Embracing green practices to produce high-quality lenses

Just like other actors within the eyewear industry, ophthalmic lens and contact lens manufacturers are striving to reduce their environmental footprint. To this end, many of them have been implementing eco-friendly practices in their production processes. This is especially true for CooperVision. Discover a few of their green initiatives that make a real difference.

An eco-friendly vision based on 4 pillars

The sustainable development programs CooperVision has implemented throughout its facilities have helped them save resources and energy, recycle components, and reduce the use of materials in their production process. In addition to these initiatives, the company also encourages its employees to adopt their own eco-friendly practices.

In this article, we’ll describe the 4 green practices embraced by CooperVision.

Saving water

As the CooperVision team describes in the video below, water is essential to producing contact lenses. That’s why the organization has implemented ways to save this precious resource.

For instance, the water it uses in its manufacturing processes is sent to cooling towers which helps save 63 million litres of water per year. This also reduces the water it uses from municipal sources by 35% and cuts its wastewater by about 5.2 million litres per month. CooperVision has also designed a system to collect rainwater which supplements its water supply.

Saving energy

CooperVision increasingly relies on geothermal, solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy.

In fact, the company has designed many of its facilities in a way that natural light is used to illuminate common areas. It has also adopted highly efficient lighting systems and motion detectors to further reduce its energy use.

As the video below describes, CooperVision’s teams are also exploring various avenues to continuously optimize their energy efficiency. For instance, they’ve installed stringent control systems and comprehensive building management systems.

Reduce, reuse, recycle…

These 3Rs are at the core of every action taken by CooperVision.

Indeed, the company recycles on average 95% of the materials it uses in its production activities (cardboard, paper, oil, etc.). Even more impressively, some of CooperVision’s production sites produce zero waste.

Plastic components and cardboard containers are also reused: up to 99% of plastic components used are recycled and then transformed into other products. That means every year tens of millions of pounds of plastic are reused and then made into bags, chairs, even traffic cones!

Finally, the cardboard they use for shipping purposes is reused up to 10 times before being recycled. To find out more about CooperVision’s initiatives for reusing and recycling materials, watch the video below.

Did you know ?

Most packaging materials used for contact lenses are recycled. But did you know you can also recycle your used lenses? Many Opto-Réseau clinics have a recycling bin for used contact lenses. To find out if this service is available near you or for any other questions about recycling your lenses or their packaging, contact your clinic.

Encouraging teams to adopt eco-friendly practices

Taking action to ensure a greener future is up to all of us. It is also our duty to encourage others to follow suit.

That’s why CooperVision encourages and helps its employees to take public transit. In fact, more than 70% of its staff in the Costa Rica and Hungary facilities take mass transit to go to work.

Moreover, as described in the video below, the company encourages its staff to get involved in green initiatives within their communities. Every employee is invited to volunteer for shoreline cleaning programs or recycling and conservation education programs in partnership with local schools.

Every action makes a difference

Thanks to its eco-friendly efforts, CooperVision has earned myriad awards and certifications. For example, it has received the Pre-Treatment Excellence Compliance Award by PRASA as well as the LEED Silver certification for its environmental initiatives and designs.

In September 2021, CooperVision announced it was expanding its commitment to sustainability with a partnership with Plastic Bank, becoming the first manufacturer of plastic neutral contact lenses in Canada. By doing so, it has pledged to finance activities that collect and convert an amount of plastic waste (and keep it out of oceans) equal to the weight of the plastic contained in clariti 1 day lenses and their packaging.

Even though many other companies are implementing ways to reduce their environmental footprint, CooperVision is leading the pack with its numerous eco-friendly initiatives. To find out more or to discover what actions you can take, contact the team at your Opto-Réseau clinic.