The company, which owns such big-name beauty brands as John Frieda, Bioré, Kanebo and Molton Brown, states it began purchasing FSC-certified corrugated cartons in March, and by the end of this year, is aiming for 50% of its total corrugated cartons globally to be FSC-approved.
The move, which the company says is the first trial of its kind in Japan, taps into the ever-rising consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions, and also follows the recent awarding of the company as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company, for the tenth time in a row.
Kao is the only Japanese company to have received the title each year since the award’s inception in 2007, and the recent push on sustainability suggests the company is keen to keep up its growing brand identity of an ethical and environmentally-conscious company.
Consumer hunger for a protected planet
Earlier this year, Emma Reinhold, Trade Relations Manager at Soil Association, explained to Cosmetics Design the ever-rising importance of environmental-consciousness among beauty brands.
“Consumers are asking more questions about sustainability and are putting ethical matters into their purchasing criteria,” she said, explaining that this is interesting from both a marketing and, more importantly, an environmental perspective.
“By highlighting the importance of sustainability in manufacturing we are ultimately ensuring a better future for our industry and the planet,” she said.
In 2009 the company put environmental concerns at the heart of its business activities with its Environment Statement, in which, among other goals, it pledged to achieve three key paper and pulp purchasing objectives by 2020.
These are: purchasing only recycled paper or sustainably sourced paper and pulp for use in its consumer products and packaging; zero deforestation at the source of wood fibre for raw materials; only using pulp for raw materials that is traceable to the source.