At HEAD, we love and support sport. Our job is to enhance sporting performance and give encouragement to those who love sport too. However, as a company, it’s not just about what we do, it’s also about how we do it. It’s never been more important to think about how we perform in terms of the environment. To do that, we need to rethink everything we do. We are now at the beginning of a crucial journey, where the ultimate destination is the maximum achievable sustainability in all our processes. This journey will be a gradual series of real improvements. So this is the time to rethink every step so we can elevate our own performance game.
The stakes are high, but we’re in this to win.
Rethinking our sustainability pillars
We’re working to not only reduce packaging in all areas but also to redesign it to eliminate plastic, replacing it with sustainable materials with fewer printing inks across all our groups.
We continuously grow our business through our innovative use of technology. Our approach to sustainability is exactly the same. We are constantly researching new materials and production processes, working to create more sustainable products.
Rethinking Our Strategy on Climate Action
In 2007, HEAD partnered with the global environmental charity Cool Earth to kick off a worldwide environmental program – the first of its kind for a sporting goods company.
Rethinking What We Do At Our Locations
All energy at our headquarters in Kennelbach is supplied by an on-site hydro plant driven by the neighboring Bregenzer Ach river. The Schindler GmbH & Co KG supply all commercial facilities on site with their own green electricity.
In 2021 we released our first bag created using recycled rPET bottles. This project is being used as the basis for developing more products using recycled materials.
SAME BALL, BETTER PACKAGING
Sample testing undertaken together with the Austrian recycling company Saubermacher has shown the potential of our new ball packaging to save up to 10 times more CO2 than existing ball cans.
The availability of new compounds and materials, as well as advances in recycling and machinery, means the new ball can moves up the recycling pyramid from being incinerated to fully recycled. All that is needed now is for players and clubs to ensure the cans find their way to the recycling so the full environmental benefits are realised.
The new cans include pre-consumer recycled PET, a shorter sleeve, less ink and lighter colours. All to ensure the cans are easier to recycle.
HEAD creates a sustainable flax fibre tennis racquet.
HEAD’s research and development team, in Austria, have taken a conventional racquet design and radically transformed it. The innovative, new frame is engineered from organic-based elements. The structure partly replaces carbon fibres with flax based plant fibres, grommets are 100% plant-based, the racquet handle is recycled plastic and the strings are natural gut.
Two years into research on the Flax Racquet pilot project, HEAD believes the prototype is delivering outstanding performance and will eventually become a world class, sustainable tennis racquet.
This is just one part of the larger HEAD RETHINK project, to develop sporting products designed to significantly reduce impact on the environment.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE SKI MATERIALS WITH FIBEREUSE.
As part of the FiberEUse project, working towards a new circular economy solutions for the reuse of end-of-life fiber reinforced composites, HEAD has developed a demo-case ski.
The ski construction uses GFRP (Glass fiber reinforced polymer composites) mechanical recyclate, in the core material as filler to strengthen the polyurethane construction currently used. With this additional material providing reinforcement, less PU foam is required. The production of this demo-case ski has identified that the use of recycled GRFP can lead to an excellent performance without any tradeoffs. This research & development project is part of the HEAD RETHINK program working towards a more sustainable business.
HEAD Reset Ball
Coming soon, our remarkable new HEAD Reset Ball, delivers excellent playing performance for longer, reducing the number of balls needed by our coaches.
As a semi pressurized tennis ball, the HEAD RESET can be delivered in a 4 ball, 100% recycled carton box or a 72 ball, 100% recycled plastic bag, reducing the circulation of conventional ball tubes.
Less & better packaging
HEAD has switched to designing product boxes, hangtags and header cards using as few non-sustainable materials, as possible.
Within our packaging we continually reduce the use of non-sustainable materials such as plastics and have switched to using recycled paper.
We’re also using fewer print colors for better recyclability, we have removed the plastic coating from our header cards and attached hangtags using only 100% natural hemp cord.
Building on the success of the original HEAD Gravity r-PET bag, made by using 36 recycled plastic bottles in every bag, we’ve now developed the new recycled KORE r-PET backpack.
Using what we’ve learnt from these projects, we’re already working on other new exciting developments.
MORE EFFICIENT SKI PRODUCTION PROCESS
In our ski production facility at our Austrian headquarters, we use a new, efficient natural gas system to heat our ski presses.
They’re then cooled using technology powered by a low impact water-to-water heating pump process.
Any compressed air needed during manufacturing is produced by two highly efficient compressors designed to recover and reuse heat.
The majority of lighting has been switched to LED, with all new installations using LEDs.
IMPROVING OUR SKI PRODUCTION MATERIALS
Our Winter Sports Division is now creating products with improved sustainability, without compromising on performance. As part of the HEAD RETHINK programme we are constantly working on ski production material improvements. Currently, HEAD ski’s steel edges contain 20% recycled steel parts and 70% of our top-sheets are ECO-PA 11 top-sheets. (Co-Ex means 50% regular plastic 50% (PA12) and 50% biodegradable ricinus oil (PA11), a move towards more sustainable ski production.
WORKING WITH OUR COOL EARTH, PARTNERS.
In 2007, we partnered with the global environmental charity Cool Earth to kick off a worldwide environmental program – the first of its kind for a sporting goods company.
Cool Earth aims to tackle the climate crisis in a cost-effective, mass membership approach enabling individuals and groups to directly fund rain forest protection on a massive scale and safeguard this invaluable resource.