Environmental Sustainability Policy



The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is committed to being a sustainable and environmentally friendly organisation in response to the climate emergency.

Sustainability for ABDO means meeting our members’ needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

ABDO aims to reduce its carbon footprint and to implement and pursue methods which will help to promote an awareness and understanding of sustainability and the environment in both staff and members.

ABDO has a duty to help prepare future generations with the knowledge and skills to manage the world’s resources wisely. Staff and members are encouraged to demonstrate an active interest in and concern for sustainability and the natural environment. ABDO aims to inspire staff and members to recognise their role in safeguarding the future of the planet.

The way the organisation’s workplaces are managed and maintained should provide an example to staff and members of how to respect and care for the environment sustainably.

Wherever possible staff and members should be encouraged and expected to adopt sustainable practices.

Information and resources on sustainable development are available on the ABDO website’s SEE Hub which gives members and staff a greater understanding of sustainability and the need for it. ABDO has developed a sustainability self-assessment tool to help staff and members to become more sustainable and environmentally aware.

ABDO will aim to share resources and information about the development of sustainable manufacturing and supply of goods as well as recycling for materials used in practice with colleagues across the optical sector.

ABDO will aim to enable staff and members to understand and respect their environment, both inside and outside of work, and live and work in a sustainable way.

Specific policy aims:

  1. To minimise the procurement and use of non-sustainable resources (which includes new builds and refurbishment of existing buildings).
  2. To reduce the association’s carbon footprint by 5 per cent each year (while accommodating necessary business growth) and encourage members to do the same.
  3. To encourage sustainable procurement, waste minimisation and recycling throughout ABDO and the optical sector.
  4. To raise staff and members awareness of sustainability and key environmental issues.
  5. To develop relationships with external organisations to promote environmentally sustainable behaviour.

ABDO members are:

  • encouraged to appoint a sustainability champion for their practice or business
  • encouraged to use the sustainability self-assessment tool
  • encouraged to consider carbon footprinting for their business, or to use existing carbon footprinting data for similar practices
  • encouraged to prioritise sustainable procurement and deliveries
  • encouraged to consider repair or reuse of equipment before considering recycling
  • encouraged to minimise use of paper and move to a paper free practice
  • encouraged to minimise other waste before considering recycling
  • encouraged to recycle as much waste as possible and carry out a waste audit
  • encouraged to review energy consumption in the workplace
  • encouraged to look at patient and staff travel and encourage sustainable methods

ABDO members of staff are:

  • asked to have a sustainability champion for each department
  • asked to prioritise sustainable procurement
  • encouraged to use electronic devices or online resources where possible instead of paper
  • asked to use double-sided photocopying wherever possible
  • asked to use the paper bins to recycle all paper
  • asked to ensure that both sides of paper are used before it is recycled – to this end, each department on ABDO premises should contain a scrap paper box
  • asked not to print documents unless it is necessary
  • asked to ensure that all electrical and electronic equipment is turned off after the last use of the day where safe and possible
  • asked to turn off lights whenever they are not being used
  • asked to monitor energy consumption in their place of work
  • asked to recycle plastics, batteries, cartridges from computer ink etc. in the relevant labelled bins
  • asked to recycle other materials used in the workplace where possible
  • encouraged to consider repair or reuse of equipment before considering recycling
  • asked to ensure redundant computer and other equipment is recycled by an authorised contractor where possible
  • encouraged to reduce their consumption of plastic wrapped lunches and drinks in single use plastic and move to biodegradable/ compostable / reusable packaging
  • encouraged, where possible, to commute / travel for business using sustainable methods, using public transport or car share.