Sustainability Never Looked This Good.

Our aim is simply to be the most sustainable business we can possibly be whilst maintaining the highest standards in design and quality. The Eyespace team combines extensive experience and insight into scientific research, sustainable innovations and the realities of the supply chain. We are proud to lead change across the optical community, with our CEO a founding member and chair of the Optical Suppliers Association Sustainability Committee.

A detailed audit of our facilities, suppliers, customers and collaborators was commissioned in 2019 and a series of milestone green initiatives have been rolled out to every aspect of the business. We have identified two core priorities for the eyewear industry:

1 - Reducing Carbon Emissions to achieve Net Zero
2 - Eliminating single-use plastic from the supply chain

In addition to tackling the two biggest contributors to climate change, our research suggests that, once businesses have systems in place to manage the above, they will be in a strong position to address all aspects of Sustainable and Ethical practice.

We aim to support, educate and inspire our colleagues in the eyecare community and provide the tools to get one step closer to a fully sustainable practice.

Why Carbon Neutrality?

A carbon footprint is defined by the greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, organisation or service. While carbon is naturally absorbed through forests, soils and oceans, the industry is producing far too much, causing global warming, climate change, extreme weather, crop disruption, and the destruction of natural habitats. Businesses must reduce or eliminate carbon emissions as much as possible, aiming for net zero carbon emissions or balancing emissions through carbon offset agencies. Most of our carbon reductions have been found through facility and supply chain management, which you can read about below.

Why Zero Plastic?

Every year the UK alone generates around 5 million tonnes plastic and a shocking 32% of plastic packaging makes its way into the oceans. Single-use plastics account for 40% of plastic produced, are conventional plastics are not biodegradable reportedly taking up to 500 years to fully decompose. As they degrade, they can release micro-plastics and harmful chemicals into our food and water supply.

Most eyewear frames are plastic but, more worryingly, demo lenses and framebags account for a significant proportion of the industry’s plastic and are discarded immediately. Our research estimates that up to 2 billion framebags are used every year globally.

But not all plastics are bad; choosing 100% Recycled Plastic really helps (worldwide only 10-13% of plastic items recycled) and Biodegradable Plastic breaks down completely in landfill with non-toxic residual components. Biodegradable plastics should comply with ISO 14855-1:2005 or ISO 15985:2014 and we ensure all our suppliers adhere to this.

Managing Facilities & Operations

It’s useful to consider the theory of Marginal Gains; small incremental improvements across a business that add up to a significant change when they are all added together. Eyespace has appointed a Sustainability Champion in each department, led by a Chief Sustainability Officer at Board Level to understand how every aspect of our environmental impact and where we can reduce it.

At Eyespace HQ, we have a Reduce / Reuse / Recycle policy across every building, have installed LED lighting and switched to green energy providers and web hosting services. Our marketing and display materials have been streamlined, with more digital tools and smaller quantities FSC or recycled paper with carbon off-set printing.

We are phasing electric vehicles into the fleet with charging points installed in the employee car park, car-sharing for industry events and using local suppliers to reduce travel distances for goods into Eyespace HQ.

Sustainable Product Development

Our journey started with the launch of the dedicated Eco-Conscious Collection in 2019, and we have since introduced sustainable frames to every brand in the Eyespace portfolio with over 20% of products sustainable. The Eyespace Design Studio undertakes extensive Research and Development, reaching out to specialist suppliers across the world to find eyewear solutions which offer wearers sustainable, fashionable choices without compromise on quality.

This investment in research has made us an industry authority in the most sustainable practice for frame manufacture and packaging, and a leading innovator of new materials to present to market. The collections include premium bio-acetates, G850 Rnew®, Econyl®, recycled stainless steel, sustainable leather and sea bottle plastic.

Most importantly, all sustainable models are supplied with bio-degradable demo lenses and all frame bags across the business are also biodegradable. Sustainable cases are also being phased in with materials including FSC cardboard and rPET.

Sharing, Collaborating and Benchmarking

As well as conducting our own independent research, we have consciously aligned with institutions that set the highest standards. We believe that understanding and complying with the latest guidelines allows us to lead the way in every aspect of best practice, including sustainability.

We aim to be a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit, considering the impact of each decisions on its workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Eyespace is proud to have won the first ever Opticians Award for Sustainability and to have achieved sustainable ISO 14001 accreditation alongside its ISO 9001 Quality Management certificate. Our supply chain is Sedex audited to ensure that the highest standard of ethics are upheld internationally.

Most importantly, we work hard to share our research with businesses across the industry, launching the Eyespace Green Summit webinars which outline our industry’s key contributions to climate change and an achievable path to sustainable practice.


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