MSA, a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products, and the largest producer of industrial hard hats in North America, has developed the world’s first “green” protective helmet manufactured from sugarcane.
Unlike conventional hard hats that are manufactured from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sourced from nonrenewable petrochemicals, the MSA V-Gard® GREEN Protective Helmet is manufactured using “green” HDPE sourced entirely from sugar-cane ethanol. Developed by MSA in Brazil, the V-Gard GREEN was introduced last month to North American customers.
“By developing a hard hat sourced from plant-based materials, we are essentially reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with the life-cycle of this product,” said Eric Beck, MSA’s global director of Strategic Marketing. Beck explained that through the natural process of photosynthesis, sugarcane cultivation captures carbon dioxide (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 CO2 are captured from the atmosphere and environment.
Just like market-leading, traditional V-Gard helmets, V-Gard GREEN protective helmets meet MSA’s rigorous performance requirements as well as those defined by ANSI Z89.1 and CSA Z94.1 — the head protection standard that pro-vides performance and test requirements for industrial helmets.
“The sustainable aspects of using ‘green’ HDPE in a hard hat are certainly attractive and are what initially captured our interest,” Beck said. “But at the end of the day, the hard hat has to provide the same high level of head protection that our V-Gard brand is known for around the world. That’s what makes this product option so attractive.”
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 helmet will be marked with a recycling label to further remind and educate users to recycle their helmets at the end of its use.
The MSA V-Gard GREEN protective helmet 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 firms are shifting their business toward green building, with 51 percent of respondents planning more than 60 percent of their work to be green by 2015.
“With the rise in green building and construction projects in general, it is an opportune time to introduce an alternative, sustainable safety helmet that also helps to reduce carbon emissions and demand for fossil fuels in product manufacturing,” said Beck. “With millions of hard hats manufactured and sold annually in the United States, the launch of the V-Gard GREEN protective helmet provides those in the construction industry as well as those working in the utility, energy and industrial fields a more sustainable choice. V-Gard GREEN will also be made available at retailers, pro-viding consumers, smaller contractors and builders, and any ‘Weekend Warrior’ with a do-it-yourself project, the opportunity to choose a product that protects both people and planet.”
The V-Gard GREEN Helmet from MSA … Standards compliant. Earth Compatible.
To learn more, visit www.MSAsafety.com, keyword: GREEN.