7 December 2021

Kao makes the World’s Most Ethical Companies List for 14 Straight Years

Kao Corporation, a leading manufacturer of personal care, household and cosmetics products, has once again been selected by U.S. think-tank Ethisphere Institute for inclusion in the World’s Most Ethical Companies® 2020 list, which was announced on February 25, 2020.

Kao has been chosen every year since the Institute began compiling its list in 2007, making Kao a recipient of this recognition 14 years in a row, the only Japanese company with this honor.

Kao has made the securing of inclusion in the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list a key performance indicator (KPI) for its executive officers.

The Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think tank focused on developing and sharing best practices in business ethics and corporate social responsibility. For the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list, which honors business enterprises that have demonstrated outstanding performance in relation to transparency, integrity, ethics and compliance, the Institute surveys and evaluates companies the world over in five categories: ethics and compliance programs, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance, and leadership and reputation.

The Kao Group emphasizes the concept of Integrity, which has been passed down from the company’s founder, and which serves as the starting point for all of the enterprise’s activity. Integrity means acting in accordance with the requirements of the law and with ethical standards, and undertaking sound business activity in an honest and upright manner. So that this vision can be realized on a daily basis, Kao has formulated a corporate code of conduct—the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines—and is striving to ensure that this is instilled in all Kao Group employees throughout the world, by implementing training in each country and region that is tailored to the special characteristics of Kao’s operations in that area, and makes use of local case studies.

Responding to the awarding of this commendation to Kao, Michitaka Sawada, Kao’s President and CEO, noted that “We are deeply honored to have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® for 14 consecutive years. Last year, the Kao Group announced a major new development in our ESG management strategy, with the implementation of initiatives that position Integrity—a value which constitutes a core value of the Kao Way—as the foundation for ESG activities. In addition, we have made the securing of inclusion in the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list a key performance indicator (KPI) for our executive officers, so that we can all work together to thoroughly implement Integrity.

Congratulations to everyone at Kao Corporation for earning this recognition,” said Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich. “Kao is the only company in Japan that we have honored on the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list every year since the award’s inception. This honor underscores Kao commitment to integrating Integrity as one of the core values to its company management since its establishment. In tune with increased expectations of society for companies to contribute to a sustainable society, we hope that Kao will continue to promote ESG management and lead the industry across the globe in advancing ethical standards and practices.

The Kao Group announced its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, in April 2019. Kao aims to integrate ESG as the foundation of its management to accelerate business growth and create products and services of better value for consumers and society. In the future, by rolling out ESG activities that embody Kao’s core values on a global basis through a commitment to and thorough implementation of high ethical awareness, besides helping to realize enriched lifestyles that bring joy and satisfaction to people all over the world, Kao will also be contributing towards the sustainable development of society.


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