In doing some of the research for this month’s cover story, I found a wealth of information supporting the fact that the coronavirus pandemic this year has amplified support among consumers and business leaders for the idea of sustainability. Just as it has for so much of everything else in our lives including new ideas in health care.

One of the reports I found was written as a “primer” for marketing people, put out by BSR and The Sustainable Lifestyles Frontier Group, which is supported by several highly visible consumer-connected companies. The authors posed the question, ”Ninety-three percent of global consumers want to see more of the brands they use support worthy social and/or environmental issues, and three out of four teenagers say they want to buy more sustainable products. So why is selling sustainability so difficult?”

In a really interesting, straightforwardly-worded presentation, they point out that the language and discussion around the stories of sustainability can vary so much that it’s really about how a sustainable product or campaign needs to answer the question, “What’s in it for the consumer? What’s the value for them, functionally, emotionally and socially..?”

The paper also explained how those retailers and brand experts looking to tell the story to consumers about their products need to avoid “Greenwashing,” which is a disturbing trend that can overstate or make claims that aren’t able to be substantiated, even if it’s out of a sense of real enthusiasm, not a desire to mislead.

Check out this report at It might help you as you discuss embracing more sustainably-made optical products and, as you consider how you communicate about it to your patients in your own communities.

The point is, on many of the frontiers of change brought to us by the pandemic, learning, language and communication are becoming more important in terms of how ECPs and the companies that support and partner with them, can better describe and make it clear the value they offer.

This is what will rise up as the optical market sees many more initiatives in the arena of sustainability come to light, building on what’s working now and expanding its visibility.