These are as follows:
(a) the likely consequences of any decision in the long term,
(b) the interests of the company's employees,
(c) the need to foster the company's business relationships with suppliers, customers and others,
(d) the impact of the company's operations on the community and the environment,
(e) the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and
(f) the need to act fairly as between members of the company.
The consideration given to each of these matters is set out below. For more information, please refer to the community and corporate responsibility section of our website at:
This statement is published on our website at specsavers.co.uk/news-and-information/section-172-1-statement.
(a) Long term decision making
The Specsavers Long Term Framework (LTF) underpins all strategic decisions taken by the SEB and this will be used to set the direction for the business until 2030. Throughout the year, the overall organisation vision to change lives through better sight and hearing has remained unchanged.
(b) Consideration of employee interests
Our 46,000+ partners and colleagues throughout the world are at the heart of our success. Their ongoing hard work, energy, and passion makes our business what it is today.
We’re committed to making Specsavers a place where everyone can thrive by encouraging development, investing in careers, and supporting wellbeing. Whether working in an optical or audiology business, supply chain site, ophthalmology clinic, as part of our domiciliary service or as a member of our support teams, nurturing our people enables them to do what they do best: make a difference by changing lives. This purpose, guided by our shared values and behaviours, is brought to life every day through the actions of our colleagues. We see it demonstrated in the way we all work together today, but also understand its importance in how our business evolves and grows in the future.
(c) Fostering business relationships with suppliers, customers and partners
Our clinical care, professional expertise, great value, and standout choice continues to change lives through better sight and hearing for an ever-increasing number of people. Today, almost 43 million customers worldwide benefit from our first-class optical, audiology, and ophthalmic services. During the past 12 months alone, we served more than 22 million of our customers either online, in-store, at home, or through our contact lens subscription service. Our mission has always been to make quality, best-value eye and hearing care accessible to everyone. In a tough economic environment, our customers are facing significant pressures on their incomes and standard of living. So, in response to the current climate and customer sentiment, we’ve continued to innovate our offer with a relentless focus on value for money to ensure we really can make a difference in our communities.
Throughout the world, we have nearly 4,900 ambitious and talented partners who, alongside their teams, work tirelessly to make a difference to people’s lives every day.
We regularly engage with our partners to update on plans, gauge feedback, and invite ideas. Our global programme of communication includes customised surveys and last year all partners took part in an independent engagement survey. The results were hugely encouraging, with satisfaction scores well above the global sector benchmark. The UK ranked in the 74th percentile while Northern Europe, Australia, and New Zealand were in the 80th percentile* when compared to similar industry organisations.
*Survey data and analysis provided by the Franchise Relationships Institute.
Sourcing responsibly is integral to the way we operate. We have strong, long-term relationships with our suppliers, meaning we can work together to achieve our purpose of changing lives through better sight and hearing.
- Embedding our new supplier code of conduct: which sets out the behaviours and standards that suppliers must always demonstrate when working with us.
- Driving improvements: within our supply chain by assessing the requirement for, and subsequent provision of, any additional support to help our suppliers adhere to even higher standards and best practices.
- Running communication events with our key suppliers: to ensure they understand and are aligned to our expectations regarding the ambitions we have towards our people, communities and planet.
- Providing clarity within our supplier contracts: not only about how we require them to operate in accordance with internationally-recognised standards, but also the actions that will be taken in the event of non-compliance.
- Completing compliance renewal audits: to ensure suppliers making our products meet our social and environmental standards, in addition to audits for new product suppliers.
- Introducing a suite of sustainability tools: to help our suppliers build capability to further improve the way they manage and promote sustainability issues within our supply chain. Examples include supplier risk assessments and due diligence processes.
In 2022/23, we have undertaken the following activities:
- Completed 66 audits of our product suppliers. These audits ensure compliance with our social and environmental standards and adherence to regulatory requirements, enabling long-lasting improvements to be achieved.
- Consulted with our key suppliers to better understand which ethical and sustainable standards and practices they have in place.
- Worked on sustainability-related contractual clauses which will be included in all new agreements with suppliers. These will enable the implementation of measurements and reporting on our environmental targets.
- Finalised our new Supplier Code of Conduct in readiness for embedding into our network of suppliers.
