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Spotlight on Coopervision: A Recognized Leader in Sustainability

by ömer hakan ölçer 14 Dec 2023

September is Environmental Awareness Month — a great time to examine our individual efforts in taking care of the planet. 

It’s also an opportunity to take a look at companies who are seriously working toward sustainability — putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to real environmental change. 

Coopervision has proven to be one of those companies. 

In recent years, the leading global contact lens firm has been ramping up efforts to reduce their environmental impact. For example, they recently pioneered the first net-plastic neutral contact lenses in the U.S. And all of their one-day contact lenses distributed in Australia and New Zealand are now plastic neutral

And customers, especially Gen Z,  have begun asking about environmental responsibility before they purchase eye care products. Contact lens companies are paying attention.

[Read our blog: 4 new high-tech options for popular contact lens brands]

Sustainability is a major focus for Coopervision when it comes to the production and distribution of their products, and also in people management — from customers to employees.  

What does that mean exactly? Making environmentally responsible practices a key priority, from recycling efforts to water conservation, and from investment in people to reduced energy consumption. 

Here are Coopervision’s four main pillars of environmental sustainability.  

It’s more than the three Rs

The company has committed to reducing, reusing and recycling, and monitoring those efforts on an ongoing basis. To some, the three Rs are buzzwords born in the 1970s. However, Coopervision’s new approaches to the decades-old catch-phrase have been earning the company respect and multiple awards

Overall, the company is working to consume less, recycle more, and reuse materials in new ways to minimize their impact on the planet, such as:

  • Recycling more than 95% of materials (wood, cardboard, oil and paper) used in production processes
  • Recycling or repurposing more than 99% of the plastic components used in manufacturing products
  • Reusing cardboard containers 5 to 10 times, then recycling them
  • Operating “zero waste to landfill” sites
  • Composting organic waste

Award: In 2019, the Coopervision manufacturing facility in Costa Rica was awarded the LEED® Silver certification, which recognizes environmentally-conscious design and operation. It’s the only contact lens manufacturing site in the world to earn this acknowledgement.

[Read our blog: A next-level contact lens for astigmatism]

Watching water consumption

Another key area of focus for Coopervision is water: reducing consumption, adapting conservation methods, and even reusing resources. These efforts, which have helped to conserve tens of millions of gallons of water each year, include closely monitoring usage, and helping to protect water supplies in the communities where the company has operations. 

Here are some of the targeted efforts:

  • Using harvested rainwater in lavatories and climate control systems
  • Reusing water from manufacturing process in cooling towers at the Puerto Rico plant, which produces billions of soft contact lenses per year
  • Reducing municipal water consumption in the Puerto Rico facility by 35 percent since 2015, saving 1.4 million gallons of wastewater 

Award: Coopervision’s water conservation efforts have been recognized with several awards, including the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Water Authority’s (PRASA) Pre-Treatment Excellence Compliance Award in 2019.

Conserving energy

Reducing energy consumption and using clean energy resources is a concentrated part of Coppervision’s sustainability efforts. Many of the company’s facilities are run on renewable electricity, including solar, hydroelectric, wind, biomass, and geothermal sources

For example, their Rochester, NY operations use 100% wind-based renewable electricity and the UK facility is powered by 100% renewable electricity from biomass. 

Other commitments to clean energy sources and reduced consumption include:

  • Engaging natural light sources in common areas
  • Using high-efficiency lighting systems in manufacturing and distribution centers
  • Increasing energy efficiency: upgrading building management systems and using motion lighting 

[Read our blog: 5 reasons you should never buy contacts from unauthorized retailers]

Investing in People Power

People are a company’s greatest asset. Leveraging this knowledge, Coopervision has been working to inspire individuals — employees, customers, local communities — to consider environmental responsibility on a personal level. 

Some examples:

  • Encouraging employees at the Costa Rica site use to public transportation and motorcycles by designing the operation site specifically to accommodate these options
  • Motivating employees to volunteer time to community improvements and clean-up initiatives
  • Partnering with schools that provide education in recycling and conservation
  • Adopting sensitive land to preserve local biodiversity

If sustainability is a key factor in your contact lens purchase, Coopervision is one of the companies leading the pack when it comes to taking care of the planet and your eyes. 

Want to know more about contact lens options that are better for the planet? Do you have questions about the sustainability efforts of leading contact lens companies? Contact our customer service team at 1-800-404-7317 or email to learn more. We’re happy to help.

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