that contribute to the community and promote knowledge of the company within the community, for example, by inviting local residents to tour our plants.
- We shall understand and proactively cooperate with the company and participate in the activities that it implements as a good corporate citizen within the community.
- In Japan, we shall support the development of the arts and sciences through the Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences.
- Based on our recognition that it is beneficial for the sustainability of society and the company to have many employees who engage in their work with an understanding of social diversity, each of us shall, on our own initiative, strive to participate in useful social activities as good citizens, communicate with society and deepen our understanding of diversity.
(1) We shall observe both the letter and the spirit of the laws of the countries and regions in which we have dealings, and we shall respect local cultures.
(2) We shall contribute to the economy, standard of living and culture of those countries and regions through the development of our business activities conducted in those locations.
- We shall recognize that we need sufficient knowledge and understanding of important laws applicable in each country/region, including international trade laws, antitrust laws, and employment discrimination laws, and we shall fully comply with these laws.
- We shall understand and recognize that in addition to international laws, regulations and rules, there are different laws, regulations and rules that apply according to the country or region.
(3) We shall endeavor to employ, train and promote capable people within Kao Group companies in the countries where we conduct business.
- We shall respect both international rules and diverse cultures, and we shall develop our business activities with a balance of global and local perspectives so that we can contribute to the development of the economy and culture in each country/region. We shall also respect and seek to understand the beliefs and value systems of nationals and local residents.
(4) We shall not participate in bribery or offer or accept illegal or inappropriate gifts or business entertainment.
- We shall proactively employ and train capable people for the development of our business activities. In each country/region, we shall also exert ourselves to encourage the employment and motivation of local people.
(5) We shall observe the laws of all relevant countries/regions when importing and exporting goods.
- We shall make known the company policy that prohibits bribery in Japan and oversea, and in particular emphasizes that those who bribe governmental officials will be strictly punished.
- When engaging in the import or export of products, technology, and services, we shall comply with all relevant domestic and international laws, and follow all prescribed procedures, including the obtaining of necessary permissions and the filing of required notifications and reports.
|We shall always establish a clear line between business and private matters to prevent conflicts of interest. Personal profit or advantage shall not be pursued through the use of company assets or information, or through work-related authority and position.
(1) We shall not engage in insider trading.
(2) Political activities shall only be performed on a personal basis.
- We shall not utilize internal confidential information about the company, suppliers, or customers in pursuit of personal profit. We shall understand that the buying or selling of shares of stock and other securities of the company, suppliers, or customers on the stock exchange by using material non-public information is illegal as insider trading, in which we shall not participate. In addition to being a serious crime, insider trading is antisocial conduct that betrays the trust of investors, and it is strictly prohibited.
- Until the company makes an official public announcement concerning internal confidential information, we shall treat such information carefully and not disclose it to any third parties other than representatives or advisers of the company, unless required in the course of business activities. Information about M&A activities, business alliances, new product launches, technological development, major variations in sales and income, and other material confidential information is regarded as insider confidential information until an official public announcement is made by the company.
- If we obtain confidential insider information about the company, affiliates, suppliers, or customers through our duties, we shall not trade their securities until such confidential information has been publicly announced. If we intend to trade securities of the company, affiliates, suppliers, and customers, we shall confirm whether we have material insider information about the relevant party beforehand.
(3) Involvement in ideological and religious activities shall be allowed only on a personal basis.
- We may support political campaigns or related activities only as private individuals, outside working hours, and not on company premises.
(4) We shall strive to avoid conflicts of interest.
- Although each individual’s freedom of ideology and religion shall be respected, we shall devote ourselves to our duties during working hours. We shall not engage in missionary work during working hours, and we shall not seek in the workplace to persuade other employees to join ideological or religious activities and shall maintain a proper workplace atmosphere. However, an individual’s religious behavior will not be denied in the company’s facilities unless such behavior affects the individual’s job performance or other employees. In some countries, the company or its affiliates follow the local common practice of locating religious facilities on company premises for employees, and provide financial support for religious events. In each case, the company respects the local customs and culture, but does not support, encourage or force particular religions on its employees.
- Employees’ personal lives basically belong to themselves. However, we shall understand that conflicts of interest may occur when any conduct in an employee’s personal life goes against the company’s interest and benefits his or her own personal interest. Therefore, we shall strive to avoid such acts and conflicts of interest as much as possible.
- We shall recognize that conflicts of interest are caused by the following conduct: 1) involvement in activities that compete with the company’s business without the company’s authorization, 2) becoming a supplier or commercial customer of the company, 3) obtaining personal benefits and privileges in the course of one’s duties, and 4) engaging in personal activities such as side jobs, volunteer activities, political activities or religious activities, during working hours. When engaging in any of the above activities, employees shall obtain the company’s permission, report to the company or take other appropriate actions as necessary.
Executives and managers shall firmly acknowledge that compliance with the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines is their responsibility and obligation. They shall also take the lead in fulfilling social responsibilities, and accept the responsibility as executives and managers respectively to communicate the values of the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines to their members and group companies.
Executives and managers shall always seek to understand changes in the management environment and listen to voices inside and outside the company to effectively improve the managerial system.
- Responsible Care® Global Charter (Signed August 2008)
- “Women's Empowerment Principles - Equality Means Business." These guidelines were collaboratively created by the UN Global Compact and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to serve as a practical guide for business leaders to join hands in promoting women’s empowerment in the workplace, the market and the community. (Signed August 2010)