Saraya’s commitment to health and hygiene matches its commitment to protecting biodiversity. Palm oil, which is mainly produced in Borneo, provides a key ingredient for the company. In return, the company strives to take care of flora and fauna of rainforests located near palm plantations.
In recent years, Saraya has seen the rate of extinction grow faster than at any other time. For this reason, the company feels responsible to proactively lead efforts to save and protect threatened wildlife still left on the planet while re-evaluating the way companies do business and regard the environment. Therefore, Saraya has committed itself to the implementation of the 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative’s Leadership Declaration.
As Saraya’s main business centers on health and hygiene, which includes a variety of hand soaps and detergents made from palm oil, it considers itself to be directly connected to the environmental strain that palm plantations are causing on the Borneo rainforest. While palm oil based detergents and soaps are biodegradable, irresponsible palm planting without any consideration for local wildlife destroys natural habitats in Borneo. In response, Saraya supports and gives back to Borneo by helping establish the Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) NGO in Malaysia and BCT Japan NPO to build the Sabah Mega Ecological Corridor, a green corridor along the banks of the Kinabatangan River, and the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary (BES), an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center. It also sponsors BCT’s activities that try to save threatened wildlife, such as the Borneo elephant and the orangutan.
Apart from BCT activities, Saraya is concurrently working on several other projects. Saraya is developing detergents and disinfectants that are designed to reduce environmental burden along all steps of the supply chain. As a contributing member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Saraya made “Happy Elephant” brand products from sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO. In addition, since May 2012 all products manufactured domestically in Japan by Saraya that use palm oil and palm kernel oil have been credited with RSPO GreenPalm certification.
Complementing other efforts, Saraya pushes environmental communication with stakeholders to promote environmentally sustainable hygiene and sanitation in professional, food and infection control industries, and a sustainable healthy lifestyle for household consumers.
Saraya’s commitment pays off in many ways, for example increased employee motivation, better public recognition, and widespread respect throughout Japan.
Nikkei Business Publications conducted a survey of 20,000 consumers to select the top Environmental Brands. When companies were ranked according to the effect of environmental activities on purchasing behavior, Saraya has been consistently ranked in the Top 10: 4th in 2008, 1st in 2009, 9th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 3rd in 2012, and 4th in 2013. In recent (2013) rankings, Saraya was 4th in efforts to reduce the use of hazardous substances, 7th in commitment to conserve flora and fauna resources and biodiversity, and 12th in efforts to reduce air, water, and soil emissions.
Inviting Green Purchasing
In Japan, an annual sustainability report is vital for companies working to push green purchasing. Saraya’s efforts to protect biodiversity in Borneo have given the company the ability to provide a full and captivating sustainability report.
Japan and many other countries are experiencing economic downturns and the employment market has become more competitive. What Saraya has encountered in its activities to protect biodiversity starting in 2004, is that more and more young graduates and mid-career job transfers have brought an understanding of Saraya’s environmental activities to the interview. Its activities have become a way to attract more talent that is concerned about biodiversity.
Incorporating pro-biodiversity goals into the company identity increases company employees’ desire to commit to Saraya’s cause. Together this adds up to a large amount of time and energy being given back to society.
Since 2006, Saraya has received multiple awards associated with environmental protection and education. This has led to a change in how the company is perceived. Before Saraya’s active engagement, it was simply a detergent maker, and now Saraya is regarded as an ecologically-minded/green company. This greatly benefits customer and industry relationships.
Production of palm oil keeps expanding due to increases in food demand worldwide. A wide range of environmental and social problems including logging of tropical rain forests for plantation expansion keeps happening daily. SARAYA was the first Japanese company that joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2005. It now contributes its experiences as a board member of the Japan Sustainable Palm Oil Network (JaSPON).
The award promotes environmental responsibility in private corporations and the diffusion of its results.
Hygiene, sanitation and health products