ZEISS strategy for sustainability

As a foundation-owned company, sustainability and business success are inextricably linked at ZEISS. ZEISS aims to anchor sustainable value creation as an integral part of its business activities, which focus on innovative solutions that contribute to positive development in society and enable long-term, profitable growth.

Aims, values and guidelines for entrepreneurial behavior

In its day-to-day operations, ZEISS pursues aims and values that were set out by the creator of the Carl Zeiss Foundation. These include profitable growth, responsibilities toward employees, social and societal engagement, and the promotion of science and education. This attitude thus also means that the basis of ZEISS' own sustainable corporate governance must be strict compliance with laws and regulations.

The ZEISS Group's Code of Conduct became effective in 2007 and was last updated in 2020. It sets out binding principles for all of the company's sites. They help guide employees and managers as they carry out their activities in a responsible manner.

Dr. Nicole Ziegler, Head of Sustainability, ZEISS Group

Sustainability is a key driver for innovations that create greater added value for society and thus help ZEISS to set itself apart from our competitors.

Dr. Nicole Ziegler

Head of Sustainability, ZEISS Group

Organizational structure for sustainability

At ZEISS, responsibility for sustainability ultimately lies with the Executive Board of Carl Zeiss AG. Its strategic and operational implementation is the responsibility of the Head of Sustainability, who regularly reports to the CEO and is a member of the Corporate Strategic Development management team.

Together with the Sustainability team, the Head of Sustainability is in charge of the ZEISS Group's central and cross-divisional sustainability program. They also collaborate with those responsible for internal processes, e.g. from the Environment and Energy Management, Supply Chain Management, and Compliance departments, to embed sustainability topics throughout the ZEISS Group.

As a supplement to the central Sustainability team, officers were appointed to look after sustainability management at each segment and at the Shared Production Unit. The sustainability officers at the units regularly meet with the Head of Sustainability to report on progress at the units and on ongoing initiatives.

Organizational chart of the Organizational Structure for Sustainability
Sustainability at ZEISS

Approach to sustainable corporate leadership

ZEISS believes the basis for the focus topics and the aims of the working groups can be summarized as follows: growth is only possible in an intact environment that is open to innovation. At ZEISS, generating acceptance for the company's own activities and assuming responsibility for the environment, employees and society is thus an integral part of its business philosophy.

As part of sustainable corporate governance, ZEISS is pursuing a long-term holistic approach that defines day-to-day operations. This approach is split into five fields of action: employees, the environment, social and societal engagement, compliance, as well as products and the value chain.

Drivers of innovation

With its innovations, ZEISS drives progress, efficiency and the success of its customers as the basic requirement for its own economic success. That is why ZEISS strives to proactively shape markets through the evolution of existing products and the development of new ones. As part of this process, innovation at ZEISS is always placed within the context of society as a whole. The primary objective of all innovations is to meet customers' requirements now and in the future. The optical and optoelectronic technologies from ZEISS pave the way for new scientific findings and many innovations in other industries.

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