Protecting the Environment Through Green Innovation

Hair O’right International

2018 / September

Lee Shan Wei /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Scott Williams

Long criticized as a major source of pollution, the

 chemicals industry is today moving into the vanguard of environmental protection. Hair O’right Inter­national Corporation’s fully integrated green supply chain exemplifies the company’s core commitment to environmental protection, and Taiwan’s prowess in terms of green innovation.

O’right is committed not just to making its products a success, but also to being an environmental leader. The company stood at the top of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Taiwan Green Classics Award rankings in 2011 and 2013; was the first Taiwanese SME to earn Taiwan’s Carbon Footprint Label; and was also the first company in the world to obtain PAS 2060 carbon neutrality certification for a shampoo.



Saving energy, cutting carbon

It is two o’clock in the afternoon on a scorching midsummer day in Taoyuan’s Longtan District, and the street feels as hot as a New Year’s cake fresh from the oven. Leaving the sidewalk, we slog up 20-some exterior steps to the entrance to Hair O’right International Corporation’s lobby, where we find a cool breeze dissipating some of the ferocious heat.

On entering the building, a green wall of live plants provides cooling relief to our eyes as well. Watered with rainwater and recycled water from the factory, the living wall greatly reduces interior temperatures, which helps the company save energy and reduce its carbon emissions.

A breeze passing through the work area on the right side of the lobby cools us down even though the building’s air conditioning is currently off. The structure’s open floor plan, 3.8-meter-high ceilings, and 1000 square meters of space allow air to flow freely around the roof supports. The building is also outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows along three exterior walls that can be opened to draw in refreshing natural breezes, and with silently turning industrial ceiling fans to help circulate that air. This energy efficient design earned O’right’s headquarters an Outstanding Green Building Award from the Ministry of the Interior in 2013.

Green energy

The building, which cost more than NT$200 million and took two years to build, opened on World Environment Day (June 5) in 2012 and was Asia’s first GMP-compliant cosmetics factory to meet the standards for green buildings. O’right has invested heavily in the idea of creating a sustainable symbiosis between people, buildings, and the environment. For the company, “environmental protection” isn’t just a slogan; it is a way of life.

Company chairman Stephen Ko’s commitment began with choosing to site the headquarters on a hillside to take advantage of difference in the elevation, which makes the facility’s grounds average two degrees cooler than flatter land nearby. To further moderate the building’s temperature, the company designed it with 40-centimeter-thick walls, and surrounded it with large trees, including sweetgum, camphor and bald cypress. These measures help keep interior temperatures constant, warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

The numerous barriers to the muggy heat make the air conditioning system little more than a decoration. In fact, it only turns on if the temperature inside the building exceeds 26ºC. “We average about 300 days a year without air conditioning.” The company is particularly proud of its energy savings in 2016, a year in which it used its air conditioning system for only 216 hours.

Solar panels cover the entire roof of the building like parasols, making efficient use of the abundant sunlight. When the autumnal monsoon rolls in, the local terrain guides the wind to a wind turbine that generates electricity. Between the two systems, the building produces more than enough power in a year to meet its own needs, and the company sells the surplus. 

On the right path

Born in Kao­hsiung’s Feng­shan District, Ko remembers the many challenges he has faced since early childhood. His father was a veteran, and his family was in debt. Their living room was always filled with a variety of products awaiting finishing. The whole family used to pitch in to complete them for extra income. Ko was the second-eldest child, and began working with his mother to stitch sequins onto qipaos while still in elementary school. Those difficult times forged tight bonds within the family.

“My father gave me the money he’d set aside for funeral expenses to start my company.” Ko says that clutching his parents’ life savings in his hands was an emotional experience. “We started out as agents for foreign haircare products.” Young and inexperienced when they set up their firm, Ko and his partners frequently stumbled and were nearly trampled in the very competitive market.

Ko lost his parents within six months of one another while in the midst of these business difficulties. He was devastated. And then his business partners departed the company over matters related to the company’s direction, leaving it on the brink of bankruptcy. “If not for my wife’s encouragement and support, I’d still be stuck in that mess.” In 2006, he resolved to take the company out of the market’s mainstream and develop it in a greener, more organic direction by helping people eliminate heavy metals and other toxic chemicals from their lives.

When O’right broke ground on its new headquarters, Jerry Wang, a former director of the Taiwan Excellent Brand Association, was the only VIP to attend the ceremony. Wang offered Ko suggestions on how to establish a brand, realize his vision, and hold fast to core company values. “I am very grateful to him for his thoughtful advice,” says Ko.

All-around green innovations

“We are a product of our time, our location, and our relationships.” With environmentalism becoming a global trend, O’right’s commitment to “natural, pure, and environmentally friendly” products has put it at the forefront of the green movement. “We know what kind of shampoo our customers demand, but what kind of shampoo do our rivers expect?” asks Ko, explaining that when ingredients containing toxins are used to make shampoos, the wastewater from those production processes pollutes our rivers. O’right seeks to make environmentally friendly shampoos with broad appeal by using only natural, biodegradable ingredients with no detectable toxins.

