Strengthening sustainability efforts to achieve Sunstar’s long-term vision and contribute to SDGs

15 September 2022

The Sunstar Group (hereafter, Sunstar) publishes the results of its annual activities for ESG (Environment, Society, and Corporate Governance) from spring 2021 to September 2022 on the Sunstar Global website. The company is strengthening ESG measures to achieve its long-term vision for 2032, the 100th anniversary of its founding, and to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. Sunstar also discloses for the first time the progress made in the first year toward achieving medium to long-term environmental targets, promoting the reduction of petroleum-derived plastics and the reduction of CO2 emissions through expanding the use of renewable electricity in factories and offices.

Read the latest sustainability update –

E: Environment: Reduction of plastics, participation in recycling experiments, reduction of CO2 emissions with renewable electricity

In order to achieve the Sunstar Group’s medium to long-term environmental goals announced in 2021, the company is accelerating its contribution to resource recycling (circular economy) and carbon neutrality. The main results of the specific efforts are as follows.

1) Contribution to reducing the amount of plastic used and resource recycling (participating in plastic recovery and recycling experiments in collaboration with industry companies)

Sunstar has increased by 5% the ratio of plant-based/recycled plastics for containers and packaging and by 75% the ratio of recyclable materials used for post-consumers packages and containers.

In Japan, the company released a set of 2 bottles of mouthwash that reduce the amount of plastic used by 30% by using a replacement pump and decreased the amount of petroleum-derived plastic used by 33 tons annually by switching from plastic packaging to paper. Sunstar has also increased the number of products containing plant-derived plastic bristles of toothbrushes to 30. In consideration of biodiversity conservation, we have increased the ratio of packaging materials using FSC®*1 certified paper, which leads to forest conservation, to 53%, and have begun using RSPO*2 certified palm oil for mouthwash.

In the Netherlands, we conducted a plastic recycling experiment with TerraCycle to collect and recycle used interdental cleaners across the country.

2) Contribution to carbon neutrality (promoting the introduction of renewable power, LED lighting, and solar power generation equipment)

We are expanding the use of renewable electricity that does not emit CO2 at our factories and offices. The Group headquarters in Switzerland and the toothbrush and interdental brush factory in Germany have been operating on 100% renewable electricity. By switching about 72% to renewable electricity, we have reduced annual CO2 emissions at our business sites in Japan by about 60%, or 8,500 tons, equivalent to 1,024 average home’s electricity use for one year[1]. in 2021. Further efforts in Japanese new mouthwash factory with solar panels and LED lighting will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by 200 tons annually in 2022. At a global level, we have reduced our CO2 emissions by 22%. Going forward, we will continue to expand use of renewable electricity, LED lighting, and solar power generation equipment, and strive to reduce environmental impact worldwide.

S: Society: Supporting employees’ growth, improving the working environment, and strengthening human rights considerations in the supply chain

1) Strengthening employee growth support

Sunstar Connect, a program to promote understanding of the corporate philosophy and promote employee interaction, was implemented in each country in the European area, and Sunstar Value Day was held to connect each country online. In Europe and Japan, we have established an e-learning platform and held company-wide summits to learn about digital transformation.

Sunstar Summit is another pioneering project aimed at employee training and accelerating digital transformation throughout the company. The event pairs external renowned digital experts with in-house leaders and reflects on how digitalization is key to many functions such as sustainability, supply chain, marketing, and finance.

2) Favour sound work environments that increase employees’ happiness and productivity

We are promoting a company-wide response to acknowledge diverse work styles that increase the degree of freedom in working hours and places, such as a smart-work policy to increase flexibility and working from home. In addition to this, in Japan, we are gradually promoting office casual wear (liberalization of clothing) and free-addressing in offices, conducting employee engagement surveys, and considering measures to enhance the motivation for work.

3) Strengthening consideration of human rights in supply chain management

In addition to adding a provision for the protection of human rights in the supply chain to our procurement policy, we reviewed the social responsibility surveys that we regularly conduct for partner companies and enhanced the human rights protection down our supply chain.

G: Governance: Establishment of business operation, audit, risk management, and compliance systems

We are reviewing the decision-making manuals and audit systems of all group companies in each country, and are developing management risk assessments and risk mitigation plans in four regions around the world. In Japan, based on the results of an internal compliance survey, we have enhanced educational videos and in-house seminars on harassment prevention. Regarding compliance-related whistleblowing systems, following the establishment in Japan, we have newly established internal and external consultation desks in Europe and the United States.

Sunstar Group’s SDGs – 3 Priority Goals

Sunstar is actively working to solve social issues through its business. We also carry out various activities to fulfill our responsibilities as a member of society. We believe that business activities aimed at realizing the Sunstar Group’s long-term vision 2032 can also contribute to the achievement of the SDGs set by the United Nations.

*1 FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®): An independent non-profit organization that promotes responsible forest management worldwide.

Operates an international forest certification system that helps protect forests.

*2 RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) = A roundtable conference for sustainable palm oil.

Our RSPO membership progress

*3 SDGs = Sustainable Development Goals 17 goals for sustainable development set by the United Nations