Company History

Lion's Sustainability

Lion's ideal vision can be traced to our founder Tomijiro Kobayashi's spirit of "working for the benefit of people and society." This ideal, to contribute to society through business activities, has inspired our drive to promote happier, richer lives for all people. Today, the spirit of the ideal is expressed in our corporate motto.

Lion’s Founding

  • 1891

    The birth of Lion

    Founder Tomijiro Kobayashi established T. Kobayashi & Co. on the Yanagihara riverside in Kanda, Tokyo, to trade in soap and raw materials for matches

  • 1900

    Lion's first social contribution initiative

    Began a social contribution program using charity coupons printed on packets of Lion Toothpowder

  • 1913

    Japan's first toothpaste for children

    Held first oral hygiene lecture
    Launched Kodomo Toothpowder (today Kodomo Toothpaste) for schoolchildren

  • Growth of Core Businesses

  • 1920

    Japan's first plant-derived laundry soap

    Launched plant-derived Lion Laundry Soap

  • 1921

    Japan's first dental clinic for children

    Opened a dental clinic for children (renamed the Lion Dental Clinic for Children in 1938)

  • 1933

    Spreading better laundry washing methods

    Opened the Family Laundry Information Service Center (renamed the Lion Laundry Science Laboratories in 1936 and the Household Science Laboratories in 1957)

  • 1956

    Launched Lipon F, Japan's first kitchen detergent for washing fruits, vegetables and tableware. Lipon F was the first product endorsed by the Japan Food Hygiene Association.

  • 1959

    Launched dental hygiene activities for mothers and their children (later named the "Tanpopo Initiative")

  • Beginning to Address Environmental Issues

  • 1967

    Launched the laundry detergent Dash, containing alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS), a new, highly biodegradable surfactant

  • 1971

    Established the Environmental Problems Countermeasures Committee

  • 1973

    Created phosphate-free detergent, ahead of the industry

    Moved ahead of the times to develop an early phospate-free detergent and released it as Seseragi

  • 1980

    Launched Murin Top (Enzyme Power Top), Lion's first majorly successful phosphate-free detergent

  • 1989

    Founded Lion Oleochemical Co., Ltd., which produced highly biodegradable raw surfactant materials from palm oil

  • 1990

    Established the Environmental Action Promotion Committee (renamed Environmental conservation committee in 2004, Sustainability Promotion meeting in 2019)

  • 1991

    Launched Spark laundry detergent with environmentally friendly plant-based ingredients derived from palm oil

  • 1996

    Received the Minister of International Trade and Industry Award as a consumer-oriented excellent company
    Published the Company's first Environmental Report

  • Promoting Comfort—For People and the Planet

  • 2001

    All of Lion's factories received ISO 14001 certification

  • 2006

    ECO LION Declaration

    Established the Lion Eco Standards as a set of new criteria for product environmental friendliness
    Established the Lion Forest in Yamanashi

  • 2007

    Received the 16th Grand Prize for the Global Environment Award

  • 2008

    Became the first manufacturer to receive Eco First certification from the Ministry of the Environment and participated in the "Eco First Program" proclamation

  • 2009

    Began participating in the United Nations Global Compact
    Announced its support for the United Nations Global Compact and joined the Global Compact Network Japan

  • 2010

    Released TOP NANOX super-concentrated liquid laundry detergent, formulated with plant-based high-detergency ingredient MEE for easy, one-rinse washing and environmental friendliness (this product was rereleased as TOP SUPER NANOX in 2016)

  • 2013

    Announced Eco Vision 2020, a set of environmental targets

  • 2014

    Launched an environmental logo and environmental label as a means of communicating environmental information to consumers through products

  • 2019

    Announced LION Eco Challenge 2050, a set of long-term environmental objectives

  • 2020

    Announced the Lion Group Sustainability Material Issues and Objectives for 2030