Social and cultural promotion

Social and cultural initiatives strengthen the region and, as such, the company's individual sites over the long term. The aim is to accept responsibility for both its staff and society as a whole. ZEISS thus helps create an attractive place to live, promotes a broad range of cultural activities in the region and helps improve the living conditions for local families.

ZEISS aid campaign in China

In 2014 ZEISS launched the ZEISS Better Vision aid campaign in China. The Vision Care business group donated 140,000 hot meals to the Free Lunch Fund organization, which handed them out to needy children over two months. The symbolic handover also marked the start of future campaigns. Together with industry partners, ZEISS representatives visited schools in poor areas, offered eye exams to students and teachers, and donated eyeglass lenses.

More than 110 students in the Shanxi province and over 150 students from the Anhui province benefitted from the aid campaign. Together with the Shanxi Optometry center, the Eye Hospital of WMU, Zhejiang Eye Hospital and the Free Lunch Fund, ZEISS organized hot lunches, eye exams and free visual aids at Longquan School in the town of Jingyou, Guanmiao School in Lujiang county and Qinagshanhuayuan School in Dingyuan county. The students also received useful gifts to help them in school.

The eye exams showed that around 30 percent of the students suffered from some type of visual impairment. After ZEISS manufactured the necessary lenses and the industry partners donated the corresponding frames, the glasses were sent to the smiling children.

Employees help out refugees

In September 2015, ZEISS employees at the Ostalb sites in Germany demonstrated their willingness to donate. They collected material donations such as clothing, toys and baby strollers for the local collection center in Ellwangen. A total of some 100 cubic meters of donations were received.

The Youth and Trainee Representative (JAV) at ZEISS in Jena organized a bake sale to raise money for the refugees. The Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology business group also supported the trainees’ activities with a fundraising campaign. All proceeds went to the shared accommodation for refugees in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, which housed roughly 300 people in September 2015. The proceeds were used to construct a new building on the site of the shared accommodation. ZEISS trainees also purchased a refrigerator, microwaves, kettles, hotplates, and an assortment of kitchen utensils and office supplies. They also bought special textbooks for learning German. At the beginning of 2015, ZEISS employees at the site in Jena collected donations that were topped up by the Carl Zeiss Promotion Fund. This went toward helping refugees in Jena learn German and find out about the country’s culture.

ZEISS helps improve the vision of homeless people and refugees in Austria by offering free eye care. In fiscal year 2015/16, ZEISS in Austria therefore focused on eyeglass lens orders and deliveries, and joined forces with ECPs who take part in the CARITAS initiative.

Cash and material donations for kids in Puerto Vallarta

In fiscal year 2014/15, ZEISS in Mexico supported the association Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (National System for Integral Family Development, DIF) in Puerto Vallarta by donating money and items such as kids’ toys. The aim? To find ways of enabling better integration of families and children in difficult circumstances.

Christmas gifts: proceeds go to local children

Each year, the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology business group collects all gifts received from business partners throughout the year. Once gathered, the Christmas gifts are then entered into a drawing for ZEISS employees. The proceeds generated by the drawing are donated to a good cause. In 2015, ZEISS presented the proceeds to the Drachenkinder (Dragon kids) campaign, an initiative by Radio 7. The campaign supports children and young people from the radio station’s broadcast area who have been subjected to a lot of suffering as a result of disease, disability, violence, the death of a loved one or other misfortunes, and are traumatized.

Social commitment of ZEISS in South Africa

In 2016, ZEISS in South Africa sold off some of its office furniture to ZEISS employees at a discounted rate at the site in Randeberg. The aim was to donate the furniture to a good cause, furniture that was no longer needed after a renovation. All the proceeds went to a school in Township in support of kids’ education.

As part of a collaboration with the organization Shine Literacy, ZEISS in South Africa made a cash donation to fund eyeglass frames in fiscal year 2015/16. The aim? To help ensure better vision for children.

