Essilor has announced the creation of Vision For Life, a new charitable program to improve people's sight, for which the group said it has committed €30 million. According to the company, it is the largest global strategic giving program dedicated to eliminating uncorrected refractive error.

Vision For Life will fund various types of projects ranging from community vision care actions, in cooperation with non-profit organizations and local Essilor foundations, to the creation of vision centers in areas without access to primary eye care.

The program will also back advocacy and public awareness initiatives to increase awareness of the importance of good vision. An estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide do not benefit from needed vision correction. The economic repercussions of visual impairment are calculated to lose $272 billion in global productivity per year, according to The Vision Impact Institute, a non-profit organization founded by Essilor to raise awareness on the importance of healthy vision.

The Vision For Life program will be administered by the Essilor Social Impact Fund, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in the U.S., and the Essilor Social Impact “fonds de dotation” (endowment fund) in France. The allocation of funding will be decided by a governing board for each of these two entities, in accordance with their respective investment criteria.