BUSINESS: Sustainability CooperVision Costa Rica Manufacturing Facility Earns Prestigious LEED Gold Certification By Staff Tuesday, August 16, 2022 12:24 AM SAN RAMON, Calif.—In recognition of its continued leadership in sustainability, CooperVision’s contact lens manufacturing facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica, has been elevated to the prestigious LEED Gold status following program recertification from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence in sustainable design, construction and operations, according to the company’s recent announcement. The 100,000-square-foot plant—which produces CooperVision’s clariti 1 day family of silicone hydrogel contact lenses—previously achieved LEED Silver certification in 2019. The facility excelled in LEED evaluation categories including energy, transportation, human experience and waste reduction, the announcement noted. LEED projects earn points by adhering to prerequisites and credits across nine measurements for building excellence, from integrative design to human health to material use. To elevate the facility from LEED Silver to LEED Gold certification, CooperVision invested in new technology to make the building and its operations even more sustainable. Improvements to the air conditioning system, including the implementation of additional controls for the building’s cooling towers and chillers, have resulted in an increase in electrical efficiency while reducing water consumption, the company said. “With our operations in Costa Rica, we have been committed to excellence in sustainability from day one. Since opening the facility in 2016, our teams in Alajuela have consistently sought opportunities to make an even greater positive impact for our employees, our customers and the planet,” CooperVision’s Rolando Torres, executive vice president, global manufacturing operations, said in the announcement. “Across the company, we approach sustainability as a journey. We proudly celebrate each milestone—like this impressive LEED Gold certification—then raise the bar and set our sights on the next.” CooperVision’s facilities in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico are believed to be the only LEED certified contact lens manufacturing plants in the world, the company said. “LEED is a transformative tool that ensures a building is designed and operated to achieve high performance, improve human health and protect the environment,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC. “By prioritizing sustainability, CooperVision is leading the way in its industry and helping USGBC continue toward our goal of green buildings for everyone within this generation.” CooperVision’s LEED certifications reflect only a portion of its environmental initiatives focused on saving water and conserving energy; reducing, reusing and recycling resources; and empowering people within the company and the communities in which it operates. In 2021, CooperVision pioneered the world’s first plastic neutral contact lenses through a partnership with Plastic Bank, funding the collection, processing and reuse of general ocean-bound plastic waste that is equal to the weight of the plastic contained in designated products. The company is continuously working to minimize environmental impact and operate more sustainably around the globe as part of broader efforts across CooperCompanies to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, visit coopervision.com/sustainability.