After winning several Taiwan Excellence awards for its products, O’right moved on to making sure its ­packaging also met green labeling standards. The company’s bottles, bamboo caps, and even dispenser caps are all made from non-toxic, environmentally friendly materials that break down over time. Its cardboard boxes are made from 100% recycled material, and it uses environmentally friendly paper-based packing tape and super-thin re­cycl­able bubble wrap. It pays attention to even the pallets on which it stacks its products, using ones made from recycled plastics to further reduce its carbon emissions. These fully integrated green processes earned the company a carbon footprint certification in 2016.

Treasuring water resources

To avoid depleting underground aquifers, the company meets its water needs with municipal water, which it turns into ultrapure water via an eight-step filtration and disinfection process. Rather than discard the mineral­-rich wastewater produced as a byproduct of this process, the company collects it and uses it for cleaning, flushing toilets, and watering plants.

O’right also reuses the wastewater from the com­pany’s manufacturing processes, purifying it and then collecting it in an eco-pond that helps regulate temperatures.

Believing that being conscientious about little things can lead to big results, the company has even installed pedal-controlled faucets that save water and electricity.

Testing the waters

Ko’s personal motto is: “The will and motivation to succeed, the passion to persevere.” Over the last six years, more than 26,000 visitors have come to see his company’s headquarters, which holds gold-level EEWH green building certification. “Our most important mission right now is spreading the idea of caring for the planet.” With that in mind, O’right has organized an Earth Hour event in Taiwan in each of the last eight years. More than 500 companies participated in this year’s festivities, which promoted energy savings and carbon reductions.

Ko notes that O’right has also planted 2,660 trees over the last eight years. The company’s much-lauded “Tree in the Bottle” product line is yet another example of its commitment to taking action to protect natural resources. “We hope each person using one of these bottles will be a seed, and that together we will make a forest.”         

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繁體 日本語



文‧李珊瑋 圖‧林格立








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在溽暑中,有了重重的阻隔,冷氣在這裡幾乎只是裝飾品。只有在室溫超過攝氏26度時,才會啟動。辦公區域中的智慧型偵測器,一旦感應到室內二氧化碳濃度超過800ppm時,裝置在天花板上的全熱交換機(Total Heat Exchanging System)便會自動運作。這時戶外的新鮮空氣會被引進室內,不但維護健康,也大幅減少冷氣的使用量。2016 年全年使用冷氣的時數僅有 216 小時,相當於27個工作天。「我們一年平均有300天不必開冷氣。」這是2016年歐萊德值得驕傲的節能成果。









「從無到有的過程,我們也是一路摸索。」當產品陸續獲得台灣精品獎後,歐萊德走向第二步,「讓包裝材料都符合綠色標章。」從瓶身到竹製瓶蓋,甚至是壓頭,都落實使用環保無毒,可分解的素材。不只紙箱,還訂製特殊的環保封箱貼紙,「超薄」AIR 緩衝氣泡袋全都是回收再製品。堆放商品的棧板,也是用回收塑膠瓶蓋製成,有效降低碳排放量。一條龍的綠色製程,讓歐萊德在2016年得到產品碳足跡認證。







「意志啟發成功,熱情持續永恆。」這是葛望平的座右銘。「我每天都抱著產品入眠」。取得「台灣EEWH綠建築」黃金級認證的光環下,六年多來,已有高達二萬六千多人次造訪。「其實我們現在最重要的任務,是把這份愛地球的理念宣揚出去。」為宣導節能減碳,歐萊德連續8年舉辦Earth Hour關燈1小時活動,今年已有500多家企業響應。就像一顆投入湖心的石子,已經激起不斷擴展的漣漪。




文・李珊瑋 写真・林格立 翻訳・久保 恵子

昔は汚染源として嫌われた化学工場が、今では環境保護の尖兵となった。環境にやさしいサプライチェーンを確立し、川上から川下まで地球を守る理念を実践してきたオーライト(欧莱徳/Hair O'right)は、台湾が環境保全において先進国と肩を並べていることを世界に知らしめている。
























「意志が成功を導き、情熱が永遠に持続する」が葛望平の座右の銘である。台湾のEEWH標準によりグリーン建築のゴールドレベル認証を取得してから6年余り、すでに延べ2万6000人余りが見学に訪れた。「現在の一番重要な任務とは、この地球を愛する理念を広めていくことです」と、省エネ低炭素の普及のため、オーライトはEarth Hourとして1時間電気を消すイベントを8年続けており、今年は500社余りの企業がこれに賛同して参加した。湖に投げた石が、次々と漣を広げていくように、その理念は広まっていく。


X 使用【台灣光華雜誌】APP!