Water is a vital resource in optics production to ensure the cleanliness of lenses at every manufacturing step. Having already made significant progress over the last decade in reducing water used to produce each lens, Essilor’s challenge today is sharing good practices to manage consumption responsibly throughout our network of sites.
Initiatives by the Transitions Optical manufacturing facility in the west of Ireland to reduce, reuse and recycle water had already cut consumption by 35% between 2008 and 2013. Teams then set out to find new sustainable ways to improve the way the site sources and consumes water. Sensors have been installed across the site to provide real-time monitoring and data on consumption. This enables teams to adjust flows, troubleshoot potential problems and automatically shut down the water generation plant during production downtime. Most significant gains came from changes to cleaning processes, for example water recycling that reduces wastewater from 4 liters per minute to less than 1 liter. By switching to a deluge nozzle to control the flow of large volumes of water used for cleaning, the site has reduced by 70% the amount of water drained as waste. Initiatives like these have contributed to a nearly 30% reduction in water consumption at the site.
Essilor also received funding from the Irish Environment Protection Agency for a project to install a rainwater harvesting system at a second lens manufacturing site as part of the government’s Cleaner Greener Production Program. This has helped to reduce by 10% the demand on municipal water, lowering environmental impact at source, rather than at the end of a pipe.
Sensors have been installed across the site to provide real-time monitoring and data on consumption