On Monday 4 October, the optics industry will come together to share their experiences – and hopefully inspire and enable eyecare practitioners, optical practices and manufacturers to work in a more sustainable way.
I’m so excited to see this event come to life, and it’s been a pleasure to be involved in the ABDO-facilitated social, ethical and environmental (SEE) working group for this event as well as the longer-term SEE project.
The project started back in October 2019 when I offered to write an article about being greener in practice for the December issue of Dispensing Optics magazine. The subject had been close to my heart for many months as I took steps to be greener in my own life and business.
Sustainability in practice seemed to be a subject that many were interested in, but that no-one had written about yet, and for once I had some time on my hands to do it. As I put pen to paper (actually fingers to keyboard), I quickly realised that the topic was too big and too important to limit to an isolated two-page spread and my piece developed into a series.
Overwhelming response from members
In my opening article, titled ‘Planet optics: how green are we?’, I looked at the scale of the problem facing both our planet and our profession. I asked practices to ask their suppliers about their environmental policies and ask the following questions:
What are you doing to tackle the environmental crisis?
How are you reducing your carbon footprint?
How are you tackling the plastic problem?
I challenged the optical industry to do more to tackle air, sea and land pollution and suggested an industry-wide approach to an environmental strategy and pledge for a sustainable future.
I wrote three follow-up articles focusing on practical steps that practices could take to be more environmentally friendly. Each article included my email address and I invited like-minded individuals to get in touch. I was overwhelmed by the response.
Fast forward 12 months (hopping over a Covid-19 hurdle) and with the support of the ABDO board, the SEE Working Group was formed and the SEE Summit was born.
If you’re interested in learning more about how the optical community, industry and the professions can work together to reduce our impact on the environment, please join us on virtually on Monday 4 October from 7-8.30pm. The summit is open to anyone in optics, not just ABDO members.
With a keynote speech from Nick Bridge, the foreign secretary’s special representative for climate change, this event will be packed with practical tips and case studies. You can hear from practitioners and business owners with real experience of working towards a more sustainable business, and get advice on how to implement this in your workplace too.
At the event, you will also be the first to hear about a new tool to make it easier for everyone in the optical community to take the next step in their own journey to sustainability.
Find out more about the SEE Summit and sign up here.