Kao Corporation: The World’s Most Ethically-Run Company of 2020

Congratulations are in order for Kao Corporation for maintaining its spot in the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list in 2020. As the only Japanese company being awarded this recognition, Kao has managed to maintain its spot for 14 consecutive years since the U.S. think-tank Ethisphere Institute compiled its list in 2007. 

Being a leading manufacturer of personal care, household and cosmetics products, 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 honours 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: 

  1. Ethics and compliance programs

  2. Corporate citizenship and responsibility

  3. Culture of ethics

  4. Governance

  5. 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.

According to Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich, “Kao is the only company in Japan that we have honoured on the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list every year since the award’s inception. This honour 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 Environmental, Social and Governance (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.

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