Kao Corporation was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies 2017 by the Ethisphere Institute, a U.S. think tank that specializes in research on corporate ethics and social responsibility, on March 13, 2017. Since the award’s inception in 2007, Kao is the only Japanese company that has received this recognition for eleven straight years.

The “World’s Most Ethical Companies” is an annual recognition bestowed on companies that have achieved significant results for corporate transparency, fairness, ethics and compliance. The institute has surveyed and evaluated companies the world over in five categories: 1) Ethics and Compliance Program; 2) Reputation, Leadership and Innovation; 3) Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility; 4) Governance; and 5) Culture of Ethics to select the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Michitaka Sawada, President and CEO declared: “We are honored to be recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 11 consecutive years. For 130 years, we have upheld the value of Integrity passed down from Kao’s founder. As a core value, we positioned Integrity as the foundation of the Kao Group Mid-term Plan 2020 (K20), which started from this year. This Integrity continues to be embraced as K20 guides the group’s daily business activities.”

“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,” said Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich. “It underscores their commitment to engaging in business with integrity and we hope they will continue to lead their industry in advancing ethical standards and practices.”

As a foundation of its business activities, Kao advocates Integrity. This core value, inherited from Kao’s founder, indicates that Kao is committed to abiding by laws and ethical principles to engage in honest and healthy corporate activities. To apply this core value in daily business practice, Kao has established the “Kao Business Conduct Guidelines,” and instills the concept of Integrity in all Group members through training programs that incorporate the characteristics and case studies of individual countries.

In addition to these approaches, Kao continues initiatives to contribute to the preservation of the global environment and to solve social issues through its business activities and to create a vibrant and diverse working environment in accordance with the Kao Sustainability Statement.

The Kao Group will continue to strive for the wholehearted satisfaction and enrichment of the lives of people globally and to contribute to the sustainability of society.


Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as AttackBioréGoldwellJergensJohn FriedaKaneboLaurierMerries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.