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Sustainability: A Message from Thomas Bernhard

sponsored by Haag-Streit Group

What is your vision for achieving sustainability in eye care?

There are two distinct aspects – the present and the future. Firstly, I see our current organization, which is totally committed to sustainability and has already optimized its processes in many areas – group-wide. However, I also see great potential in the future, with new and innovative projects that embrace solar power, waste reduction, and recycling in our Haag-Streit sites around the world. In addition, I foresee exciting future sustainable solutions for our eye care customers, such as developments in teleophthalmology, AI, and VR. My vision encompasses increased longevity of diagnostic medical devices in the market. Notably, Haag-Streit’s “goldstandard” slit lamps are renowned for having an extremely long life-cycle – many are still fully operational despite being more than 50 years old!

During the design and development of our solutions, our engineers pay very close attention to sustainability and reliability, as well as robustness. Haag-Streit is famous for these features, which are highlyappreciated by our customers, worldwide. I would like to see less plastic in manufacturing, not only to increase longevity but also because it has a major impact on the environment. Plastic does not break down naturally, and pollutes natural systems, including rivers and oceans. The production, use, and disposal of plastics also creates significant greenhouse gas emissions throughout the various stages of the plastic value chain. Another goal would be to see a reduction in single-use medical supplies and an increase in reusable supplies, such as micro-surgical instruments. Our own John Weiss brand of “gold-standard” stainless steel and titanium reusable instruments has been established for over 230 years and continues to be distributed worldwide – as a group, we were very early sustainability adopters!

How has Haag-Streit worked towards achieving its sustainability goals?

Sustainability is a global challenge and Haag-Streit recognizes that it has a responsibility to help society meet its current human, social economic, and environmental needs without compromising future generations. This commitment has been baked into our DNA for many years. We use four pillars of sustainability to drive our goals: employee development and motivation, climate and energy, sustainable use of resources, and social responsibility.

Our primary contribution to society is to develop high-quality, premium solutions addressing our customers’ needs in terms of effectiveness, while saving natural resources and complying with environmental laws and regulations. We integrate environmental considerations throughout our business when developing new products or planning new manufacturing plants. We constantly improve the performance of our solutions, and our own production facilities.

As a member of the Metall Zug Group, we closely observe its “Code of Conduct,” and we follow such rules both in letter and in spirit. The entire Metall Zug Group consistently pursues a midterm net-zero-emissions-goal.

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