Kao joins the Japanese Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Industry Buyer Members Sedex Working Team, initiated by member businesses of Sedex; initiative promotes human rights due diligence to ensure responsibly sourced raw materials

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November 19, 2023 (press release) –


Promoting Human Rights Due Diligence to Ensure Responsibly Sourced Raw Materials

In support of promoting supply chain human rights due diligence, Kao Corporation has joined the Japanese Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Industry Buyer Members Sedex Working Team initiated by member businesses of Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) in Japan’s cosmetics and personal care products industry. Kao became a member of Sedex, a non-profit organization and online platform for managing and improving supply chain labor conditions, in 2014.

In 2022, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced its Guidelines on Respecting Human Rights in Responsible Supply Chains, which is intended to encourage Japanese businesses to conduct supply chain human rights due diligence. In 2015, Kao adopted the Kao Human Rights Policy, based on the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, and is taking measures to eliminate human rights violations in all its business activities. Through its Partnership Requirements for Suppliers, Kao conducts human rights due diligence, requires suppliers to respect human rights and asks them to participate in Sedex to assess risks to human rights. Including its participation in the recently established Working Team, Kao, together with its suppliers, will continue working to address human rights issues in supply chains.


Sedex, a membership-based organization with headquarters in London, provides a platform for enhancing the sustainability of businesses’ global supply chains. The world’s largest supplier ethical information sharing platform, Sedex provides a self-assessment questionnaire for suppliers worldwide, to facilitate management and improvement of businesses’ and organizations’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance in conducting their procurement activities. Sedex is used in 180 countries and territories by over 75,000 businesses, groups, manufacturing plants and independent business operators.

About the Japanese Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Industry Buyer Members Sedex Working Team

  • Aim
    To promote human rights due diligence in the cosmetics and personal care products industry
  • Participating businesses
    Kai Corporation, Kao Corporation, KOSÉ Corporation, b-ex Inc., POLA ORBIS HOLDINGS INC., Unicharm Corporation and Lion Corporation.
  • Activities
    The Working Team’s activities include promoting common use and standardization of Sedex within the cosmetics and personal care products industry and holding information meetings for supplier businesses about Sedex to encourage them to sign up with the platform.

The Kao Group established its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, in April 2019. In 2021, Kao launched its Mid-term Plan, which declares “protecting future lives” and promoting “sustainability as the only path” as its vision. Kao’s initiatives with Sedex address responsibly sourcing raw materials and respecting human rights, leadership actions in the Kirei Lifestyle Plan. Kao will continue to integrate ESG into the core of its company management. It will also develop its business, provide better products and services for consumers and society, and work toward its purpose, “to realize a Kirei world in which all life lives in harmony.”

  • * This news release is a translation of a Japanese-language news release dated October 25, 2023.

About the Kirei Lifestyle Plan

Over the past 130 years, Kao has worked to improve people’s lives and help them realize more sustainable lifestyles—a Kirei Lifestyle. The Japanese word ‘kirei’ describes something that is clean, well-ordered and beautiful, all at the same time. The Kao Group established its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan in April 2019, which is designed to deliver the vision of a gentler and more sustainable way of living. By 2030, Kao aims to empower at least 1 billion people, to enjoy more beautiful lives and have 100% of its products leave a full lifecycle environmental footprint that science says our natural world can safely absorb.
Please visit the Kao sustainability website for more information.

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products and services that provide care and enrichment for the life of all people and the planet. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries, and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America, and Europe. Combined with its chemical business, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,550 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 35,400 people worldwide and has 136 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.


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