SEE Event

Monday 4th October 2021 7pm Start; 8:30pm Finish Webinar
Would you like to learn more about how opticians, optometrists and those working in the optical industry can work together to reduce our impact on the environment? You can now book to attend the inaugural SEE Summit on the Environment on 4 October 2021. The SEE Summit will raise awareness of how eye care practitioners, optical practices and the industry can work in a more sustainable way and inspire and enable them to do so.


Introduction – Jo Holmes, ABDO President

Keynote speaker – Nick Bridge, the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change directs the UK’s global diplomatic climate change work, currently focused on COP26. Nick will highlight the wider policy agenda of moving to net zero carbon emissions, the UK’s leadership in this area and importance of the optical sector contributing to this goal.


Case study – Sustainable supply of contact lenses

Sarah Smith, research optometrist, Eurolens Research, University of Manchester, will:

  • report on data relating to the amount of waste that a range of modalities of contact lens wear generate
  • discuss opportunities for responsible disposal of lenses, as well as report on steps that manufacturers currently undertake to minimise the environmental impact of contact lens manufacture
  • discuss recycling and developing more sustainable materials

Case study – Sustainable manufacturing of frames/lenses

James Conway, CEO, Millmead Optical Group and member of the OSA board

Millmead Optical Group CEO James Conway has over 22 years in the industry and overseas all aspects of the company. As a champion of sustainability, he is speaking to the SEE Summit about how the group has worked to reduce its environmental impact in the office, the production line and the product distribution.

Millmead Optical Group is committed to becoming a major player in the future of sustainable eyewear, lenses and accessories. CEO James Conway believes that the group’s sustainability efforts are a journey, not a destination. In his presentation, James hopes to share how that journey can be navigated.

Panel discussion about the steps practitioners and practices can take to operate more sustainably

The three speakers will discuss their experience of moving to a more sustainable way of operating and highlighting the steps they have taken within their businesses.

Facilitator – Antonia Chitty, ABDO Head of Communications.



Jayne Abel, chair of the OSA’s Sustainable Committee. As well as her OSA role, Jayne Abel is the co-founder and CEO of Eyespace. Jayne takes a particular interest in product design and the use of new sustainable/recyclable materials and eco-friendly practices from manufacturing processes through to packaging. She says, “I am hoping to spread the word and encourage opticians to make greener choices when buying from suppliers across all sectors of the UK optical industry.”

Simon Berry is an optometrist from Durham. He opened his own independent practice in 2002 and also works as a specialist optometrist at Sunderland Eye Infirmary. He says, “I have always been interested in sustainability and in 2017 I developed an Ethical Supply Questionnaire that I now give to our suppliers. I look forward to discussing some of the issues on the ABDO panel.”

Ruth Shelton has been a DO since 1995. When her children went to school she went back too and has been a Chartered Landscape Architect since 2011. She is currently a senior advisor for Natural England and a locum DO. Her love of the natural world drives her determination to help make the necessary changes to our lifestyles. She says, “We have to find a way to live more sustainably in order to hand a healthy planet over to our children and grandchildren.”

Your next steps to sustainability – Antonia Chitty, ABDO Head of Communications

Antonia Chitty will run through examples of the steps practitioners and practices can take to become more sustainable and introduce a new tool for the optical sector to help develop sustainability.

Wrap up and next steps – Daryl Newsome, ABDO Vice-President