Environmental sustainability is about making sure current processes of interaction with the environment are pursued with the goal of keeping the environment as pristine and natural as possible. An "unsustainable situation" occurs when natural capital (the total sum of nature's resources) is used up faster than it can be replenished.
Guidelines for our environmental policy and examples of how we apply them:
1. We have a responsibility to make changes for the better.
Safety is the starting point in all our design work. A number of pioneering innovations has made MET a world leader in safety for cyclists over the years. At the same time, we recognize that the production of bicycle helmets has a negative impact on the environment and we are committed to minimising this impact. We’ll achieve sustainability by the delivery of competitively-priced goods and services that satisfy our customers while progressively reducing our ecological impacts to a level at least in line with the earth’s carrying capacity
2. We shall always remember our origins and the finest values of our Alpine heritage.
Our Headquarters are located in Talamona, a small town in the heart of the Italian Alps. As a matter of fact, our company name has always been associated with some of the finest values of this Alpine heritage – care, reliability, efficiency and sustainable development. As such, the L.I.O.N. program is a natural extension of the fundamental values of MET.
3. Through our L.I.O.N. program we define, manage and monitor our progress towards sustainability.
“Low Impact On Nature” (L.I.ON.) is the name we have given to our environmental policy. Sustainability is one of the key values in our business strategy. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of bicycle helmets, MET S.p.A. aims for superior performance in this area and, through our L.I.O.N program, we are working to create long-term value on an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable basis.
4. Each new product we develop should have a smaller environmental impact than the one it replaces.
Take our kid’s helmet model for instance. Thanks to the efforts of our innovative design and production team in optimizing the moulding process, the production of the Elfo and Genio helmets requires 20% less energy than their predecessors, the Loopy and Super Loopy models.
5. We work hard at increasing the lifespan of our products.
We are often asked “For how long is a helmet safe?”, or “how often should I replace my helmet?”. Until now it has been difficult to find any reliable figures to help answer these queries. MET have now developed a series of tests which are conducted on aged helmets to determine a “best before” date*. The results indicate that, if used properly accordingly to our owner manual, our helmets will still do their job up to 5 years after they have been made. Not only is that good news for the customer, it’s great news for the environment!
* Unless the helmet is involved in an accident. In that case it should be replaced immediately.
6. We encourage our suppliers to adopt the principles of our L.I.O.N. program.
We have obtained agreement from our suppliers to eliminate the use of lead in any inks they provide for the printing of the outer shell of our helmets.
7. Our staff and our clients are being encouraged to participate actively in the process.
While all of us at MET ride bicycles ourselves for sport, too many of us still commute to work by car or scooter. The no-engine day is not aimed at jeopardizing the car industry, it is simply a way of emphasizing, within the company, our commitment to do more for the environment. On this day everyone comes to work at MET using human power or public transport, a lunchtime picnic is organized and ideas are shared about how good it feels and what we could do next for the environment! We invite our business partners worldwide to do the same at their work place and share their experience with us.
8. The L.I.O.N. program applies to all MET operations.
Three examples (among others):
- 100% of the electricity we buy for our Headquarters comes from renewable sources and is therefore fossil-free.
- From this year (2011), all T-shirts carrying the MET logo will be made of organic cotton.
- Cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-treated crops grown in the world.
- Organic cotton is an identical alternative except that it doesn't wreak havoc on our planet. The sustainable farming methods used to harvest organic cotton help to preserve our land, air and water, since it is a biologically-based growing system and not a chemically-based system.
- Our brand new Display Box combines the benefit of an open box (the possibility to see the helmet even if displayed inside the box) to those of our L.I.O.N. program (there is no plastic sponge glued inside the box to protect the helmet, instead we use our 100% biodegradable bag for protection, and of course the box itself is made of 100% recyclable cardboard.