A Vision for Sustainability

 
Though the finished product is a small lens, the eyewear industry as a whole makes a large impact on the environment.  Vision-Ease Lens is maintaining its nearly 80-year commitment to good corporate citizenship by continually setting higher sustainability standards for the lens industry through the integration of environmentally responsible products and practices. 
 
At VEL, sustainability is a long-term, company-wide policy and philosophy. Setting a new standard for the lens industry since the early 2000s, VEL’s Ramsey, Minn.  facility continues to manufacture products with 100 percent renewable energy, distinguishing VEL as one of the largest companies to operate with 100 percent renewable energy in Minnesota. 
 
 
By converting to energy-efficient lighting sources and post-consumer packaging materials, streamlining shipping processes and recycling 100 percent of scrap products, VEL has reduced its carbon emissions by more than 99 percent. 
 
Optically speaking, every 1,000 pair of VEL lenses produced is equivalent to the reduction of one passenger vehicle for 10 months.  See all the ways these efforts stack up, lens by lens:
  • One pair of lenses is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by one tree seeding for one year
  • Two pair of lenses avoids the carbon release of one gallon of gasoline consumed
  • 100 pair avoids carbon release equivalent to one barrel of oil
  • 10,000 pair equals the reduction of carbon release of the electricity to power six homes for one year
 
At VEL, recent PRISM (Pursing Rapid Improvements for Sustainable Manufacturing) projects have reduced paper and box carton use, improved ventilation, neutralized chrome room chemicals and improved the water system, adding to our list of environmentally safe implementations that dates back almost a decade. 
 
VEL's Sustainability Improvement Through the Years
2003 Cup-free package patent granted
2005 Purchased new high efficiency presses
2005 Eliminated redundant shipping of photochromic lenses
2006 Installed high efficiency lighting
2007 Installed office motion sensors
2008 Replaced electric coffee stations with thermal carafes
2008 Switched to 100% renewable energy in Ramsey
2009 Won “Special Recognition for Environmental Stewardship and the Meritorious Achievement Award
2011 Participants in Carbon Disclosure Policy