Our corporate sustainability philosophy is to make life more beautiful for you as our salon partner and stylist, and your clients. We put this into practice by contributing to a sustainable society in many different ways.
While we can already build on our strong foundation of existing sustainability activities and our ethical business operations, we are now intensifying our efforts to create a sustainable future. And because this matters so much to us, we are making it step-by-step an integral part of our salon partnership concept. It's a philosophy we hope to nurture and share with all of you.
As a result, we will be reducing the environmental footprint of our products and services at the salon level in the years ahead. And we're counting on your help! Fueled by our innovative power and coupled with our active support to empower you, our salon partners, we will take our partnership to a new level. After all, we share a common goal: successful sustainability and sustainable success!

As one of the world's most ethical and sustainable companies¹'², we are committed to making our planet a better place - by developing innovative products and services that not only respect stylists' and consumers' needs, but also the environment we all share.

1Kao Salon is a division of Kao Corp. Japan, which was recognized in 2020 by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. "World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC. Subsidiary of Kao Corporation, one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

2In both 2019 and 2020, Kao Corp. Japan was recognized as one of the "Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World." Kao ranked 4th out of 42 companies in the category "Personal Care and Cleaning Products." Some 7,400 organizations were evaluated by the index.

Logo of Bloomberg Gender Equality Index 2022

Logo of Ethisphere world's most ethical companies 2007 to 2021

Hand in hand with you, our salon and business partners, we demonstrate this ethical spirit and integrity in everything we do.

Yet for us, running a sustainable business means more than 'just' taking good care of the environment. We believe it is our corporate social responsibility - a responsibility towards society and our employees. That's why we challenge ourselves every day to work towards an environmentally sustainable society. We want to be both proud of and fully accountable for all our corporate governance efforts. We strive to secure a sustainable future by giving back to our planet and providing the care it deserves.

People are a huge factor in this equation. We are dedicated to offering the best possible human resource development for all the men and women who work with us. That, too, is part of ethical sustainability. By supporting their further training and education, we hope to provide a workplace that develops and maximizes the potential of every single employee.

What we’ve done and what we’re going to do


In everything we do, we pursue our vision of “making life beautiful for salons, stylists and their clients.”
 This vision is our guiding light. Through responsible innovation, our value-creating partnership concept, and caring for our communities and the planet, we make it come alive day after day. 

The Future of Salon Sustainability with Dr. Elmar Mussenbrock

Kao Sustainability Talk

Angelo Seminara Sustainability

ESG and Sustainability at Kao Salon Division

Hands holding Goldwell product Ultra Volume


Our constant quest is to achieve maximum performance with minimum environmental impact. By offering products and services tailored to you, your clients and our environment. 

Male and female stylist partners hugging and smiling


We do what partners do: our goal is always to create added value for your salon. Empowering you to run your salon more sustainably is a new vital aspect of our partnership. You can trust us to be at your side, every step of the way.

Mom reading a book to her kids


We always aim to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives, with a focus on all who are close to Kao: you, your clients and our own employees. By creating an eco-friendly work environment, we want to inspire everyone around us to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

Stylist styling woman who holds styling product in her hands


No need to wait - you can begin reducing the environmental impact of your salon today. We've put together a checklist to help you do just that: a range of easy-to-do, practical and rewarding changes. Implement them at your salon now, and start making a difference! 

KAO – caring about our world for more than 130 years

Hands planting small plant

For more than 130 years now, Kao has been driven by integrity. Since the day of our founding in 1887, we have always tried to do a better job for everyone and tune all of our actions to sustainability – long before it became a buzzword. 
Over the years, our efforts to act responsibly have evolved into our corporate philosophy, the “Kao Way.” This pledge has forged a strong foundation for our sustainability strategy, the “Kirei Lifestyle Plan.” This concept is fully embraced by everyone at Kao Salon Division – from our executives to all employees. In this spirit of integrity and as a socially minded organization: 

  • We have now been recognized for 14 straight years as one of the world’s most ethical companies¹.
  • We foster diversity and gender equality – more than 60% of our employees in Europe are women. And our efforts have not gone unrewarded: we have been included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the second consecutive year.
  • We work with suppliers who share our commitment to integrity; 90% of our direct material vendors comply with the stringent ethical standards laid down by Sedex or comparable programs.

1Kao Salon is a division of Kao Corp. Japan, which was recognized in 2020 by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. "World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC. Subsidiary of Kao Corporation, one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

We engage in corporate activities that focus on education and on creating an environmentally sustainable society that will nurture the next generation.

Logo of Bloomberg Gender Equality Index 2022

Logo of Ethisphere world's most ethical companies 2007 to 2021

Sedex logo

Logo of UN Global Compact

Asian woman with brown hair surrounded by plants

Making life beautiful for salons, stylists and their clients

This sustainability vision reflects our understanding of Kao’s corporate sustainability strategy, the “Kirei Lifestyle Plan.” It instills the Group’s philosophy in our professional business context – specifically acknowledging you, our partners, salon owners and stylists worldwide. And it translates our sustainability strategy into concrete actions that are relevant for our industry and for you. If you would like to know more about Kao’s corporate sustainability strategy, the “Kirei Lifestyle Plan,” please click below.


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