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Work out environmental impacts of innovations with the MET Matrix


The ‘MET Matrix’ is one of 30 techniques included in our PLAYBOOK, the free toolkit for creative thinkers.


The MET (Materials, Energy, Toxicity) matrix technique is a qualitative assessment of the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life-cycle.

Explore environmental impact


The MET matrix is a way of looking at all the types of environmental problems that a product could cause. Complete a separate matrix for your evaluation of each product or idea option.


You can download the worksheet below.

Met Matrix

When to use

It is particularly useful in the early stage of a project for evaluating the environmental impacts of existing solutions and identifying areas for improvement. It can also be used in the concept development stage to analyse the potential impact of alternatives on the environment or to seek a competitive




This technique considers the environmental impacts materials, energy use and toxic emissions at each stage of its life.


The product life-cycle has been divided into its main stages: extraction and production, distribution, use during its lifetime, and end-of life disposal. You can break this down further if you need a finer grained evaluation.


The distribution stage is presented only once, however you should consider all distribution stages in the product life cycle.

Fill in the MET matrix

This row records environmental problems from the input and output of material across each stage of the life-cycle. It should note materials which are non-renewable or create emissions during production (such as copper, lead and zinc).


Energy use
Quantify energy consumption during all stages of the life-cycle, including through product use, transport and recovery. Inputs of materials with extremely high energy content are listed first.


Toxic emissions
In the final row identify of toxic emissions to land, water and the air in the life-cycle stages.



The worksheet is included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques. Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.


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