MSA 'green' hard hat
MSA has developed the world’s first “green” protective hard hat manufactured from sugarcane.
Unlike conventional hard hats manufactured from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sourced from nonrenewable petrochemicals, the V-Gard GREEN hard hat from MSA is manufactured using “green” HDPE sourced entirely from sugarcane ethanol.
“By developing a hard hat sourced from sugar, we are effectively reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with the life-cycle of this product,” said Eric Beck, MSA’s Global Director of Strategic Marketing. Mr. Beck explained that through the natural process of photosynthesis, sugarcane cultivation captures CO2 from the atmosphere, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, according to a 2007 eco-efficiency study conducted by Fundacao Espaco Eco, for every ton of green HDPE produced, approximately 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide are captured from the atmosphere and environment.
The V-Gard GREEN protective hard hat meets the company’s rigorous performance standards as well as those defined by ANSI Z89.1 and CSA Z94.1.
Green high-density polyethylene is also 100 percent recyclable in the same stream as conventional HDPE, making it suitable for reuse in non-safety products and further enhancing the sustainability benefits of the new hard hat. Like traditional V-Gard hard hats, the new V-Gard GREEN hard hat will be marked with a recycling label to further remind and educate users to recycle their helmet at the end of its use cycle.
The MSA V-Gard GREEN hard hat is being launched in the midst of steady growth in the green building industry. According to an industry report released earlier this year in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, 28 percent of architects, engineers, contractors, building owners and building consultants around the world report an increased focus on sustainable design and construction. The report found that firms are shifting their business toward green building, with 51 percent of respondents expecting more than 60 percent of their work to be green by 2015.
“With the rise in green building and construction projects in general, this is an opportune time to introduce an alternative, sustainable safety hard hat that also helps to reduce carbon emissions and demand for fossil fuels in product manufacturing,” says Beck.