Strategy and Sustainability

As a company owned by a foundation, sustainability and business success are inextricably linked at ZEISS. Sustainable value creation is a fixed component of the company's strategy, which focuses on innovative solutions that contribute to positive development in society and enables long-term, profitable growth.

Foreword of the Executive Board

Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke
Dr. Michael Kaschke, President and CEO

Dear Readers,

ZEISS firmly believes that business success and entrepreneurial responsibility go hand in hand. As a foundation-owned company, we promote scientific and technological progress and campaign for better living conditions worldwide.

ZEISS thus develops solutions for ophthalmology and medical technology that raise the bar and help drive progress in medicine and biotechnology by supplying microscopy products. Our eyeglass lenses help people around the world enjoy better vision. In the aerospace and energy industries, intelligent and increasingly networked ZEISS measuring systems enable precise inspections in quality assurance, thereby contributing to the production of safe and energy-efficient components. What’s more, ZEISS’ peerless semiconductor exposure systems are shaping the digital age by offering up ever more efficient and cost-effective microchips.

Ongoing innovation is part of what ZEISS is all about – this can be seen in the investments we have been making in our research and development activities, which we have further increased in the reporting year. These investments accounted for 11 percent of total sales, and have allowed us to defend our position as a leading global technology company that shapes the market and takes sustainability seriously.

Our responsibilities also extend to clear goals and comprehensive measures to combat climate change: In order to help achieve
the global climate goals – i.e. to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius – ZEISS aims to reduce the relative CO2 emissions by 50 percent by fiscal year 2019/20 as compared to the reference year 2009/10. We already successfully achieved this aim in fiscal year 2018/19.

In a bid to continue driving climate protection at ZEISS, by 2022 the company aims carbon-neutral in its energy consumption and offset its carbon emissions created through air travel. We intend to do this by purchasing verifiably green energy, and by offsetting unavoidable emissions.

We will also be redoubling our sustainability management efforts. At the start of fiscal year 2019/20, the position of Head of Sustainability was created at the ZEISS Group. We are thus laying the groundwork that will enable us to better integrate the topic of sustainability into our corporate strategy.

This Sustainability Report is our way of making our results more transparent. It was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, covers relevant concepts and performance indicators for fiscal year 2018/19 and shows how ZEISS is taking responsibility throughout its value chain.

Best regards,

Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke
President and Chief Executive Officer

Highlights from Fiscal Year 2018/19


The annual Week of Sight includes initiatives and provides information on the topic of vision and preventable blindness throughout the company.


A cross-divisional specialist team is formed to ensure sustainability in product and process development.


The focus is on a host of initiatives run by employees worldwide to support children and people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.


First Non-Financial Report on the annual Financial Report and second Sustainability Report are published.


New ophthalmology training center opens in Pune (India) – it offers training in cataract treatment for ophthalmologists and nurses.


ZEISS employees take part in the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life – a day organized in support of the fight against cancer in Singapore.


ZEISS in South Australia takes part in Science Alive and Tonsley Discovery Day to get schoolkids interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


ZEISS is named Germany’s best company in the 2019 Public Value Atlas (Gemeinwohlatlas) published
by the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in collaboration with the University of St. Gallen.


ZEISS runs a health day at its sites in Germany to raise employee awareness for the topic. Carl Zeiss Vision México receives the Clean Industry Certificate.


The first hybrid cruise liner commences operations – it features an onboard Science Center replete with ZEISS microscopes that are used to perform experiments in far-flung regions.


ZEISS holds the topping-off ceremony for its modern high-tech site in Dublin, California (USA).


The new position of Head of Sustainability and a host of further measures – particularly ones designed to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions – more firmly anchor sustainability in the ZEISS strategy.


Further information is available in the current Sustainability Report.

If you have any questions or comments on sustainability at ZEISS, please write to us at: respons ibility @zeiss .com