In 2019, we further centralized our global CSR approach to help GrandVision strengthen our overarching CSR strategy and formalize our environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) commitments.
To achieve this, we started a CSR Ambassador community with representatives across our countries of presence, as well as members from our strategic functions such as Product Value Chain, Finance and P&C. This group aligns stores and offices around the world to deliver on ESG objectives, increase our philanthropy efforts and report on our progress.
Raising awareness is a critical step when embarking on a journey to educate people who may be misinformed, misled or simply unaware of the eye health and eye care situation in the world right now.
Uncorrected vision is a condition that affects about 2.2 billion people worldwide (source: WHO), yet many people remain unaware of the repercussions of poor vision or the fact that they can do something about it. And for nearly 1 billion people living in underdeveloped countries, eye care is not available or not possible to afford.
Our global CSR Ambassador community works to address these issues effectively and influence positive change across geographies. We connect on causes in line with global demographic and social trends like aging, urbanization and healthier lifestyles. Through regular actions and communications of the crucial roles good eye health and regular eye care play in our lives, we increase awareness in communities where we are present, and beyond.
Some of the topics on our global agenda are:
- Importance of good vision in traffic
- Detection of eye-related conditions at earlier ages and progression stages
- Education of children about the importance of eye care
Recently, we have focused on driver awareness campaigns to educate the public about the importance of driving with good vision. We have launched campaigns in several countries where we are present, and our U.K.-based retail brand Vision Express even influenced change in existing governmental practices. As a result of the brand's lobbying efforts, the U.K. government announced its plan to collaborate with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to include an eye test reminder when drivers renew their licenses.
Growing our philanthropic efforts for those who cannot afford eye care is one of our CSR Ambassador community's goals. By joining forces, we have inspired and organized multiple charitable events around the world:
- Performed more than 100,000 free eye checks
- Took mission trips to underserved communities near our homes and abroad
- Donated more than 119,000 pairs of glasses
- Raised funds for eye-health related charities and local food pantries
- Organized charitable sports events
In 2019, we donated free eye care and eyewear in the following ways:
- Apollo Optik (Germany): Donated nearly 30,000 pieces of eyewear to Dutch NGO TwoBillionEyes Foundation. The foundation provides eyeglasses and trains local vision collaborators in underserved African communities.
- MultiOpticas (Portugal): The MultiOpticas team made a philanthropic mission to Mozambique. Read more about it in our 'In Focus' story.
- Synoptik (Denmark): For more than 10 years, the retail brand has partnered with the Danish Blind and Ghana Blind Unions. They set up an eye clinic in Accra, Ghana, which is run by local eye health specialists and receives annual visits by a Synoptik Denmark delegation. The Synoptik team gives free eye care, donates used frames collected in stores for prescription glasses fittings, and shares knowledge with local employees. This successful collaboration has benefitted more than 50,000 Ghanaians to date.
- Synoptik (Sweden): Our Swedish retail brand has partnered for years with charitable foundation Opticians Without Borders, in collaboration with Swedish aid organization Vision For All. Since 2011, they have provided customer-donated second-hand, fully-functional glasses to the organizations. In turn, the two NGOs fit more than 80,000 prescription glasses for free for people in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru and Guatemala.
- GrandVision Headquarters (The Netherlands): Our HQ donated nearly 57,000 frames, ready readers and sunglasses to Medico Lions Clubs Belgium. These donations are given to people who need eyewear in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
- Óptica2000 and +Visión (Spain): These retail brands donated more than 1,000 pairs of glasses to optometry clinic Centro Universitario de la Visión, part of university Facultad de Óptica y Optometría de Terrassa. The donations allow students to practice their technical skills, as they donated free eye tests and prescription glasses to more than 2,000 people throughout 2019.
World Sight Day 2019
In 2019, 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.
The group raised awareness about eye health through a viral challenge that gained popularity internally and externally through our social media channels.
Hundreds of our employees volunteered or contributed to our philanthropic efforts for World Sight Day and their impact was felt across our global network. It resulted in donating:
- 86,300 free eye tests
*Local currencies from other countries converted into euros.
The TwoBillionEyes Foundation gave free eye tests and fit hundreds of people in Gambia with new prescription lenses in donated GrandVision frames.
Synoptik (Sweden) partnered with Swedish organization Opticians without Borders to give free eye tests and donate prescription frames in Bolivia.