Kao Establishes 'Life-in-Harmony Foundation' to Address Social Challenges
Kao, the leading Japanese consumer goods manufacturer, has announced the launch of its first global corporate citizenship initiative to help tackle social challenges. The 'Life-in-Harmony' Foundation further drives Kao’s strategic business transformation towards a company that protects future lives by offering solutions that
positively contribute to society.
It is set to address four strategic areas in line with Kao’s sustainability strategy, with its activities focused on business related to improving hygiene; business that supports people with disabilities, the elderly, and their families; and business related to extending healthy life expectancy.
The Foundation will initially commence with two projects, one focused on promoting water security through innovation, the other to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, both per the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to ensure clean water and sanitation (Goal 6) and reduce inequalities (Goal 10). Kao aims to achieve this by partnering with two organisations: Mirairo, a company in Japan specialised on universal design services, and PT. Gama Inovasi Berdikari, which provides water collection and purification tools to communities facing water insecurity in Indonesia.
“We established the foundation with the aim of contributing to Kao’s 'Kirei' mission to make life beautiful for people and the planet,” says Yumi Takeuchi, President of the Life-in-Harmony Foundation. “Our past business activities at Kao were mainly focused on the provision of products and services. As part of our commitment to sustainable development and to become a company that protects future lives, we need to go beyond this and create solutions to broader social challenges, including responses to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As part of our work with the Foundation, we will identify the social issues that must be addressed in and outside of Japan, and work with diverse partners with whom we share values and aspirations, to realise a society in which all people can live enriched lives, and no one is left behind.”
Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Water Security
Kao aims to realise the Foundation’s goals by actively contributing to four strategic areas in line with its ESG strategy: sustainable lifestyle promotion; allowing people to thrive each and every day; pursuing a safe and healthy future for all; and creating opportunities for improved quality of life. Kao will launch the Foundation's work through strategic collaborations with Mirairo and PT. Gama Inovasi Berdikari, leveraging Kao’s research capabilities alongside the expertise of these two organisations.
Mirairo is based on the corporate philosophy of transforming perceived barriers into value and specialises in DE&I training, research and universal design solutions and services. By leveraging Mirairo’s services and systems, the Foundation will collaborate to connect and deliver useful information and products to people with disabilities, their families, the elderly, and others to help solve the pressing concerns they face in their daily lives.
Using its expertise on technologies and resource management, Kao will support PT. Gama Inovasi Berdikari (GIB), which promotes the development of rainwater collection and purification technologies and distribution initiatives in collaboration with local governments, to address Indonesia’s severe water issues. The Foundation will not only help the company promote its system, but also include education on hygiene and water-conserving products, two key areas of Kao’s ESG strategy and efforts to support water conservation.
Transforming to Become a Company That Protects Future Lives
In 2021, Kao set the groundwork for its transformation into an essential company in a sustainable world that addresses pressing social challenges and protects future lives. This was marked by the creation of the 'Life Care' business sector, designed to harness the company’s technological resources, expertise, and partnerships, to create new, innovative business solutions that enhance people’s health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The Foundation will further contribute to this strategic mission by leveraging partnerships and the company’s capabilities to create solutions that improve people’s lives.