PLEASANTON, Calif.—CooperVision announced this week that its contact lens manufacturing facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica, has been awarded the prestigious LEED Silver certification for its environmentally conscious design and operation. The 100,000-square-foot site, which opened in 2016, produces the company’s clariti 1-day silicone hydrogel contact lenses. It is believed to be the only LEED Silver-certified contact lens manufacturing site in the world, according to the company’s announcement. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance, according to the CooperVision announcement.
“Achieving LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices,” Mahesh Ramanujam, president and chief executive officer of USGBC, said in the announcement. “It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better. Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, CooperVision demonstrates their leadership through LEED certification of its Costa Rica site.”
The CooperVision site excelled in several LEED evaluation categories, including energy and water conservation, transportation, waste reduction, and human experience to earn the honor, the announcement noted. In addition to a range of features that were operational upon opening of the plant, the Costa Rica team has continued to advance sustainable practices for additional gains. These include recovery of organic waste for composting, reducing hot water use, implementing new energy and water consumption monitoring, and expanding LED illumination, according to the announcement.
“Our efforts in Costa Rica have a clearly positive effect on employee wellness, health and productivity,” said Rolando Torres, senior vice president, America manufacturing operations for CooperVision. “They’re appreciated by like-minded customers who see us as partners in their own sustainability initiatives. Of course, a green building such as this is a clear way of demonstrating our environmental practices to the community. Earning LEED Silver certification is testament to incredible dedication by our teams in Alajuela, as well as the countless people across the entire company who have supported and encouraged us.”
The LEED Silver certification reflects only a portion of CooperVision environmental initiatives focused on saving water, conserving energy; reducing, reusing and recycling resources; and empowering people within the company and the communities in which it operates, the announcement noted.