MILAN, Italy—Marking a new step in the eyewear industry's adoption of sustainability practices, CSE or "Certified Sustainable Eyewear," the first product sustainability certification program for the eyewear industry, was presented during Mido, the international eyewear show which just concluded here yesterday. Created, registered and promoted by ANFAO, the Italian Association of Optical Goods Manufacturers, in collaboration with Certottica, this certificate is developed to become the new product sustainability standard for the eyewear industry, certifying glasses and their components: frame fronts, temples, lenses, small metal and plastic parts, show organizers said.

After a preliminary study, which ANFAO, Studio Fieschi and Certottica collaborated on with members of the Association's Technical Committee, the program was pilot tested on five eyewear companies, different in type and size, after which the project was approved. The certification identifies the most sustainable products, it is voluntary and based on UNI EN ISO 14020 and UNI EN ISO 14024 standards. It is open to all eyewear companies, both Italian and international, who will apply for the program starting Feb. 4, the date of the announcement here at Mido.

The CSE label, issued by the independent body, Certottica, will be issued by ANFAO based on a number of industry-specific assessment criteria that take into account the entire life cycle of the product (resource extraction, raw materials, production, distribution, use and disposal). The assessment will take into consideration environmental, social, economic and technological factors, and these criteria will be updated on a regular basis, according to technological advances and market requirements.

Lorraine Berton, president of ANFAO, stated, "Today we present a very important project for the eyewear industry, which emphasizes the commitment of our members and is aimed at improving the environmental impact of the supply chain. 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," she said.

With CSE, it will be possible to stay a step ahead of the European and international policies on environmental sustainability of products, to monitor production processes and suppliers and to participate actively in the industry's change of course toward sustainability by emphasizing their “sustainable” products through a program acknowledged by the eyewear industry around the world.

"Much work has been done on CSE and this is a big step forward for the whole eyewear supply chain,” Michele Gasparini, ANFAO vice president in charge of sustainability and ESG issues explained. “It is a challenging undertaking for companies and distribution, retail and optical centers. They must be informed, trained and made 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."

Certottica is an EU notified body (identification number 0530) and authorized by the Italian Economic Development, Labour and Social Policy ministries to issue CE conformity certificates for eye and partial and total face personal protective equipment. It is also a testing laboratory for certain specific categories of class 1 personal protective equipment, such as sunglasses, ski goggles and swimming goggles, and class 1 medical devices, such as reading glasses, premounted glasses and ophthalmic lenses.

It is affiliated with the Ministry of Economic Development’s Direzione Generale per l’Armonizzazione del Mercato e la Tutela dei Consumatori, the Customs Agency and ANFAO to oversee the optical sector, safeguard virtuous firms and guarantee consumer health and safety. Special attention is paid to environmental sustainability certifications as well as to incentivising firms to research, develop and use innovative materials and processes capable of responding to new market needs and developments.

Today Certottica’s work hinges on four areas of expertise: testing and certification, training, innovation and standards.

More information about CSE, Certified Sustainable Eyewear, is posted at the new program's website here.