Kao18 Years on World’s Most Ethical Companies® List, Sole Japanese & Asian Firm

The Ethisphere Institute, a prominent US think-tank, has recognized Kao Corporation as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Kao holds the distinction of being the sole Japanese and Asian company consistently featured on the list since Ethisphere initiated its rankings in 2007. The Ethisphere Institute is renowned for its advocacy of best practices in business ethics and corporate social responsibility. The World’s Most Ethical Companies list highlights organizations that excel in transparency, integrity, ethics, and compliance. Ethisphere evaluates companies globally in five key categories: Ethics & Compliance, Environmental & Social Impact, Culture of Ethics, Governance, and Third-Party Management.

Yoshihiro Hasebe, Representative Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Kao, expressed gratitude for the accolade, stating, “We are honored to be selected as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 18 consecutive years. ‘Walking the right path’ is our core value, and external recognitions like this hold significant importance for us. We remain committed to facing challenges and pursuing ambitious goals, guided by the principle ‘We act with courage,’ as we strive to become a leading company in an ever-evolving society and fulfill our purpose of ‘realizing a Kirei world in which all life lives in harmony.'”

Erica Salmon Byrne, Chief Executive Officer of Ethisphere, commended Kao’s enduring commitment, remarking, “We are delighted to honor Kao once again as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Kao stands out as one of only six companies receiving this recognition every year since its inception—18 times. This achievement underscores Kao’s dedication to advancing best practices in ethics, compliance, and governance. We anticipate Kao’s ongoing leadership in promoting business integrity globally across the industry.”

In April 2019, the Kao Group introduced the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, an ESG strategy, where ‘kirei’ symbolizes cleanliness and beauty. Kao’s interpretation extends beyond appearance, encompassing an attitude of creating beauty for oneself, others, and the world. Since 2021, Kao has been actively implementing the Kao Group Mid-term Plan, aligned with the vision of “protecting future lives” and “sustainability as the only path.” The company pledges to integrate its ESG strategy into its management practices, emphasizing ethical awareness to enhance business development, deliver superior products and services, and contribute to its overarching purpose of “realizing a Kirei world in which all life lives in harmony.”

The Kao Group upholds the founder’s core value of “walking the right path,” embedded in the fundamental values of its corporate philosophy, the Kao Way. This principle underscores adherence to legal and ethical standards, promoting honest and sound business activities. To operationalize the Kao Way, the company globally shares the Kao Business Conduct Guidelines, which serve as a guiding framework during uncertainties, a compass for daily work, and foundational principles supporting sustainability for the company and society.

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