Water recycling during the production of lenses

Climate change affects us all, especially in the regions of the world where it is causing water shortages. For this reason, ZEISS is constantly on the lookout for possibilities to use water more efficiently and protect the environment.

Water is a resource that is in increasingly short supply, particularly in arid regions that have a very dry climate. Such regions include parts of Mexico, India, China, and California, for example, where ZEISS Vision Care operates multiple sites. ZEISS therefore believes it is very important to use this resource carefully and reduce water consumption with innovative measures.

ZEISS applies metrics that provide guidance and incentives for comprehensive initiatives. For instance, it intends to reduce its water consumption in relation to value added (the sum of EBITDA and personnel expenses) by 15 percent by fiscal year 2024/25.

India is a good example of the efficiency of these efforts: the ZEISS production site in Bangalore has a rainwater collection system on its roof with tanks that collect water up to a capacity of 10,000 liters during the monsoon period. This rainwater is used for production, while the water that has already been used is treated using a water recycling system.

As a result, roughly 95 percent of the water initially used for eyeglass lens production can be reused, which made it possible to reduce water consumption over the last three years by 6.8 million liters.

ZEISS Vision Care operations in Mexico were also able to halve their fresh water consumption over the last three years even in the face of major challenges, especially in the state of Baja California. The government frequently shut off water supply, which negatively impacted ongoing operations, customer service, and the quality and volume of fresh water available for the local population and also led to a constant risk of wildfire.

Measures taken for the production of Mexican contact lenses (MXRx) made the greatest contribution to the reduced water consumption. Overall fresh water consumption decreased by 93 percent, with the most important initiatives being the discontinuation of tank flushing in production, the filtration and reuse of eyeglass lens rinse water, and the reuse of residual water from machinery in other processes.

Further information

about the rainwater projects in Bangalore, in Tijuana, and at other ZEISS sites is available here.

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