Last year the UK population ranked the environment behind Brexit and health as the third  most critical issue of concern, ahead of the economy, crime and immigration. As we finally exit the EU the feeling is that anxiety around the environment will only heighten.

Concern about the wastage generated by the optical industry has been growing. Hundreds of thousands of bespoke eyewear are being made every day leading to a trail of plastic, cardboard, electrical and chemical waste. UK labs have always tried to comply with the current guidelines, at a cost.

Contact lenses are now being recycled but how about the millions of dummy spectacle  lenses being produced every year? For every frame sold two lenses are made and two dummy lenses are thrown away. What is the impact of optics on the environment and how
can we make our everyday practice more environmentally sustainable?

Recognising the importance of the issue, Julian Wiles, Founder and Owner of Performance Lenses and FMO Director will provide the platform for a panel of experts to focus on Environmental Sustainability at Optrafair 20/20. The session will run from 9.30am to 11.30am on 5 April. Named the John Conway Discussion, after the former FMO Chair and esteemed veteran of the optical industry who sadly passed away last year, the inaugural session will be chaired by Julian. As Vice Chair of FMO’s Lens Focus Group, Julian understands that a number of members are aware of the importance of the issue and the need for the industry to cut down on waste and become more environmentally responsible.

A number of speakers who have placed sustainability at the very heart of their business
plans will provide a short overview before they take part in an hour’s panel discussion,
where Julian will ask each of the panellists’ questions. Speakers include:

Julian will sum up at the end of the session and will display a list of companies who have green credentials so that people can go and visit their stands. Julian is looking for ideas and developments from as wide a range of the optical industry and profession as is possible, aiming to compile a guide for companies who have made sustainability a major part of their manufacturing process or practice. If you’d like to be included as an individual, a company or have a product listed, please email .