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Kao finds Sedex makes life simpler for their supply chain

Sedex member type:
Buyer/Supplier (AB Member)
Chemical and cosmetics
Member since:

“We would like to see Sedex become a de-facto standard.”

– Takashi Matsuse, Vice President for Global Planning of Procurement at Kao Corporation

Kao Corporation, established in Japan in 1887, is a world-leading manufacturer of high-quality, innovative beauty care brands, including Guhl, Goldwell, John Frieda and Molton Brown.

The challenge for Kao

Sustainability is embedded in Kao’s corporate culture. Before joining Sedex in December 2014, Kao already had their own system for managing ethical and sustainable sourcing in their supply chain. This involved sending out their own self-assessment questionnaire to their suppliers, rating their answers and providing feedback and suggesting improvements.

It’s the way most Japanese companies manage their supply chains. But it’s a lengthy and time-consuming process, seen as a burden by many suppliers who have to fill in multiple questionnaires for different buyers. It uses up valuable time and energy that could be spent making their companies more ethical and sustainable.

How Kao works with Sedex

Kao Corporation identified Sedex as a solution to this problem. Takashi Matsuse, Vice President for Global Planning of Procurement at Kao, explains:

“Joining Sedex makes it possible to have a standardised procedure for supply chain management around the world.

The many benefits Sedex brings us include a standardised quality questionnaire, the SMETA protocol (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit), access to multi-tier suppliers and coverage of human rights due diligence” (risk-checking process based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights).

Takashi Matsuse Vice President for Global Planning of Procurement


Since Kao Corporation became a Sedex member we’ve helped them build stronger relationships with their suppliers. Kao’s Takashi Matsuse recommends Sedex to other companies, and adds,

“We would like to see Sedex become a de-facto standard.”

For more information on how Sedex can help Japanese businesses and organisations with their supply chains, contact CRT Japan, the official Sedex Global Representative in Japan. As part of this role CRT Japan is raising awareness of Sedex within Japanese companies and supporting them while they join the platform.