According to the United Nations Environment Program, carbon neutrality can be obtained by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered (1). To achieve carbon neutrality at its headquarters, Ocuco will offset 2,320 tonnes of CO₂ by reforesting almost 15 acres of native woodland in Killultagh, Ireland. In total, 20,000 trees of species such as ash, birch and oak, will be planted during the first three years of commitment. Third-party foresters will audit this reforesting to ensure the highest international forestry management and certification (2).
Leo Mac Canna, Ocuco CEO, reinforces that it is imperative to tackle climate change. “The Earth Overshoot Day is arriving earlier every year. In 2021, humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services had exceeded the planet’s capacity to provide these resources on July 29 (3). As a leading provider of software in the optical sector, we must set an example and commit to avert global warming. Corporations, independent practices and individuals have a shared responsibility to mitigate their environmental impact.”
Within the optical industry, there are many factors that impact the environment. For example, in the United States alone, an estimated 2.5 billion contact lenses weighing approximately 44,000 pounds enter wastewater treatment plants yearly instead of being sent to recycling (4). Offsetting the carbon footprint of the optical industry requires commitment from the whole industry involved at every stage of the eyecare journey.
Over the last 28 years, Ocuco has been developing products that boost efficiencies across optical businesses and reduce their carbon footprint. Ocuco’s range of software products enables electronic patient records, ordering and benefit submissions, reducing a practice’s dependency on paper. Its products also provide automated electronic communication solutions such as email and SMS patient reminders.
Mac Canna explains that Ocuco promotes a cloud-hosted version of its PMS and LMS products. According to Salesforce, cloud infrastructures support environmental proactivity by powering virtual services rather than physical products and hardware, improving energy efficiency, and reducing commute-related emissions (5). Additionally, Ocuco uses Microsoft Azure as a cloud services provider, a solution that is 98% more carbon-efficient than traditional enterprise data centres (6).
Other sustainable actions implemented by Ocuco include reducing offices’ carbon footprint globally, promoting a paperless work environment and encouraging recycling. Ocuco’s sustainability program will look to build on existing sustainability initiatives, such as the recent United Nations resolution “Vision for Everyone; accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.” The commitment aims to tackle preventable sight loss, setting a target of eye care for all by 2030 (7).
GoCarbonNeutral.ie: Pioneer Campaign
Ocuco is among the pioneer organizations to join the GoCarbonNeutral.ie initiative. Other members range from early-stage start-ups to large multinationals. This initiative is the flagship campaign of the Forestry Partners enterprise, launched in 2019. Its goal is to help businesses in the technology sector to recognize their responsibility for their emissions and to offset their CO₂ by committing to join the campaign to fund woodland creation. GoCarbonNeutral.ie also aligns with seven of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Founder of the social enterprise, John Beckett, emphasizes the importance of the business community coming together to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis: “We are delighted to welcome Ocuco as a member of our not-for-profit GoCarbonNeutral.ie initiative. We would encourage other companies to follow their lead, do everything possible to reduce their carbon footprint.”