Trainees make donation to nursing home and orphanage in Johannesburg

ZEISS makes it possible for its trainees in South Africa to spend time getting involved in different community outreach events while at work. This gives them the opportunity to acquire initial management skills, assume independent planning for a range of campaigns and thus do their bit for society. The community outreach campaign was launched in 2011 and was aimed at providing trainees with further education.

In this way, trainees at ZEISS in South Africa organized a food drive in 2016 and donated money to a nursing home of an ubuntu community in Johannesburg. Their efforts were supplemented by an event which saw the trainees cook for the nursing home residents and play a traditional South African game, Moruba, with them.

In collaboration with the children’s aid organization Hotel Hope Ministries, trainees at ZEISS in South Africa also became involved with an orphanage in Johannesburg in 2016. They presented the orphanage with a cash donation, food supplies and gifts.

Community outreach campaign

The Industrial Metrology business group in the USA organizes a ZEISS community outreach campaign, thereby supporting all communities in which ZEISS has a site. ZEISS employees have brought almost 20 local campaigns to life since 2012.

Examples of community outreach campaigns:

  • Twice a year, a blood drive is held at the sites in Minnesota and Michigan.
  • Also in 2015, food was collected over two weeks for the city food banks.
  • Interns collected donations for the Special Olympics organization in 2015.
  • As part of a closet clear-out campaign in 2015, ZEISS donated clothing to the Salvation Army organization. In fiscal year 2015/16, jackets and blankets were also collected for Salvation Army in Minneapolis and Livingston County. 
  • In 2015, ZEISS supported Westonka Food Shelf by donating food. 
  • In 2016 water bottles were donated for the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
  • During the Thanksgiving campaign in 2016, ZEISS collected donations for the needy in Maple Grove and Brighton.

Encouraging employees to volunteer

In September 2015, ZEISS received the award for “Ehrenamtsfreundlicher Arbeitgeber im Bevölkerungsschutz” (“Volunteer-friendly employer in the area of civil protection”) from Baden-Württemberg’s interior ministry. At a ceremony in Stuttgart, local Interior Minister Reinhold Gall honored companies who support their employees in many ways when exercising their volunteer duties in the area of civil protection.

ZEISS contributes to effective volunteering in the area of civil protection in many ways. This includes its commitment to the Oberkochen medical team, which is not only on hand for corporate events and emergencies, but is also integrated into the rescue system of the Ostalb region thanks to it being a member of the local branch of the German Red Cross (DRK). The company allows employees to take time out for training, drills and missions and provides equipment and facilities to this end.

Cooperation with the SickKids children’s hospital, Toronto

Since 2010, ZEISS in Canada has been running various campaigns in support of the SickKids children’s hospital in Toronto, a scientific center for child healthcare. SickKids is a long-standing partner and customer of ZEISS Medical Technology and ZEISS Microscopy.

On the one hand, ZEISS employees collect donations for cancer research at the SickKids children’s hospital. This campaign includes group lunches, lotteries and baking competitions. On the other hand, in 2010 ZEISS employees in Canada began taking part in an annual volleyball tournament for the SickKids children’s hospital.

Playground for the St. Vinzenz kindergarten in Aalen

ZEISS employees at the Ostalb sites in Germany joined forces with a local company in 2013 to build a wooden area on the adventure playground of the St. Vinzenz kindergarten in Aalen. ZEISS has had reserved spots there for employees’ children since 2014. The aim of the campaign is not only to create a nicer atmosphere for children, but also to help ZEISS employees better combine work and family life.

A show of solidarity for quake victims in central Italy

In 2016, the Vision Care business group in Italy and the ZEISS sales and service center there collected donations for the victims of the many earthquakes in central Italy. All ZEISS employees in Italy were at least able to donate one working hour to the campaign. The donations collected were then doubled by the ZEISS sites in Italy.

Amenity kit for the homeless

In fiscal year 2014/15, ZEISS in Australia and the ZEISS Vision Care business group donated amenity kits once every quarter to the Hutt St Centre, an establishment set up to help homeless people.