Our Journey to a Sustainable Future


To Thorlabs Customers, Employees, and the Scientific Community,

The world can’t wait. If there was any doubt, the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report made it clear we are facing an imminent and existential threat to the enduring health and wellbeing of the earth and all living beings who call this planet home. As sea levels rise, weather patterns intensify, and the unique and beautiful diversity of our natural world shrinks species by species, many of us have felt grief and fear for our collective future.

We must turn that emotion into action. As the owners of Thorlabs, a privately held and family-owned company, we have the privilege and responsibility to put our environmental sustainability values into practice. We know that we do not stand alone and that many of you deeply hold these beliefs as well.

While we’ve implemented some sustainable practices over the years at Thorlabs, including a recent and ongoing shift to more sustainable product packaging as well as enhanced environmental standards in our manufacturing facilities, we know there is still more work to be done.

We will be embarking on an ambitious environmental sustainability journey over the next few years. It is our goal to build a transparent, science-based roadmap to a resilient and regenerative future – we have a bold vision for Thorlabs in which we accomplish net good for the planet, not just offset our negative impact to achieve net zero.

Our hope is that our company’s journey to more sustainable practices helps create a safer and more equitable environment for all – we know that climate change and environmental racism disproportionally impact communities of color and indigenous people. Our commitment to inclusion and racial justice is tied to our commitment to environmental and climate justice.

As a manufacturer, we know that our current business practices produce greenhouse gas emissions and material waste. But as a vertically integrated company, we are uniquely positioned to identify the full scope of our supply chain, the impact it has on the planet, and to transform our business to support a resilient future.

In addition, we will look for collaborations and partnerships where our products and technologies may be part of the solution – from environmental monitoring and sensing to renewable energy and carbon capture. As technologists, engineers, and scientists, we believe in the transformative potential of human ingenuity.

In the months to come, we will be developing and publicly communicating a clear, auditable, and inclusive strategy to ensure responsible practices at Thorlabs that will positively impact our global communities. The work begins now – we hope you will join us.

Jenn Cable, President & Alex Cable, Founder and CEO
Thorlabs, Inc.