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The Environmental Impact of Our Products Moving Toward a More Sustainable Future

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The Environmental Impact of Our Products Moving Toward a More Sustainable Future

Our Eco-Friendly Design Approach: From Setting Goals to Taking Action

Once we set the objective to reduce our carbon intensity by 50% before 2030, we planned out how we were going to achieve it and set milestones along the way. Our eco-friendly design approach is based on a largely standardized framework in terms of steps and tools.

The first step is to determine the problem. Several key tools work together to establish and analyze the impact of our operations: carbon footprint at the company level and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) at product level.

In simple terms, Life Cycle Analysis involves calculating a product's environmental footprint and analyzing its impacts throughout its life cycle: from the choice of raw materials, through its use, to its disposal when it's no longer in use. 

Whereas the carbon footprint focuses on a single type of impact (CO2 emissions) applied to a very broad scope (all the company's activities), the LCA analyzes a very precise scope that focus on five key indicators: climate change induced by greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, water eutrophication, fine particle emissions (air quality), use of fossil resources, use of mineral and metal resources, i.e. the exploitation and degradation of non-renewable natural resources.

While relying on recommended data supplied by ADEME, we chose to produce our own carbon footprint and LCA tools, capitalizing on the specific skills and expertise of our internal teams. These tools have been subjected to an external critical review by experts.

As a result, we benefit from tailor-made tools, so our teams can gain a clear and concise view of the impact of our products, compare design scenarios with each other, and ultimately implement solutions with the lowest impact whenever possible.


Commitment & Collaboration

While the approach is based on standardized tools and steps, in practice, it requires a lot of commitment and collaboration among teams in order to change an entire ecosystem.

The second stage is to find more sustainable solutions, both internally and with various partners, and then implementing them. Sometimes this requires us to question tried-and-tested methods. 

To achieve this, we have strengthened our teams, arming them with a new set of skills. The technical and R&D teams have been joined by experts in sustainable materials and project managers in eco-design and environmental quantification. 

As Marlène Dechenaud, Petzl's Responsible Purchasing Coordinator, points out, this approach is based on collaboration. External collaboration, working with manufacturers who offer lower-impact materials and testing those materials with our direct suppliers; and internal collaboration, mobilizing our expertise.

"Today, more than 80 SKUs are being assessed, which is a key step to integrate new materials and lower the carbon impact of our products."


Training is another critical step. Petzl has two key objectives when it comes to achieving ecological transition and getting teams on board to look for low-impact solutions. We will support change and help every employee understand the stakes. Various training modules are being offered to teams who work with products in any capacity.


In the footsteps of the NEOX®, all new Petzl products are required to undergo LCA and eco-design studies. This has already led to major developments and important foundational work for Petzl.

In 2023, one of our flagship products for the professional market, the VERTEX 3 helmet, was analyzed to determine the impact of each component at every stage of its life cycle. We were able to identify the phases and materials responsible for the most significant environmental impact.

Analyzing the "climate change" indicator revealed that 57% of the product's environmental impact stemmed from the first stage of its life cycle: the extraction of raw materials.

Furthermore, if we consider the product's components, the analysis showed that ABS, a thermoplastic polymer renowned for its impact resistance, rigidity and lightness, is responsible for 49% of the impact, followed by PET (textile) at 19%.

Since ABS accounts for around 50% of the helmet's total mass, our teams are developing solutions to reduce the impact of the shell and the materials derived from non-renewable sources. Various design scenarios have been compared using the tool, bringing us closer to developing a more sustainable version of the VERTEX.

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The Environmental Impact of Our Products Moving Toward a More Sustainable Future
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