October 27, 2022

Sustainability and Green Charter

The most significant initiative for the entire optical community was launched last week when the OSA’s Green Charter for Sustainability was introduced to members, with great acceptance.

“The OSA Green Charter aims to ensure as many people as possible are engaged in the journey to sustainability.  It provides a framework and enables targets to be set, which really helps companies of all sizes to move forward. People want to work in a business which is pushing ahead with a strong ethos,” said Jayne Abel, Chair of the OSA Sustainability Committee, speaking at the autumn meeting.

The entire optical supply chain united in London to learn more, not just about sustainability, but also MRHA legislation and AI. Frames and accessories, lenses, labs, diagnostic technology, software and finance businesses shared their insights and aims of ensuring that optics is as progressive as possible.

The OSA’s Sustainability glossary was highlighted as a valuable resource –

“Along with the Green Charter, it is a tool for ensuring that there is real understanding of the terms used in the drive to a greener future for the optical community,” added Jayne who knows the demands of the industry through her role as co-founder and CEO of Eyespace.  Her insights have been valuable in establishing the OSA’s commitment to foster co-operation across the optical community.

“The four levels of sustainability accreditation provided by the Green Charter are centred around  achieving carbon net zero and eliminating all single-use plastics.  It is important to have a robust and authentic strategy to protect the future of our planet.  The positivity and peace of mind cannot be underestimated in knowing that your business is becoming part of the solution.  It is also something which I know brings respect from industry partners and colleagues,” added Jayne.

Embarking on the OSA Green Charter calls for a sustainability officer to be appointed in each business, with sustainability champions across each part of the company. Every aspect of operations should be addressed from greener premises, reducing transportation, eliminating paper use and promoting energy savings in production.

“ISO 14001 Environmental Management is covered in the charter as is the attainment of B Corp certification in meeting standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability,” added Jayne.

100% Optical

Nathan Garnett, Director of 100% Optical, gave a presentation on planning for the February 2023 show, reporting that 80% of the floor space is now sold to exhibitors. Ambitions to grow the attendance and business opportunities at the three-day event were discussed with OSA members.  Nathan reported that a post-show survey of the previous 100% Optical revealed that networking, keeping up to date, seeing new products and following CPD lectures were the most important reasons for attending the industry-leading event.

Support of OSA members

Mark Robertson Head of Manufacturing at Caledonian Optical, who had travelled from Aberdeen to attend the meeting, expressed the views of many –

“The networking with others in the industry and gaining an insight into policy making is very valuable.  A tremendous amount of work has gone into creating the Green Charter and it makes it much easier to share the journey with my colleagues.  It is easy to follow and looking at the charter it is good to see how much we are already doing.”

Julian Clarke of Caseco agreed –

“The update on MRHA was very useful for us as a small business trying to navigate the legalities.  The sustainability group and the Green Charter being accepted and utilised and used as a foundation for businesses is great.”

Hoya Professional Services Director, Andy Sanders praised the Green Charter and confirmed that Hoya is already implementing many of the aspects of this, having already achieved zero to landfill.

He added –

“There is a real buzz to the Lens Focus Group and it is like having a chat with old friends. Membership of OSA is of great value with many benefits.”

Marc King, Head of Operations at Affinity Optical said –

“The OSA has been rejuvenated and is providing a fresh look at optics with so many young companies involved. We are all competitors, but we are pretty friendly competitors.”