Picture: (From L-R) Mr. Toru Nishiguchi, Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer President, Consumer Products of Global Kao Corporation and Mr. Nishimaki Akira, President of Kao Malaysia.
“In the face of global challenges like climate change, aging societies, resource scarcity and the management of materials such as plastics, consumers around the world - including here in Malaysia - have expressed the growing desire for a gentler and more sustainable way of living. This is what we at Kao have named the Kirei Lifestyle, which is the backbone of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy,” said Mr. Toru Nishiguchi, Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer President, Consumer Products of Global Kao Corporation. “Through continuous innovation and imagination, we are hence committed to helping consumers in Malaysia and everywhere else in the world to live a beautiful life inside and out."
Making Life Beautiful, Inside and Out
Kao’s business ethos has always been guided by its corporate philosophy—The Kao Way—which includes principles such as 'We act with courage.' The Kirei Lifestyle Plan refreshes this philosophy with a clear-eyed view of the future and the role that Kao Corporation has to play for its customers, communities and the world at large. From introducing product innovations all the way to the environmental impact of the company and its products, these goals are further boosted through initiatives in line with various sustainability goals such as decarbonization, achieving zero waste, conserving water and preventing air and water pollution. For these and other relevant efforts, Kao has successfully retained its recognition as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies and the only Asian company to have made the list every year for 17 consecutive years by the Ethisphere Institute, a leading US think-tank. KAO’s Kirei Lifestyle vision even reaches far beyond environmental concerns to include commitments on addressing health as well as social needs.
A recent public health initiative involves the introduction of the Bioré Guard Mos Block Serum mosquito repellent in Thailand alongside its #Guard Our Future project, a multi-faceted campaign which combines dengue fever awareness campaigns as well as field testing and research in support of its commitment to ‘Protecting Future Lives’. By protecting people’s skin, Kao aims to save future lives and make a positive contribution to communities most at risk from mosquito borne diseases. #Guard Our Future is soon expected to expand across most parts of Southeast Asia including Malaysia.
Empowering Young Malaysian Women
On social issues, Kao has also long been recognized for its efforts in championing diversity, equity and inclusion – particularly the role of women not just within the company, its subsidiaries and affiliates but also of women everywhere.
“Based on our core value of walking the right path, and building upon the foundation of respecting human rights, Kao has created a diversity, equity and inclusion policy with the aim of allowing individual values and talents to shine brighter,” added Mr. Nishiguchi . “In particular, Kao believes that women's empowerment is essential for the company to grow, given that diversity is one of the most crucial aspects of human capital. Based on this idea, we are committed to leading the way in this area with initiatives that include the development of potential future leaders and providing support for balancing work and childcare.”
Kao’s efforts in empowering and supporting women has also long taken root within its community efforts in Malaysia. For one, Kao has been a friend to young Malaysian girls since 1994, with efforts dedicated at supporting and educating young girls through their menstrual hygiene Yakinlah Menjadi Remaja workshops.
Recently, the program has been expanded in collaboration with Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) as a key delivery partner in line with Kao’s commitment also to advocate confidence as the key factor of development and success of a woman. Dubbed the ‘Laurier School of Confidence’, this initiative aims to not only instill confidence amongst young women but also reward eligible students with RM1,500 in the form of a National Education Savings Scheme (Simpan SSPN) account.
Celebrating 50 Years of Caring for Malaysians
As Kao Malaysia takes to the road to celebrate its 50th year of providing care for Malaysians, it has in the pipeline a slew of exciting activities designed specifically to bring its Kirei Lifestyle plan closer to consumers.
“We are very excited to be kicking off our 50th year anniversary celebrations with the Together for Tomorrow roadshow at IPC from the 4th to the 9th of July. This roadshow is not only a representation of everything that the Kirei Lifestyle stands for but will also serve as an educational touchpoint and invitation for Kao customers present and future to join us on this journey of making life beautiful together,” said Mr Nishimaki Akira, President of Kao Malaysia.
In addition to the roadshow, Kao Malaysia will also be collaborating with NGOs including the Biji-Biji Initiative and Impaclution in line with its commitments to achieving the Kirei Lifestyle. These collaborations include its very first city clean-up activation with Kao Malaysia employees taking to the streets to eliminate waste.
Kao will further collaborate with Impaclution in the long-term to reduce the environmental footprint of its products throughout the entirety of the product life cycle via a process known as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) – a standard for objectively measuring how much impact products have on the environment, from selecting materials to waste disposal, and everything in between.
“The coming months will shape up to be very substantive for us at Kao Malaysia as we take further steps in incorporating action points in our Kirei Lifestyle ESG strategy – chief achievements among which includes achieving Zero Waste and championing girls’ and womens’ empowerment in particular with the ongoing KAO School of Confidence empowered by BIORE, LIESE and LAURIER” added Mr. Nishimaki. “With the guidance of our Kirei Lifestyle Plan, we aim to develop our business, provide better products and services for consumers and society so that we may together create a beautiful life, today and beyond.”
For more information on Kao’s Kirei Lifestyle Plan, please visit :