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Innovating for Impact: Alcon's Social Impact and Sustainability Global Efforts
Alcon's Social Impact and Sustainability strategy, as highlighted in our annual Social Impact and Sustainability Report focuses on three pillars—Brilliant Lives, Brilliant Innovation and Brilliant Planet—which include social impact and environmental goals that hold the company accountable and measure progress.

Today, over one billion people live with some form of uncorrected visual impairment, the vast majority of whom reside in low- to middle-income countries with limited access to quality eye care.1 The personal, social, and economic impact of these treatable problems is significant. Alcon sees social impact and sustainability through this lens, ensuring that nearly everything the business does contributes to a future where the opportunity to protect, restore or enhance vision is available to everyone.

Alcon's Social Impact and Sustainability strategy, as highlighted in our annual Social Impact and Sustainability Report focuses on three pillars—Brilliant Lives, Brilliant Innovation and Brilliant Planet—which include social impact and environmental goals that hold the company accountable and measure progress.

Family stands behind a boy sitting on a table, wearing an eye patch and holding a teddy bear

Brilliant Lives

This first pillar describes the impact on people, either through expanding eye care access and awareness around the globe or by serving the communities in which we live and work. For example, the Alcon Phaco Development program teaches advanced ophthalmic surgical techniques to ophthalmologists in developing countries, now including sub-Saharan Africa. Since launching in 2008, this multi-national program has trained more than 6,300 surgeons who have gone on to perform more than ten million eyesight-enhancing or -restoring procedures.

The Phaco and Vitreoretinal Development programs complement collaborations the Alcon Foundation and Alcon Cares have established with other philanthropic organizations, such as Orbis and SightSavers, as well as the extensive training activities at Alcon Experience Centers to build eye care capacity worldwide.

Another way we serve one of our communities is through the Alcon Children’s Vision Center, which opened in 2023. With the support of Alcon associates, including 116 new certified volunteers, more than 30,000 elementary school children were screened in 2023 to identify correctable vision problems and support their academic success.

Two workers wearing safety vests and helmets, connecting solar panels

Brilliant Innovation

Alcon’s culture of continual improvement fosters increased efficiency in developing more sustainable products that enhance patient outcomes and safety. Through innovation, strong economic value propositions and collaboration with healthcare decision-makers, Alcon strives to provide all patients and consumers with the quality eye care they deserve.

In 2023, Alcon invested $828 million in core research and development, supporting over 90 active projects; enhanced the efficiency of our internal development capabilities; and, through the Alcon Seed Fund, introduced a communication platform for entrepreneurs with early-stage ideas poised to tackle the world’s most pressing eye care challenges. We also continued incorporating environmental stewardship into our product development process through Alcon’s Environmental Sustainability Scorecard, which measures a product’s emissions intensity and other key performance indicators at each development phase.

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Brilliant Planet

Alcon cares for the planet by minimizing our environmental footprint through efficiency and optimization to reduce emissions, water, waste and chemicals of concern.

Across the enterprise, from manufacturing and facility operations to product design and packaging, multiple projects have been implemented to reduce the environmental impact of activities. Last year, Alcon made progress toward its 2030 carbon neutrality goal, reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by approximately 9% over 2022. We also made good strides toward our 2030 non-hazardous waste landfill diversion goal, achieving a 95.9% landfill diversion rate from our manufacturing sites.

Alcon aspires to create long-term value by developing products that help improve sight and quality of life because we envision a world where treatable, preventable eye health conditions receive the attention they need, regardless of an individual’s geography, gender, age, or socioeconomic status.

“Our annual Social Impact and Sustainability Report illustrates the commitment Alcon has to help people see brilliantly,” said Charles Herget, Global Head of Social Impact and Sustainability at Alcon. “We are proud of the progress Alcon has made and remain dedicated to improving lives and strengthening communities by providing critical eye care services,” he concluded.

You can find more details on Alcon’s efforts in the full report and on the Social Impact and Sustainability resources page.

References:

  1. https://www.iapb.org/learn/vision-atlas/