Contact lens company Bausch + Lomb (B&L) has completed a new heat and power generating plant that will supply its Waterford, Ireland, manufacturing facility with 60% of the electricity and 80% of the thermal energy that it needs to run.
The official launch (29 June) was attended by the Mayor of Waterford, councillor John Cummins, who switched on the plant that is run on grid-connected natural gas. It is estimated that it will reduce the facility’s carbon dioxide emissions by 6500 tonnes a year.
Speaking at the opening, vice president of B&L manufacturing, Angelo Conti, said: “Some years ago, B&L developed and launched a plan to identify and improve its environmental and social impacts. This included adopting a broad sustainability policy for the business, centred on understanding, not only the needs of our patients and customers, but also environmental, employee and community needs.
“This approach has resulted in a substantial reduction in our environmental impact and significant energy cost savings. B&L Waterford has taken the ethos of this plan to heart and has dramatically demonstrated what is possible in terms of reducing the impact of manufacturing on the environment.”
General manager at B&L’s Waterford plant, Damain Finn, highlighted that the investment in the new eco plant is part of a much larger project to expand the facility, which comes in response to strong demand for the company’s Biotrue range of contact lenses that are manufactured at the site.
He said: “We are on track to complete the plant extension which will increase the manufacturing footprint to 500,000 sq ft on a 45-acre site and we are continuing to develop new products here to meet the future needs of our customers.”
The contact lens manufacturer’s development of the plant was supported by the Irish government’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the Industrial Development Agency.