Approach to Responsibility

As a company wholly owned by a foundation, one of the key business objectives of ZEISS is to achieve scientific and technical progress in the field of optics and photonics and, in doing so, improve life for all of humankind. As such, acting responsibly toward society, individual customers, partners, employees and the environment is at the core of the corporate identity that all “Zeissians” live and breathe on a day-to-day basis, and this plays a key role in our company’s long-term success in a world shaped by global changes.

In this context, ZEISS can look back on an over 170-year-old tradition. ZEISS’s corporate mission is based on the convictions of its founders Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe. The principles that continue to govern the business activities of the two foundation-owned companies ZEISS and SCHOTT today were set forth in the statutes of the Carl Zeiss Foundation. This foundation, our company's sole owner, was created by Ernst Abbe.

With this report, ZEISS is now documenting for the first time how it defines responsible behavior and longterm business success in a dynamic, ever-changing economic and societal environment, what measures it has taken over the years in this regard, and how they are being enhanced and refined today. As a global player, the ZEISS Group's activities in this regard are guided not only by applicable legal provisions and certification standards, but also by the principles of human rights, international climate protection targets, and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

ZEISS adheres to the local laws and requirements in all of its business activities in the countries where it operates. ZEISS is also aware of the importance of more extensive social and ecological recommendations and standards, complies with these, and takes stipulations issued by national and international organizations into account.

Last but not least, our stable ownership structure and the associated forward-looking value system is why, today, ZEISS can proudly state that we are the global technology leader in the optics and optoelectronics industries with an extremely sound financial base. The ongoing pursuit of sustainable value creation will remain a key success factor for ZEISS long into the future.


Oberkochen, January 2018

Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke
President and Chief Executive Officer

Please Note:

As far as possible, the content of the “Responsibility at ZEISS” website always relates to the past fiscal year. The scope of the reporting differs by topic. Where possible, ZEISS specifies the period of time to which the statements relate.