Environment

Within the ZEISS Group, active and anticipatory environmental protection is considered a core component of responsible conduct. The ZEISS Group believes it offers potential to both increase the company’s competitiveness through adherence to the highest standards and innovation and new business ideas, as well as cost optimization.

A key aspect in this is the efficiency of material and energy consumption – from the initial product idea to manufacturing, distribution and utilization by the customer. This is also how ZEISS can best help protect the climate, since every reduction in energy consumption also means a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Approach

At ZEISS, environmental management is geared towards avoiding pollution. ZEISS treats environmental protection as an all-encompassing subject in the same way that it examines and improves every single step and its dependency on others in the course of process optimization.

The environmental management system (EMS) is firmly anchored in the ZEISS Group:

  • Executive Board: Overall responsibility for the EMS of the ZEISS Group
  • Corporate Environmental Officers: Help with launch, setup and implementation
  • Site Managers: Responsible for implementing the environmental policy, environmental directives

Organization of Environmental Management

The international environmental management standard ISO 14001 stipulates the globally recognized requirements of an environmental management system. The organizational structure described means ZEISS is in a position to bring to life the fields of activity of an EMS across all four phases: Plan, Do, Check and Act, and improve its environmental performance on an ongoing basis.  

Certification

ZEISS uses internal and external audits to assess its environmental management system. For instance, for more than 10 years internal audits have been performed at the headquarters and the subsidiaries in order to ensure responsible conduct. Accredited certification companies and independent environmental auditors perform the external audits.

Environmental Management Certification
For external audits, environmental management certification to ISO 14001 is essential. By the end of fiscal year 2016/17, 16 production sites and 32 subsidiaries of the ZEISS Group around the world were certified to ISO 14001. These certifications highlight the fact that ZEISS lives up to its responsibility in the area of environmental management.

Energy Management Certification
Several years ago, ZEISS launched initiatives to ensure the efficient handling of energy. Since December 2015, all business units of the ZEISS Group in the European Union have been certified to the globally recognized energy management standard ISO 50001. To do so, an energy management system was successfully introduced and applied in line with the stipulated standards requirements. ZEISS is thus underlining the importance of this topic.

A directory of valid ISO 14001 certificates from companies in the ZEISS Group can be found in the online database of DQS Germany (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Zertifizierung von Managementsystemen). The ISO 50001 certificates can be obtained from ZEISS on request.
Access and Download Certificates  


Energy efficiensy at ZEISS
The ZEISS site in Marly-le-Roi, close to Paris, fulfills modern certification requirements on sustainable construction. Featuring the latest thermal and acoustic insulation, it received environmental certification, and is one of very few corporate locations in France to have done so. The building has also been honored by the European Commission with awards for sustainability in the areas of lighting and construction investment.


Saving the Environment and Cutting Costs
Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH reliably fulfills its customers’ needs – from prototyping to batch production. A suggested improvement from Mechanical Production at the Oberkochen site proves that, in doing so, ZEISS places a strong emphasis on cost and environmental consciousness. The process of turning and milling workpieces generates shavings, which coolants and lubricants adhere to. According to the current legal specifications, the oil content that adheres to the shavings must be kept below 0.8 percent. Exceeding this figure results in high disposal costs.

An employee in the Milling/Grinding segment had the pivotal idea: the shavings generated by the machine are collected in a self-designed trough with an outlet. After a while, the shavings fall into a transport bucket, but before that, the coolants and lubricants are separated from the shavings and flow back into the tank. As a result, the shavings are no longer considered cost-intensive hazardous waste and their consumption is also reduced. Now all of the suitable systems in Mechanical Production are being upgraded – and the Production departments of other business units have also expressed an interest in the solution. Such ideas on saving energy and materials are desired and encouraged as part of the Employee Suggestion Program (ESP), as well as through campaigns.


New ZEISS Facility: One of Germany’s Top Ten Buildings
ZEISS has received certification for the new facility of its Medical Technology business group located in the industrial zone between Oberkochen and Königsbronn from the German Society for Sustainable Building (DGNB). The new building was awarded first place in the category Administrative and Production Buildings and received the Gold Award. In the list of all buildings constructed in Germany and assessed by the DGNB, the new facility made it into the top ten.


A Four-Leaf Clover for ZEISS
The ZEISS site in Dublin, California, has received the Green Shamrock award, the highest honor for companies that have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability. The site has created different campaigns focused on sustainability: the recycling program that was launched around ten years ago halved the costs of waste management and the amount of waste that would otherwise have ended up on a landfill. The most striking change, however, is the solar panels that were installed on the roof back in 2012 and now cover more than seventy percent of the site’s energy requirements.

Key Figures

The environmental performance indicators are recorded and consolidated globally in the areas of energy, water, waste and CO2 emissions. They cover all the main production sites of the ZEISS Group (35 sites in the instrument business and 21 mass manufacturing sites and prescription labs of the Vision Care business group).

The following diagrams show the respective values of the past fiscal years in relation to value added* and the percentage change since fiscal year 2009/10.

* At ZEISS value added is defined as the sum of Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) and personnel expenses.  

