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Global sustainability certification program launched for eyewear industry

The first international sustainability certification program for the eyewear industry has been launched at MIDO. Known as CSE (Certified Sustainable Eyewear), the scheme will be overseen by the Italian Association of Optical Goods Manufacturers (ANFAO) and optical product certification institute Certottica.

The organisations are hailing CES as the new product sustainability benchmark for the global eyewear industry, certifying glasses and their components including frame fronts, temples, lenses, small metal and plastic parts.

The program was piloted with five eyewear companies – each different in type and size. The certification identifies the most sustainable products, is voluntary and based on UNI EN ISO 14020 and UNI EN ISO 14024 standards.

To obtain the CSE label, independent body Certottica assesses the product, with certification ultimately issued by ANFAO based on a number of industry-specific assessment criteria. These take into account the entire life cycle of the product such as resource extraction, raw materials, production, distribution, use and disposal.

The assessment also considers environmental, social, economic, and technological factors. These criteria will be updated on a regular basis, according to technological advances and market requirements.

“We present a very important project for the eyewear industry, which emphasises the commitment of our members and is aimed at improving the environmental impact of the supply chain,” ANFAO president Ms Lorraine Berton said.

“After almost two years of studies and research, with our association and Certottica at the forefront, I want to highlight how important it is to understand and support this project from the onset because it meets one of the biggest challenges we are all facing: sustainability.

“With the CSE certification we will be able to guide eyewear companies, primarily SMEs, into the future of sustainability, along a path that is oriented toward environmental, social and economic issues.”

With CSE, it’s hoped eyewear companies subscribed to the program can stay ahead of European and international policies on environmental sustainability of products.

Mr Michele Gasparini, ANFAO vice-president, in charge of sustainability and ESG issues, said this was a major step forward for the eyewear supply chain.

“It is a challenging undertaking for companies and distribution, retail, and optical centre,” he said.

“They must be informed, trained, and aware of the importance of CSE to convey the message to their final users, who are increasingly aware and sensitive when it comes to sustainability. This is why we presented CSE at MIDO, and in the near future we will implement communication activities aimed at promoting knowledge and awareness of the CSE brand.”

More information about the CSE program can be found here.

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