Metsims | Turkey

A sustainability consulting firm, Metsims is bringing accessible life-cycle thinking to Turkey. The company is committed to growing the sustainability market in the developing country, in particular by training others with their extensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) knowledge. At the forefront of Turkish sustainability, Metsims is pioneering a new era of life-cycle thinking.

Redefining Sustainability Throughout Turkey

Beginning in 2005 as a consultancy focusing on materials and process development in heavy industries, in 2008 Metsims began incorporating sustainability concerns into their business as well.

“Sustainability was becoming quite important,” Managing Director Dr. Hudai Kara told us. And after taking a course on LCA in Amsterdam with PRé, Kara realized that “life-cycle thinking was quite complementary to where we wanted to go with Metsims in the long run.”

In 2009, the company moved its focus to Turkey, expanding from the United Kingdom. “We kickstarted life cycle assessment in Turkey,” Kara explained. “We realized the heavy industries sector wasn’t ready to utilize our expertise yet,” so Kara helped to develop the market. “I created a course and I trained all of our consultants,” he explained.

Today, Kara likes to describe Metsims as, “carbon management, resource efficiency, and product sustainability consultants, because sustainability can be too broad of a term. We like to narrow it down, and we feel that life cycle assessment fits neatly into this categorization.”

The company is focusing on “sustainability at the product level,” Kara explained. “That is where we align ourselves because that is where the benefits are, and where the problems lie. If we are serious about tackling climate change and becoming more resource-efficient, we need to be at the product level, thinking about the entire supply chain.”

Metsims has a wide range of clients in the construction sector, including firms that deal with textiles, ceramics, concrete, steel, plasterboards, and other products. In particular, the company has worked with Europe’s third biggest ceramics producer, Kaleseramik Çanakkale Kalebodur Ceramic Industries, on carbon management, as well as EPDs.

Metsims offers its clients more than just LCAs. “We get our hands dirty looking at the process,” Kara said. “We are engineers and scientists. We can not only identify the hot spots within a manufacturing process, but we can begin to question what you can do about these hot spots, from a process engineering perspective.”

And the company is looking to grow throughout Turkey. “Turkey is a developing country, and it is doing well with an average growth rate of 5 percent over the last decade,” Dr. Kara said. “But in the meantime, as the economy stabilizes, there are issues with sustainability, though perhaps some of them are oversights.

“The challenge with Turkey at the moment,” Kara said, “is to increase the value ratio, i.e., get top dollars with minimum resource use for a product. That is where resource efficiency comes in. Turkey’s manufacturing relies on exported raw/intermediary materials and such resource use is causing a huge account deficit. Supply chain resource efficiency audits would help reduce this dependency and the country’s footprint.”

Inroads are being made. In particular, Turkish brand owners have expressed interest in implementing sustainability. “We’ve seen movement in the market, as LCA expertise begins to be valued. We are the leading sustainability consultancy in Turkey,” Kara said.

A Common Commitment to Sustainability and Life-Cycle Thinking

It was PRé’s deep commitment to sustainability that most interested Kara. “When I attended the LCA training back in 2008 in Amsterdam, what most impressed me, to be honest, was that here was this group of people really living sustainably. We ate at a local restaurant where the food is grown in the garden out back. You could really see it was in their blood. I quite liked that.”

And from there, a partnership was born. “We promote SimaPro in Turkey, and we also provide training and technical assistance,” Kara explained. “We know the product, we use the product,” which helps Metsims effectively distribute SimaPro throughout the country. “Our local training really adds value to the product and helps to develop the market,” Kara said.

Working with SimaPro has led Metsims to new clients. “LCA has really helped differentiate us in the market,” Kara said. “An LCA is not an easy or simple thing to do, the bar for entry is quite high.” Kara explained, “Being LCA experts has really given us the edge on the competition.”And now, thanks to a successful relationship with PRé and an expanding business, Kara is looking for new partnerships. An assessor for the EU research funding streams such as FP7, Eco-Innovation, and Eureka, Kara told us, “Metsims is interested in collaborating with other European companies and competing for these projects.”

Growing the Turkish Sustainability Market

“It’s the very early days here in Turkey,” Kara said of the sustainability field, and Metsims is at the forefront. “We are training the academics on LCAs, and they are returning to their universities to encourage their masters and doctoral students.” He explains, “In 2009, we kick-started the process, we sped it up. I am quite proud.

Overall, Kara is hopeful for the future. “I am quite the optimist, but it will take time for businesses to understand the benefit of sustainability, it might seem as if it’s a burden. It’s a mindset that we have to change.” And Kara knows, Metsims will be front and center as the sustainability market grows. “As a developing country, Turkey will continue to embrace the sustainability movement. And I’m sure we will be at the heart of it.”

A sustainability consultancy firm committed to training, advocacy, management, and growing the LCA field throughout Turkey, Metsims will continue to be at the forefront as exciting developments take place throughout the country.

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