“We need to focus on a collective goal to secure a sustainable future”

12/01 2023 - Support office

“We need to focus on a collective goal to secure a sustainable future”

To Caroline Hallgren, Head of Sustainability at Specsavers, Northern Europe, sustainability is not only defined by a corporate footprint but also by a human footprint: “Whether you live in Stockholm, Australia, or Ghana, this world of ours only works if we work together. One organisation alone can’t create a sustainable future for us all – we must unite our corporate efforts, and we must share them with each other. That way – and only that way – we will reach our goals individually and together.”

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You have an extensive career behind you – when did you arrive at Specsavers, and why?

“I’ve got a degree in process development and lead auditing, and since then, I’ve been in sales, project, organisational, talent and operations management. I’ve worked for many international companies – French, German, English, Irish, Japanese, Danish, and Dutch – and in several different industries – MedTech, IT, recruitment, car industry, shipping, retail, and security.”

“When I was on maternity leave, I got a call from Specsavers. I didn’t know the company at the time. I was to set up the internal recruitment service in Northern Europe and couldn’t refuse. I spent nights and early mornings with my baby daughter by my side recruiting opticians and optical consultants for stores needing employees. That was seven years ago.”

How did you end up as Head of Sustainability?

“I’ve been on board Specsavers from the first go. The international touch, the family values and the feelings that live at the core of this company are so appealing to me. I’ve been here for almost eight years now, and I’ve constantly been asked to take on new tasks, consequently improving my professional and personal skills.”

“Professional and personal development is one of the building blocks of Specsavers. You are prompted and supported to seek new career possibilities if you are so inclined. I’m humbled and grateful to have been asked to lead the sustainability agenda with our Nordic partners – to join hands and look to the future.”

What’s the sustainability agenda for the coming years at Specsavers?

“First and foremost, we all need to be more aware of what sustainability means on a day-to-day basis. It’s up to every single one of us to change our behaviour and attitude to live life in a state of flow with nature. This is our planet A – we don’t have a planet B.”

“Production facilities must be run from places where working conditions are good and to drop Co2 emissions to a minimum. Moving to a circular economy is a win-win for us all, so we must design out waste, reuse more materials, and constantly rethink sources of energy.”

“At Specsavers, we don’t talk enough about the sustainable initiatives we are implementing, and I’d like to change that in the coming years. We shouldn’t wait until we reach 100 per cent of our goals before sharing. So let’s start sharing now. Other companies can learn from us, and we can learn from them. I welcome challenging conversations and new requirements, and I’m ambitious to follow best practices for our children’s future and our planet.”

How would you describe Specsavers as a company?

“This company makes a difference. We drive the eye and hearing care industry forward with dedication and passion. Every Specsavers employee is constantly working for a better world that helps people have better vision and hearing. Employees and customers are treated equally, and diversity and inclusion are highly prioritised.”

“It’s a company that focuses on the best care, service, and quality. And when we talk about sustainability, we have bold targets and a strong will to achieve them – step by step.”

“It really is a family business”

Caroline has taken the family feeling of Specsavers to heart.

“I’m not the only one who works for Specsavers in my family. My husband is a solutions architect, my niece works as a sales assistant, my brother is a film producer and has filmed events and produced training videos, my other niece was a part of the recruitment team a while ago, and my daughter wants to join the company when she is old enough.”

“I’m a proud member of the Specsavers family, and when you’re proud of your family, you want everyone to grasp its uniqueness.”

Curious to know more about sustainability at Specsavers? Go here. If you’d like to look for job opportunities, start your job search now.

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