MODERN's Maggie Mulhern and Alison Alhamed with Kao Salon Divison Global President Cory Couts.
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MODERN's Maggie Mulhern and Alison Alhamed with Kao Salon Divison Global President Cory Couts.

During Goldwell’s Global Zoom in Vienna, Austria, Dr. Elmar Mussenbrock was introduced as the Kao Salon Division’s Director of Sustainability & Porfolio—in plain English, he’s managing the sustainability strategy for all of the brands under the Kao umbrella—Goldwell, KMS, Oribe and Varis.

Attendees heard a focused message from Kao's Mussenbrock; John Moroney, Vice President, Vice President, Creative & Communication; and Cory Couts, Global President, that Kao’s mission is to strive for the enrichment of the lives of people globally and to contribute to a sustainable society. In his new role, Mussenbrock will be the internal expert and external voice for Kao Salon Division in the field of sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), working in close cooperation with Kao ESG Division in Tokyo and the various ESG teams around the world.

“Elmar will be talking about sustainability with every product introduction—how we reduce water, how we source electricity, how we source materials and how we recycle,” Couts told MODERN SALON in an exclusive interview. “Our goal is not perfection, it is continuous improvement—how can we, as a company, be better today than we were yesterday. Innovation is a big part of sustainability, and now we have a focused resource in Elmar.”

In addition to other efforts, Kao has a goal of reducing its waste water and sustainable sourcing. Currently, its main production runs on 100% sustainable, CO2 free energy. This year, Kao saw a 31% energy savings in its manufacturing site compared to 2010. Since 2017, Kao only uses FSC-certified paper for all communications, and more than 50% of palm oil used in Kao products originates from sustainable sources.

“In addition to being responsible with the selection of brands in the salon,” Couts says, “the most important thing a salon can do now for environmental sustainability is awareness. Once you’re aware of something, it’s easier to change habits like water usage, electricity usage and how waste is handled in the salon.”

VIDEO: In this exclusive interview with Dr. Elmar Mussenbrock, Kao Salon Division's Director of Sustainability & Portfolio, he shares the power of sustainability.

"We are very excited to further strengthen sustainability as part of the Kao Salon Divison DNA and build rapidly on our solid foundation of efforts to date," Couts says. "Elmar's extensive knowlege of the salon industry and his passion for innovation and sustainability will help us continue to make an ever-increasing positive difference in the lives of salons, stylists and their clients."