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Lens Maker Reduces Carbon Footprint

Photonics.com
Apr 2008
Vision-Ease Lens (VEL), a manufacturer of eyeglass lenses sold through optical outlets, said it is reducing its carbon footprint and setting new sustainability standards for manufacturers in Minnesota. Since March 1, VEL has been buying energy generated by the wind to power its Ramsey, Minn.-facility, making it one of Minnesota's largest industrial companies to do so. "Converting to 100 percent renewable energy is an additional cost today, but the benefits far outweigh the cost in the long run," said Doug Hepper, president and CEO, VEL. "By switching to renewable power, we will avoid the release of more than 15,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year. This saving is equivalent to the emissions that result from burning more than one-and-three-quarter million gallons of gasoline." In other eco-friendly initiatives, the company has replaced all lighting in the Ramsey facility with energy efficient fluorescents and moved the production of its photochromic lenses to one facility to eliminate extra product shipments for manufacturing.


GLOSSARY
lens
A transparent optical component consisting of one or more pieces of optical glass with surfaces so curved (usually spherical) that they serve to converge or diverge the transmitted rays from an object, thus forming a real or virtual image of that object.
optical
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
photochromic
Special glass type that transmits light in reverse proportion to the surrounding brightness level. Used in sunglasses.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
power
With respect to a lens, the reciprocal of its focal length. The term power, as applied to a telescope or microscope, often is used as an abbreviation for magnifying power.
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