„We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it for our children.“
Sitting Bull, Chief ot the Lakota
At our company, environmental protection, sustainability and corporate social responsibility are priorities. We are committed to increasing our use of low-resource manufacturing methods and sustainable raw materials to make our products.
We are also engaging in a wide variety of projects, such as our meadows project to maintain biodiversity. We support practices, sight training centres and parents with helpful motivational articles covering occlusion therapy, and since 2007 we have provided intensive support to the KARIBU project, an aid project to prevent child blindness in Africa initiated by one of our employees. You can find detailed information on our social projects below.
We have been using a photovoltaic system installed on the free space on our company building’s roof to generate electricity since 2020. Photovoltaic systems are one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of generating electricity because they obtain energy directly from the sun. This means we are not dependent on fossil fuels such as coal or gas, which helps reduce our emissions of CO2 and a range of air pollutants.
An important aspect of photovoltaic systems is what’s known as its energy amortisation period. This is the minimum period the systems need to operate to recover the energy it took to manufacture them. The period is three years for most PV systems. In other words, after three years the amount of renewable energy obtained from solar radiation is equal to the energy needed to manufacture the system. With a minimum operating period of 30 years, PV systems are a particularly environmentally-friendly way to generate energy.
For some time now we have been increasing our use of the sustainable raw material bamboo for our ORTOPAD® product range. Bamboo has an incredibly high number of environmental benefits, which is why have been using bamboo for all of our eye patch production since 2018. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet, so large amounts can be harvested without damaging the stock. Bamboo can grow by up to one metre a day. It can also be harvested without killing the plant, allowing it to regenerate quickly.
The non-woven bamboo fabric produced for our patches is also just as soft, stable and reliable as the cotton-based material we used previously. All of which are nothing but very welcome benefits for us and our customers.
We are enthusiastic supporters of sustainable raw materials, which offer so many benefits, and we are already delighted at the positive feedback from our customers.
We also use an environmentally-friendly method to obtain the filling and padding materials we use to ship our orders. We collect our used paper and cardboard in large containers rather than disposing of them directly as usual. We work together with the system developed by karopack GmbH, a German company, which allows us to keep transport routes as short as possible. The containers filled with cardboard are picked up by karopack GmbH at regular intervals and turned into new filling material.
The paper is shredded and used to make environmentally-friendly paper bags. These paper bags are then supplied to us for use as safe packaging when we ship the orders.
The obvious benefit here is sustainability through recycling used packaging/ cardboard etc. But the paper bags also provide safe protection during transport so that the ordered goods arrive at our customers intact. Since the paper bags are neatly closed when they reach you, they can be re-used, for example as padding for packages.
We provide a range of different sizes of shipping boxes to keep packaging waste to a mini mum. Orders from end customers in particular often only involve small quantities of our medical devices such as pads for holidays or dressings. We use small boxes for small orders to keep the waste packaging to a minimum.
Our tip: We deliberately keep our shipping boxes neutral. That means they are wonderful for re-using for shipping your own packages, as well as being great for children to play with. So there’s no need to dispose of the original box directly, and it can be re-used.
Over the last few years we have done our bit for the environment by planting a 3-hectare meadow.
The project is primarily aimed at maintaining the species diversity of our insects and bees. We have also changed some of our ORTOPAD® designs as part of this project. Various designs from nature have been added to the range, so our brightly coloured eye patches now sport images of domestic animals such as frogs, ladybirds or crickets.
The “KARIBU project” was launched in Kenya in 2017 to prevent child blindness and is supported by Trusetal Verbandstoffwerk GmbH. Our colleague Christiane Paschke heads up this project and travels to Kenya herself every year to support locally based orthoptists, run workshops, see the current status of projects on site and ensure that the money and in-kind donations directly benefit the children in need.
The project aims to prevent child blindness through screening and early treatment of the various eye conditions such as amblyopia, strabismus or astigmatism.