Environment

Effective environmental protection and the responsible use of resources are core objectives of the ZEISS Group. ZEISS sees potential to increase its competitiveness by adhering to the highest standards, as well as for innovation, new business ideas and cost optimization.

As an optics and optoelectronics company, the ZEISS Group seldom uses environmentally critical materials and production methods. As a responsible company, this makes the Precautionary Principle all the more important for ZEISS: This means preventing environmental impact whenever possible. A key aspect is the efficient use of materials and energy – from product development, manufacturing and sales and extending all the way to a product’s use by the customer. This way ZEISS also helps protect the climate, since every reduction in energy consumption also decreases 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 2017/18, 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.

Performance Indicators

The performance indicators for energy, water, waste and CO2 emissions are recorded and consolidated globally at ZEISS.
They include all of the ZEISS Group’s major production sites (61 sites varying in size and activities). The CO2 emissions are recorded as per ISO 14064-1, which takes the Greenhouse Gas Protocol into account.
The following charts show the respective values from 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.

Energy

ZEISS energy management is tasked with keeping energy-related KPIs stable or improving them, even if the production quantities increase. Here the focus is on all of the company’s operational processes, machines, systems and equipment along with its buildings and infrastructure. 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. At several locations, ZEISS produces solar energy for its own use. A potential switch to renewable energy is currently under review. All of the ZEISS Group’s sites within the European Union have been certified as per ISO 50001, the internationally valid standard for energy management.

Fiscal year (FY)

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2009/10

Power consumption [GWh]

514

504

483

500

ZEISS overall value added [€m]

2,998

2,822

2,532

1,572

Energy consumption [in MWh]/€m value added

171

178

191

318

Relative change to reference year 2009/10 in %

–46

–44

–40

0

Water and effluents

Water comes primarily from the public drinking water supply and is used for manufacturing and cleaning processes, for cooling or as sanitary water. Consistently reusing water in rinsing processes and the internal circulation of water in production, cleaning and cooling systems has significantly reduced water consumption in the past years. Effluents resulting from production processes are treated in the company’s own internal treatment plants and then subsequently drained into the municipal sewer system. The quality standards are defined by the local laws on water and effluents. Regular internal inspections ensure these standards are observed, and appropriate measures are implemented in the event of discrepancies.

Fiscal year (FY)

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2009/10

Water consumprion [m3]

1,783

1,727

1,622

1,503

Value added ZEISS overall [€m]

2,998

2,822

2,532

1,572

Water consumption  [m3] / €m value added

695

612

641

956

Relative change over base year 2009/10 in %

–38

–36

–33

0

Waste

As systematic waste prevention is a top priority at ZEISS – not least for financial reasons – it has been possible to reduce the volume of waste as per value added since the reference year 2009/10. In fiscal year 2017/18, the relative and absolute volume of waste have increased, which is due in part to ongoing construction projects. A distinction is generally made between waste for recycling and waste for disposal, as well as between hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

Fiscal year (FY)

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2009/10

Waste volume [in tonnes]

17,327

15,340

14,393

12,975

ZEISS overall value added [€m]

2,998

2,822

2,532

1,572

Waste volume in tons/€m value added

5.78

5.44

5.68

8.25

Relative change over base year 2009/10 in %

–30

–34

–31

0

Emissions

Starting in fiscal year 2017/18, separate statements are published for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The emissions were calculated with current emissions factors as per the VDA list (updated Jan. 2018).


* The figures shown here differ from those published in the Sustainability Report 2016/17 because, starting in fiscal year 2017/18, the current emissions factors from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (Verband der Automobilindustrie, abbr. VDA), updated

Fiscal year (FY)

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2009/10

CO2 emission [in tonnes]

213,308

206,466

199,870

210,223

ZEISS overall value added [€m]

2,998

2,822

2,532

1,572

CO2 emissions [in tons]/€m value added

71

73

79

134

Relative change over base year 2009/10 in %

–47

–45

–41

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
Environmental Officers for the various sites are responsible for compliance with laws, stipulations for government approval and other rules related to the environment. The Environmental Officers at ZEISS’ individual facilities store the particular specifications in the management system, e.g. by creating site-specific procedural and work instructions.

Regular external and internal audits and, at ISO 14001-certified units, compliance checks are performed to ensure all statutory requirements are met. The results are then included in the annual management reviews. ZEISS also expects business partners that, 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.

Chemical 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. These employees are supported by the sites’ occupational safety specialists and Environmental Protection Officers. A substance database and list of hazardous materials form the basis of the Groupwide information system for hazardous substances used at the company. This is also how ZEISS ensures that only those chemicals are used that are registered for the EU in accordance with REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) and are authorized for use. In addition, care is taken to only use substances that have not been identified as Substances of Very High Concern whenever possible.

Material safety data sheets provide users with information on how to safely handle chemical products, thereby helping to ensure that chemicals are employed in a manner that is both safe and environmentally sound. ZEISS requires 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
To implement the EU directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), ZEISS introduced the legal regulations in 2005 with the help of a software application to monitor the relevant chemicals. This is now in use at all areas of the company. Suppliers must confirm that the supplied materials, substances and mixtures are compliant with the applicable directives, laws and regulations. The suppliers are asked to submit certificates of conformity for verification. These are a requirement for product approvals as part of the CE conformity assessment process. With the CE marking, the manufacturer or distributor declares that the product meets the applicable requirements. Conformity requires that certificates of conformity be available for all items in the parts list for a product. If there is any doubt, ZEISS conducts its own chemical analysis of the supplied components.

Disposal
Modern technologies consist of a complex combination of materials and components. When not disposed of properly, these can cause major environmental and health issues. 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 legally compliant disposal. The company is registered as a commercial distributor of electrical and electronic devices in all EU countries.

Goals
For the company, the legally compliant operation of its facilities is a primary goal. 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