FOREWORD BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER MTU AERO ENGINES AG
We are transforming aviation—with innovative concepts, great enthusiasm and a vision: emissions-free flight. Against this backdrop, I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead MTU into a successful future as CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer. Together, the entire Executive Board team and our employees have a significant part to play in making aviation sustainable.
A strong commitment needs a strong foundation. Our conviction is reflected in our commitment to the UN Global Compact and its globally recognized principles for greater sustainability. In addition, the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree target is the benchmark against which we align our own ambitious targets for climate action.
Emissions-free flight is our vision
We want to ensure worldwide mobility, and so we are aiming for emissions-free flight. For this major aviation goal, we are investing in the development of new and alternative propulsion technologies. Our Clean Air Engine (Claire) agenda charts a definite course to emissions-free flight—and through Claire, we delineate possible solutions and highlight the potential for sustainable propulsion systems. MTU has set its sights on an evolutionary enhancement of the gas turbine engine based on the geared turbofan as well as on revolutionary propulsion concepts such as the water-enhanced turbofan (WET) and the Flying Fuel Cell.
Flight testing of the GTF Advantage, an improved version of the geared turbofan from our partner Pratt & Whitney, began in the reporting year. This engine heralds further savings in fuel consumption and emissions. And at the same time it will be fully SAF compatible, which means that it can be flown 100 percent on sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). The GTF Advantage is expected to be available starting in 2024.
SAFs are essential for decarbonizing aviation, but they also have advantages on the ground: since last financial year, MTU Maintenance has been the world’s first maintenance provider to enable its customers to carry out test runs with SAF. This significantly reduces carbon emissions. Some of our customers are already taking advantage of the offer of a low-emission acceptance run at the end of a shop visit.
We also made further progress with novel propulsion concepts in 2022. A milestone for our WET concept was the launch of SWITCH. This is a project that forms part of the European Commission’s Clean Aviation research program. MTU will coordinate a consortium of renowned industry partners within SWITCH. Together with them, we want to combine our innovative WET concept with hybrid-electric propulsion system components on the basis of a geared turbofan. We want to show that this is a viable option for reducing both fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 25 percent. In addition, because it uses wet combustion, the concept promises a significant reduction in other climate-relevant emissions such as nitrogen oxides as well as in contrail formation.
We are working on MTU Green Global
We are also continuing our transformation at our sites. We are making our production and maintenance more sustainable through the company’s climate action strategy, the ecoRoadmap. Launched in 2021 for our main site in Munich, we have extended the ecoRoadmap to other production sites in our network. MTU Green Europe was the name we gave the 2022 stage of the expansion—with all production sites in Europe actively working toward the common goal of achieving a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. This year, our new repair site in Serbia and MTU Maintenance Canada will follow suit in the MTU Green Global expansion stage. The core elements remain sustainable energy-saving measures, the increased use of green energy and the expansion of our own emissions-free power generation. To this end, we plan to switch from gas to geothermal energy at the Munich site, and we carried out exploratory drilling in 2022. If successful, we could be meeting around 80 percent of our heating needs without fossil fuels as early as the end of 2024.
Teamwork sets MTU apart
The only way we can achieve such ambitious goals is by working together. That’s why we place a strong emphasis on leadership and excellent teams. After all, it is MTU’s managers and employees whose skills, commitment and performance make the company so successful today and ensure its future viability. This calls for a willingness to embrace change, for agility, for a digital mindset and for diversity. I’m particularly pleased that our Executive Board has been more diverse since February 2023, and I welcome Dr. Silke Maurer, an experienced colleague, on board as Chief Operations Officer.
New technologies and approaches demand new skills. That’s why we invest in forward-looking training for our workforce on the basis of our global leadership values: “We create trust,” “We empower,” “We transform.” Trusting collaboration and a willingness to embrace change are our drivers for an innovative corporate culture. In a working environment that inspires and connects, teams become more successful and make better use of potential.
Human rights are our responsibility
An inclusive working environment promotes not only MTU’s innovative strength and competitiveness but also equal opportunities for all colleagues. The central concern of our corporate social responsibility is respect for human rights. We fulfill our duty of care as an employer of more than 11,000 employees worldwide and as a customer in global supply chains. After all, sustainable management is not limited to how we develop, manufacture and maintain our products. We have visibly strengthened the principles of responsible corporate governance with a Policy Statement on the Protection of Human Rights and by enhancing our risk process for our human rights due diligence.
We have given this sustainability report the title “Transforming aviation.” For us, that’s more than just a motto—it’s part of our DNA. It derives from our vision “We shape the future of aviation” and underlines the standards we set ourselves: we are actively shaping change, changing ourselves and changing aviation to lay the groundwork for the mobility of the future—which is mobility with a future. Read this report to find out more about what we’re doing!
I hope you enjoy it!
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer, MTU Aero Engines AG