Annual Report 2020

3.3 Giving back to our communities and reducing environmental impact

In 2020, we continued to integrate Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CSR) into GrandVision's group strategy and increase our environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) commitments. We onboarded all GrandVision retail brands to the global CSR concept – GrandVision Cares and continue to work on our guiding ESG priorities, which include to:

  • Foster an inclusive and diverse work environment
  • Reduce environmental impact of supply chain and store operations
  • Give access to high-quality, affordable eyecare to customers and donate to those in need

Having a strong CSR agenda is a great boost for employee engagement and motivation, and participation in GrandVision CSR activities has been increasing and become source of employee pride. Thanks to this, our local management teams and CSR ambassadors have assisted with the CSR strategy rollout and established local CSR governance teams. These teams include representatives from strategic functions such as Product Value Chain, finance, People & Culture, and marketing and communications.

Fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity

GrandVision's goal is to foster an inclusive culture that enables our ambition to grow and support a diverse workforce. One of the major topics on the agenda for 2020 and 2021 is gender diversity and equality. Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. GrandVision’s female employees are an integral part of our business and are vital to our commercial success. We want to make sure they get the same chances to grow, develop and thrive as their male counterparts.

However, we noticed a trend that fewer female employees reach higher positions in sales and operations roles at the management level. It was important for us to first learn why there is this trend at GrandVision and then plan how we could change it for the better.

One of our initiatives was to bring together our own diversity leaders from across the globe along with a group of students from Rotterdam School of Management-Erasmus University to get a fresh perspective on this social issue and find a solution to resolve it. This initiative is part of a program called the Student SDG Challenge. It pairs Dutch universities with Netherlands-based companies to solve a business problem related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more about this in section 1.3 'Our inclusive, diverse and ethical work environment.'

Reducing environmental impact across operations

With our presence across more than 40 countries, our operations contribute to a large part of our carbon emissions. To meet our global alignment on this topic, all of GrandVision's retail brands have already launched, or are launching, various waste, paper, plastic and other resources reduction initiatives.

For example, GrandVision France implemented a successful paper reduction program and reduced their paper consumption in 2020 by an estimated 47 tons. In France, buying eyeglasses used to require several printed quotes, forms and signatures. Our French retail brands reduced their paper usage by updating the customer signature process from paper-based to digital signatures. And their customers can now opt in to receive quotes and receipts directly by email. They will keep reducing their paper usage in 2021 by incorporating software that will centralize and digitalize health insurance form checks, eye test results and more.

And GrandVision Portugal launched an internal environmental program 'GreenVision,' which started with the elimination of single use plastic across offices and stores. The Portuguese retail brands are planning multiple further initiatives. One of these includes planting a tree for every pair of prescription eyeglasses sold on World Tree Day on 21 March. They will partner with organization National Association of Forestry and Environment companies to plant these trees in deforested areas of Portugal in honor of Earth Day on 22 April.

Giving access to high-quality affordable as well as free eyecare

In 2020, our CSR Ambassador community continued our mission to give back to people in communities where we are based and raised more awareness about important eyecare causes. Through our global charitable outreach we were able to:

  • Organize mission trips closer to home to donate:
    • Free eye tests
    • Eyecare equipment
    • Eyeglasses
    • Contact lenses
    • Protective gear to communities in need and COVID-19 pandemic first responders
    • Raise thousands of euros for communities in need and nonprofit organizations

We also joined forces to raise awareness on these important dates throughout the year:

  • March 8-14: World Glaucoma Week
  • March 23: World Optometry Day
  • May 8-14: UN Global Driver Safety Week
  • September 8: International Literacy Day
  • October 8: World Sight Day

For more information about what our CSR Ambassador community achieved in 2020, see our 'Joining forces for a more sustainable future: The achievements of our global CSR community' case study.

World Sight Day 2020

We observed World Sight Day by connecting our retail brands and operating through our global network of CSR Ambassadors to make a difference in our communities. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to continue our tradition by switching to virtual initiatives.

The group raised awareness about eye health through a viral challenge that gained popularity internally using our internal social media platform, Yammer.

Hundreds of our employees volunteered or contributed to our charitable efforts on World Sight Day. Their impact was felt across our global network and they were able to:

  • Donate thousands of free eye tests
  • Raise monetary donations for nonprofit organizations
  • Help thousands of people worldwide