- Continued our approach to managing sustainability with our suppliers and we developed a global process for measuring the volume, and understanding the composition, of all product packaging within our supply chain.
(d) Community and environmental impact
We are passionate about giving back to and working with our local communities, wherever in the world we operate. We support many local, national and international causes and are committed to supporting eyecare and hearing care projects for disadvantaged members of society. We also want to help those in our communities who might not otherwise be able to access sight and hearing care services. This includes providing broader access, increasing awareness of prevention, and early detection support. Across all our markets, we were involved in a vast number of activities in support of local, regional and national causes. For example, in 2022/23, our UK and ROI stores and support office colleagues raised more than £1 million for charities and good causes, including Glaucoma UK, Blind Veterans UK and Hearing Dogs. Across Northern Europe, we supported more than 100 charities and initiatives designed to reach people who might otherwise have been unable to access our services. In total, we raised €270k for these charities, conducted more than 3,000 free eye tests and donated thousands of pairs of glasses. In Australia and New Zealand we donated a total of A$3,115k to various charities and good causes.(ii) Environment
We are committed to taking responsibility for the impact our business has on the planet, by better understanding and working to reduce this impact. We’re guided by our values and responsibilities to our customers and our people, as well as our obligations in the countries in which we operate.
Our environmental programme is a critical element of our sustainability approach as global and local environmental challenges have wide-reaching and long-term effects, now and in the future.
Sustainability is a key component of our LTF, and our environmental programme is an important element within it. To enable all stakeholders to understand and deliver on our strategy, we have created 5 ambitions:
(1) Carbon: We aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions across scopes 1,2,3 by 2050 at the latest and achieve at least 50% reduction for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and, at least 25% reduction for Scope 3 emissions by 2030. We are currently in the process of submitting these targets to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) for validation.
(2) Product: By 2030, we are rated as the market leader for sustainable optical and audiology products and services, helping our customers achieve better health by:
- Reducing unsustainable materials being used in our products, whilst maintaining quality
- Substituting all fossil fuel based virgin plastic with more sustainable alternative materials where clinically permissible
- Ensuring that all our products will be recyclable or reusable across our direct operations
- Collaborating with our supplier partners to measure and reduce the environmental impacts of our products
(3) Packaging: We will reduce the amount and environmental impact of the packaging we purchase, create & dispose of across our value chain.
(4) Water: We will conserve and recycle the water we use in our supply chain and store operations.
(5) Resources: We will maximise resource efficiency and ensure zero waste to landfill across our value chain.
(e) Trading ethically
Specsavers operates a Global Ethical Trading Policy, which enshrines the key requirements of obeying all applicable laws, treating people with dignity and respect, protecting the environment and complying with anti-bribery and corruption policies.
Understanding where our products are sourced and made, and the risks as well as opportunities across our operations, is an essential part of our due diligence. This includes not only the products and services we sell, but also the technology and equipment we use and the ways in which they reach our stores and support offices.
We are focused on increasing transparency across our supply chain. We work with over 70 suppliers and 200 factories in 20 countries to deliver the highest standard of products to our customers. Therefore, understanding where our products are sourced and made, and the risks inherent across our operations, is an essential part of our due diligence.
Primarily our products come from globally recognised regulatory environments or factories situated in low- and medium-risk countries. We continue to monitor activity in these countries to ensure that neither bribery and corruption, nor slavery and human trafficking exists in our supply chain.
We ensure regular, independent audits of all our major suppliers who do not operate in globally recognised regulatory environments. However, we recognise a need to continuously evolve and enhance how we manage ethical and sustainability risks in our supply chain. As such, in 2022 we launched our new Sourcing Responsibly Framework. This outlines the principles, standards and tools we follow, expect and use to source goods and services in a responsible manner. This will make sure we are fully equipped to make positive impact on the lives of the people we work with, the communities we serve, and the planet we share.
Broadening our understanding of modern slavery and other ethical risks, strengthening our due diligence processes, and increasing transparency of reporting continues to be a focus for us while also embedding knowledge and awareness of human rights across our teams.
Full details of our Modern Slavery Statement can be found on our website at:
(f) Treating all shareholders fairly
The company is 100% owned by Specsavers Optical Group Limited, and Specsavers is beneficially owned by DJD and ML Perkins, both of whom are members of the SEB and SIHL board, as well as the board of the company.