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Kao achieves climate-neutral operations in the UK

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

16 Nov 2021

Business |Beauty

Image: courtesy of Kao

Japanese consumer goods manufacturer Kao, which owns beauty brands including John Frieda and Molton Brown, has announced that its UK production and administrative facilities have reached carbon-neutrality status.

Kao, the world’s fourth-largest supplier of professional salon products, teamed up with ClimatePartner, a leading solution provider for corporate climate action and its renewable energy project in Morocco to reduce its environmental footprint, as part of its overall goal to reduce all its CO2 emissions to zero.

While the UK has already hit its climate-neutral target, Kao adds that its German operations will also follow on January 1, 2022. The move is part of Kao’s ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, designed to deliver the company’s vision of a “gentler and more sustainable way of living” and to ensure that it cuts its global CO2 emissions to zero by 2040 and achieve carbon negativity by 2050.

Over the past years, Kao Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have applied a wide range of measures to pave the way towards climate-neutral operations. Since 2014, all Kao operated factories and owned offices in EMEA have been using 100 percent renewable electricity, while also implementing energy-saving measures, resulting in a 31 percent reduction in energy consumption since 2010.

Additionally, Kao has reduced its wastewater volume by more than 12 percent since 2016 and completely switched to sustainably sourced paper (FSC certified) in 2015.

John Frieda and Molton Brown owner reaches carbon-neutrality status in the UK

Kao also announced plans to further reduce its carbon footprint in the EMEA region by continuing to cut water consumption, installing LED lights in its facilities, switching to low energy consuming cold mixing processes and reducing waste in its production sites.

The consumer goods manufacturer also adds that it is looking to certify selected brands and products as climate neutral, and by 2030, the plan is to replace any fossil fuel heating with alternative heating technologies.

Guido Kirchhoff, vice president supply chain at Kao EMEA, said in a statement: “Becoming climate neutral in two key markets of the EMEA region is a big milestone for us on our way to zero CO2 emissions.

“However, we do not stop here. Reducing our carbon footprint continues to be one of our key priorities at Kao and we are already planning the next steps to further minimise our emissions along the entire supply chain. The collaboration with ClimatePartner is a great support and will help us on our path to full climate neutrality for all EMEA branches of Kao.”

Tristan A. Foerster, chief executive and co-founder of ClimatePartner, added: “While working with Kao we have seen how committed the company is to achieve more sustainability for everyone around the globe. We, therefore, are very happy to be able to continue to accompany Kao on its journey to become climate neutral and to support the company offset its currently unavoidable carbon emissions with certified carbon offset projects.”

Kao has a portfolio of more than 20 leading brands include Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries, and Molton Brown, which are sold across Asia, Oceania, North America, and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,400 billion yen in annual sales.