Power Consumption

The objective of ZEISS energy management is to keep energy-related performance figures stable or even improve them, all while increasing production quantities. The focus here is on all of the company’s worldwide business/production processes; energy-efficient machines, systems, and equipment; and a modern infrastructure and building structure. This is how, despite an increasing number of employees and growing revenues, ZEISS has been able to keep energy consumption more or less constant and even significantly reduce consumption at certain facilities.  

Fiscal year (FY)

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

2009/10

Power consumption [GWh]

504

483

485

500

ZEISS overall value added [€m]

2,822

2,532

2,242

1,572

Energy consumption [in MWh]/€m value added

178

191

216

318

Relative change to reference year 2009/10 in %

–44

–40

–32

0

Water Consumption

ZEISS has been able to substantially reduce water consumption by consistently re-using water in rinsing processes and through the internal circulation of water in production, cleaning, and cooling systems. Effluents resulting from production processes are, for the most part, treated in the facility’s internal treatment plant and then subsequently drained into the municipal sewer system.  

Fiscal year (FY)

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

2009/10

Water consumprion [m3]

1,727

1,622

1,562

1,503

Value added ZEISS overall [€m]

2,822

2,532

2,242

1,572

Water consumption  [m3] / €m value added

612

641

697

956

Relative change over base year 2009/10 in %

–36

–33

–27

0

Waste Volume

Systematic waste prevention is a top priority – not least for financial reasons. At ZEISS, a distinction is generally drawn between waste for recycling and waste for disposal, as well as between hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

Fiscal year (FY)

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

2009/10

Waste volume [in tonnes]

15,340

14,393

13,593

12,975

ZEISS overall value added [€m]

2,822

2,532

2,242

1,572

Waste volume in tons/€m value added

5.44

5.68

6.06

8.25

Relative change over base year 2009/10 in %

–34

–31

–27

0

Emissions

Fiscal year (FY)

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

2009/10

CO2 emission [in tonnes]

243,995

235,791

236,412

249,984

ZEISS overall value added [€m]

2,822

2,532

2,242

1,572

CO2 emissions [in tons]/€m value added

86

93

105

159

Relative change over base year 2009/10 in %

–46

–41

–34

0

Environmental Compliance

At ZEISS, strict compliance with all relevant laws worldwide as well as international and national standards and guidelines is considered essential to fulfilling our promise of quality – and is one of our main obligations to customers, stakeholders and owners.  

Guidelines, Structures and Processes
The environmental protection officers appointed at each location are responsible for ensuring that environmental laws and official approval requirements, as well as other requirements related to the environment, that ZEISS has agreed to fulfill are saved as documents in the Management System and reviewed with regard to any action required. In the event that action is required, they must make the necessary arrangements, such as issuing procedural and work instructions specific to their site.

A regular compliance check, carried out at least once a year, reviews whether or not the location is adhering to all the legal requirements. The results are then used in the management reviews that must be issued on an annual basis. ZEISS also expects business partners who, as suppliers or service providers, have a direct business relationship with the company and its production facilities, to fully comply with environmental laws and regulations as well internal guidelines. The company monitors whether such contractual agreements are being put into practice by conducting on-site audits, both planned and as a result of specific incidents.

Chemicals Management
Through effective chemical management, ZEISS ensures that hazardous substances and materials are handled safely throughout the entire process chain and, in doing so, protects employees and the environment. The respective system operators are responsible for handling chemicals safely, and they are supported in doing so by the sites' occupational safety specialists and environmental protection officers. A substance database and list of hazardous materials form the basis of the Group-wide information system on the hazardous substances the company uses. This is also how ZEISS ensures that only chemicals are deployed that are registered for the EU in accordance with REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) and are thus authorized for use. In addition, care is taken to only use substances that have not been identified as a substance of very high concern whenever possible.
Material safety data sheets provide users with information on how to safely handle chemical products and, in doing so, help ensure that chemicals are handled in a manner that is both safe and environmentally sound. ZEISS obligates its suppliers to make the most up-to-date material safety data sheets available. Before introducing new hazardous substances, ZEISS takes care to ensure that suppliers observe the list of prohibited and declarable substances included in a factory standard and requests the corresponding certificates of conformity.

Substance Restrictions
ZEISS launched its own project to implement the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). ZEISS introduced the legal regulations in 2005 with the help of a software application to monitor the relevant chemicals that all of the business groups use. Suppliers must confirm that the materials, substances, and mixtures supplied to ZEISS are compliant with the applicable directives, laws and regulations. ZEISS requests that suppliers submit certificates of conformity for this purpose. In case of doubt, ZEISS conducts its own chemical analysis of the supplied components.

Disposal
Modern technologies consist of complex mixtures of materials and components. Due to their potentially hazardous contents, they can cause major environmental and health issues if not disposed of properly. In accordance with the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which governs the collection, recycling and recovery of electric and electronic devices, ZEISS has entered into EU-wide agreements to ensure that disposal is carried out in a legally compliant manner. ZEISS is registered as a commercial distributor of electric and electronic devices in all EU countries.

Objectives
The primary objective of systematically avoiding violations of existing regulations is operating systems in a legally compliant manner. This is associated with the objectives of preventive emergency management as well as preventive maintenance, which saves retrofitting costs.  

 

Further information is available in the current Sustainability Report.

If you have any questions or comments on sustainability at ZEISS, please write to us at: respons ibility @zeiss .com