Acting out of responsibility

The pursuit of sustainability has shaped our actions since our foundation. Active resource conservation is not a decorative buzzword for us, but a guiding principle that applies to every single employee as well as in the cooperation with our partners and customers. Solid business practices are more important to us than quick profits, and we prefer a solid foundation to rapid growth. We see climate protection not as a passing trend, but as a lifelong responsibility that we take very seriously. This requires courage, determination and clear goals. Climate and environmental protection, social justice, occupational safety and security of supply do not collide with our interests as one of the last owner-managed medium-sized companies in the field of lens surgery in Germany – instead, they define our actions. Every day. Now and in the future, we consistently follow the path of sustainability in order to leave behind a stable workplace and a healthy planet for future generations.

Rüdiger Dworschak, founder and CEO 1stQ

Under a green roof

Conserving resources and protecting the climate do not only shape the way we work. But also the place wherewe work. Since March 2020, the Eastsite Elysium Mannheim has housed both our headquarters and the 1stQ logistics centre. The building supplies itself with energy from renewable resources in a hitherto unique way and to almost 100 percent. At the heart of the innovative and sustainable energy concept is an ice storage system coupled to a photovoltaic system mounted on the roof, which generates all the energy required for heating and cooling the building. In addition, we have had a device installed in the building with which we can prepare our own drinking water – directly from the tap. Huge quantities of bottles and crates and their logistics are no longer necessary, nor are the associated manufacturing, cleaning and recycling processes. On top of that, the system also saves CO2 because our supplier is the water pipe.

Going from A to Z

We actively pursue environmental and climate protection not only in administration and production, but also on the road: In order to conserve resources and reduce CO2 emissions, we are converting our entire fleet of vehicles to hybrid vehicles. Thanks to their combination of combustion engine and electric drive, hybrid cars have significantly lower fuel consumption and lower pollutant emissions than the gasoline and diesel vehicles we have been using until now. By doing so, we want to ensure the mobility of our employees and at the same time make them more climate-friendly. Alongside the conversion of our vehicle fleet, we are also creating our own charging station infrastructure at our headquarters parking lot so that our hybrid vehicles will always have enough "juice" in the future.

Precision instruments: Single-use goes green

In the future, not only will uncomplicated handling in the operating rooms be important, but also increasingly safe protection against infection – so it is no surprise that disposable instruments are becoming more and more relevant. We have always been convinced of the advantages of single-use instruments and are constantly expanding our range in close cooperation with operating doctors and their teams. These include forceps, manipulators, hooks, choppers or eyelid lockers.

Our goal? To combine safety, hygiene and infection protection, economic efficiency and sustainability. We achieve this, among other things, thanks to our exclusive and innovative production technology, the so-called Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) process. This process enables a high production capacity, excellent and consistent quality under economic conditions during production.

In addition, we are developing a recycling system that provides for the reuse of materials once they have been used, while in the meantime we are compensating for the CO2 balance of the disposable instruments through our PLANT-MY-TREE® campaign with reforestation projects throughout Germany.

Experts assume that the share of disposable instruments in ophthalmology will exceed 50 percent in the medium term. Pioneer with us in terms of sustainability, safety and infection control ­– you can find an overview of what we offer here.

CO2-neutral shipping

Our sustainability strategy also takes logistics-related emissions into account. Therefore, within Germany all shipments leaving our company are transported to their destination with CO2-neutral shipping. This means that the greenhouse gases produced during the transport of our shipments are precisely determined and offset by the implementation or support of climate protection projects. Among other things, the logistics companies we commission support reforestation projects and resource-saving wastewater treatment measures. Moreover, we are working to ensure that all shipments addressed to us are also sent in a CO2-neutral manner.

If we cannot avoid it, we compensate for it.

Since we are currently unable to completely prevent carbon dioxide emissions, we will neutralize a portion of the CO2 emissions through environmental protection projects. To live up to our credo "Reduce the avoidable, compensate the unavoidable", we have entered into a partnership with PLANT-MY-TREE®. In cooperation with the initiative, we are planting 500 trees to compensate as much as possible of our unavoidable CO2emissions. In this way, we can also actively contribute to regional climate protection: A single tree usually neutralizes at least 1,000 kilograms of CO2 during its lifetime. PLANT-MY-TREE®'s initial reforestation and forest protection projects create forests in which animals and insects find a new habitat. Ultimately, people also benefit, for whom the forest functions as a retreat and recreation area. The duration of the projects is at least 99 years. During this time, no deforestation or economic use is to take place. The partnership is a long-term project for us. After all, we do not want to stop at the 500 trees, we want to add many more.

imPLANT-A-TREE

To inspire our German partners and customers for climate and environmental protection, we have launched the tree donation project "imPLANT-A-TREE": Depending on the intensity of the partnership with 1stQ Germany, we give our German customers a certificate for a tree donation. These trees are planted in Germany within the framework of sustainable reforestation in order to neutralize CO2 emissions. With this project, we would like to show how easy it is to specifically contribute to the compensation of the still unavoidable emission of pollutants and to motivate our partners to compensate the CO2 produced during a cataract operation. In this way, all those involved make an effective contribution to climate and environmental protection with little effort.

This project is currently only available in Germany.