Original Research

Freight-related greenhouse gas emissions in the supply of spectacle and contact lenses

Rayishnee Pillay, Nishanee Rampersad, Rekha Hansraj
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 80, No 1 | a619 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v80i1.619 | © 2021 Rayishnee Pillay, Nishanee Rampersad, Rekha Hansraj | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 September 2020 | Published: 25 May 2021

About the author(s)

Rayishnee Pillay, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nishanee Rampersad, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Rekha Hansraj, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Climate change is a global challenge requiring mitigation from all economic sectors. Although the consequences of climate change are well documented, there are limited studies regarding greenhouse gas emissions generated by the optometric industry.

Aim: This study explored the greenhouse gas emissions created from the freight-related distribution of spectacle and contact lenses to South Africa (SA) in 2019.

Setting: Spectacle and contact lens distributors in SA and an optometric courier service in KwaZulu-Natal.

Methods: Data from a survey completed by lens suppliers and a courier service provider in SA were used in a standardised emissions calculations tool.

Results: The results indicate significant greenhouse gas emissions generated from the distribution of lenses in SA, which is of concern for climate change alleviation goals.

Conclusion: It is recommended that practitioners in the optometric industry, and other healthcare service providers, calculate their emissions data, modify practices to support climate change mitigation and be cognisant of the effect of their practices on the environment.


Keywords

climate change; mitigation; greenhouse gases; freight emissions; optometry; spectacle lenses; contact lenses; freight supply chain; healthcare

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