Essilor Creates Board Committee to Oversee Its Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

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CHARENTON LE PONT, France— Essilor International announced the creation of a new board committee to oversee the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy. This will involve guiding the group’s long term development through its CSR initiatives concerning sight and its improvement. This new committee, chaired by Louise Frechette is made up of Aicha Mokdahi, Bernard Hours and Hubert Sagnieres, Essilor’s chairman and CEO.

“This innovative committee, chaired by an independent director, will allow us to go a step further in addressing economic and social challenges associated with our mission. The geographic scope of the company and the diversity of our CSR initiatives called for the creation of a governance body for orienting and overseeing the Group’s social project, within the board of directors,” said Sagnieres.

According to Essilor, about 4.2 billion people out of a global population of nearly 7 billion need vision correction. However 2.5 billion do not have access to such correction, for geographic or economic reasons, the company reported.

Essilor International's CSR activities feature various initiatives whose common goal is to reach out to those who would otherwise have no access to eyecare, by offering free vision defect screening sessions, as well as free lenses to the most underprivileged in society. Since 2006, for example, the Essilor Vision Foundation has been offering vision tests and spectacles to school children in the U.S. and other countries.

The Group is also a partner of the international Special Olympics organization and is a founder member of the Optique Solidaire association in France. Last March, Essilor supported the launch of the Vision Impact Institute, whose role is to raise awareness about the socio-economic consequences of poor vision in the world by sharing all relevant data.

Committed to rolling out its CSR policy, the Group also announced the recent appointment of Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, as reported in VMail, to the newly created executive committee position of chief corporate mission officer. He will be in charge of managing the CSR initiatives.