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Reducing CO2 emissions across the product lifecycle [EC2,EN3,EN5-EN7,EN15,EN16,EN18,EN19,EN30,EN33]

As the effects of climate change become more severe, mitigation and adaptation to climate change are urgently needed around the world. Kao is working together with business partners and customers across the product lifecycle to realize a low-carbon society.

2015 activities

In 2015, while conducting various ongoing activities to reduce CO2 emissions at each stage of the lifecycle that started in the past, we have also improved their scale and quality.
In the development, manufacture and sales stages, many plants replaced their facilities with Best Practicable Technology (BPT) including refrigeration equipment and compressors, effectively used steam, and introduced LED lighting. In the distribution stage, we have implemented modal shift and eco-driving techniques, and the Wakayama Plant obtained Eco-Ship Mark certification. In the usage, disposal and recycling stages, we promoted development of products with low CO2 emissions.


CO2 reductions across the product lifecycle

Kao is conducting activities aimed at reducing CO2 emissions in the product lifecycle by 35% by 2020 (consumer products in Japan per unit of sales, relative to 2005). In 2015, Kao reduced its CO2 emissions by 17% (★).
Kao is conducting a range of initiatives across the product lifecycle, including improving energy efficiency at plants and offices, using energy with low CO2 emissions, shortening product distribution distances by optimizing production systems and logistics territories, and launching water-saving products and new refill packaging.


Initiatives during materials procurement

With cooperation from suppliers, Kao is striving to improve the accuracy of CO2 data for materials. Kao began participating in the CDP Supply Chain Program in 2009 and is asking major suppliers to disclose information on and make reductions to greenhouse gas emissions.


Initiatives during development, manufacture and sales

Along with grassroots energy-conservation activities in the course of daily work, Kao is actively introducing Best Practicable Technology (BPT) and developing activities across worksites to improve energy usage efficiency, including integrating offices, introducing office equipment with low environmental impacts, and switching company cars to hybrid vehicles.
Further, all plants with the necessary infrastructure use natural gas and are purchasing electricity with low CO2 emissions.

In the area of improving energy usage efficiency, in 2015, updating BPT equipment including refrigeration equipment and compressors and effective use of steam were advanced at many plants. Introduction of LED lighting at all worksites including logistics centers and offices was also promoted. In 2015 there were 227 instances of such energy-saving activities at plants and offices in Japan that also led to cost reductions. They have each resulted in an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of about 3,600 tons, and about 140 million yen in annual cost reductions.
In terms of using energy sources with low CO2 emissions, Kao Germany and Kao Manufacturing Germany switched all of its purchased electricity to renewable energy sources in 2014. Kao also installed solar photovoltaic panels, from which it generated 493 MWh of electricity and reduced CO2 emissions by 249 tons.
The Kao Group in Japan is striving to reduce the volume of greenhouse gas leaks including hydrofluorocarbon leaks to comply with new regulations on fluorinated gas emissions management.
As a result of these initiatives, in 2015 the reduction rate of energy consumption improved two percentage points to 31%, while the reduction rate of GHG emissions improved one percentage point to 29%. These figures meet the respective target reduction rates of 30% and 29% (For Kao Group as a whole, per unit of sales, relative to 2005).

Energy consumption ★

Energy consumption
  • * Boundary: All Kao Group worksites including company cars (excluding some non-production sites outside Japan)
  • * Assurance provided for energy consumption figures.
  • * Figures have been revised back to 2005 due to revisions of electricity coefficients.

GHG emissions ★

GHG emissions
  • * Assurance provided for GHG emissions figures.

GHG emissions by scope and region ★

HG emissions by scope and region
  • * Boundary: Through 2014, all Kao Group production sites as well as non-production sites within Japan (including company cars). 2015 includes some non-production sites outside Japan as well.
  • * Gases included: The seven GHGs specified by the Kyoto Protocol (only CO2 in the case of outside Japan)
  • * Emissions by Scope are calculated according to the definitions specified by the GHG Protocol Initiative.
  •  Scope 1: GHGs emitted by the enterprise or organization itself
  •  Scope 2: GHGs emitted indirectly through the purchase of electric power, etc.
  • *Emission factors
  •  Scope 1: In principle, Kao uses the coefficients defined in the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures.
  •  Scope 2: In principle, Kao uses the coefficients specific to the laws and regulations of each county. When the specific coefficients are unavailable, Kao uses the coefficients released by the IEA.
Scope 1 emission volume trends ★ (Thousand tons-CO2e)
Japan Asia Pacific U.S. and Latin America Europe Total
2013 274 259 32 64 629
2014 283 277 33 64 657
2015 276 286 37 68 667
Scope 2 emission volume trends ★ (Thousand tons-CO2e)
Japan Asia Pacific U.S. and Latin America Europe Total
2013 160 158 20 19 357
2014 171 172 19 17 379
2015 185 181 22 17 405


Initiatives during distribution

To lower the environmental impacts of distribution, Kao has been implementing a combination of production site optimization to shorten distribution distances, improvements in the loading volumes of transport vehicles, improvements in fuel efficiency through eco-driving techniques, and shifting from truck to rail and ship transport (modal shift), which are transportation methods with lower CO2 emissions.

Activities to improve fuel efficiency through modal shift and eco-driving techniques also serve to prevent traffic accidents, and are therefore positioned as priority activities to develop on an ongoing basis. In 2015, Wakayama Plant obtained Eco-Ship Mark certification.
Meanwhile in Japan, higher sales of light but bulky items as sanitary products, which have low distribution efficiency, caused shipment volumes to rise in 2015 and CO2 emissions from distribution to increase by 3,000 tons.


Initiatives during product use

Many of our products such as laundry detergents, dishwashing detergents and shampoos consume water during use. A large volume of CO2 is also emitted from the energy consumed to treat tap and sewer water at facilities. In addition, products that use hot water in the usage stage, such as dishwashing detergents and shampoos, also result in a large volume of CO2 emitted to heat the water. Therefore, Kao is developing products that consume less water.


Initiatives during disposal and recycling

Kao is adopting containers and packaging developed based on the 4Rs of Reduce, Renewable, Reuse, and Recycle, aiming to use containers and packaging with lower environmental impacts to reduce CO2 emissions during product disposal.

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