100% Optical

Practice Building launches Net Zero Optics programme

The programme provides a framework for practices reducing their carbon footprint and plastic waste

Practice Building team at 100% Optical
A new Net Zero Optics programme has been launched with the aim of enabling optical businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and plastic waste to become certified net zero businesses.

Practice Building launched the programme at 100% Optical (25–27 February), where it received 100% Optical’s Sustainability Innovation Award.

Practices that successfully complete the programme are awarded a certificate and provided window badges and digital stickers to highlight the achievement.

Three certifications are available: Certified Carbon Neutral Eyewear, Certified Net Zero Carbon and Certified Net Zero Plastic.

Practice Building has launched a not-for-profit company, Net Zero Eyecare, which verifies the certification and provides carbon and plastic offsetting. Through a public website, the company also promotes the green initiatives of practices.

Practice Building founder, Andy Clark, suggested that there are many net zero checklists for businesses on the internet, “which can prove daunting.”

“We became frustrated and sat down to develop our own Net Zero programme to make the complex issues simple to implement,” he continued.

The project was developed after Andy’s son, Andrew, an environmental scientist and film-maker, joined the family business as net zero manager.

Andrew Clark commented: “A lot of practitioners have expressed their anxiety over not taking action on the climate crisis but now they can easily follow this framework and do their bit for the planet.”

“Our aim was to take the complexity out of environmental strategy and make it simple and, some have said, fun to follow. Our framework also enables practices to work with others, creating an environmental community within the optical industry,” he added.

The Optical Suppliers Association has warned that all optical businesses which supply the NHS need to prepare for the introduction of accountability for Net Zero targets.

How it works

The programme begins with making small adjustments to the practice’s pricing plan so profitability remains unaffected, before Practice Building provides an analysis of the practice’s carbon footprint, greenhouse gases.

The company noted that analysis includes the practitioners’ commute to work.

A carbon reduction plan is drawn up and any carbon that cannot be further reduced is offset through an internationally-approved agency.

Practice waste is also analysed with the aim of reducing and recycling as much as possible. A plastic recycling service is offered for unwanted spectacles, and plastic offsetting is available for the remaining amount.

Following a soft launch of the programme, the first practice to become Net Zero was Clark Family Eyecare in Donnington, while the first business was Performance Finance.