Production & maintenance

Water management & circular economy

Conservation of resources

For us, conservation of resources means the responsible use of primary resources, improved material efficiency and the careful handling of waste and the natural raw material that is water.


MTU Maintenance Canada is located near the sea. As such, its employees have a special relationship to the ocean, which they demonstrated with a beach cleaning initiative.

MTU is reliant upon raw materials for manufacturing and maintenance at its facilities. In addition to the use of renewable and non-renewable energy, which is presented in the Energy & Climate Action section, there is also the use of water as a natural resource and the consumption of various materials. It is the job of our environmental management system to control our demand for and use of raw materials with the aim of obtaining high levels of efficiency in manufacturing and maintenance with low resource consumption and a circular approach for products and processes insofar as possible. We have set out the responsible use of resources as a guideline for all employees in our Code of Conduct and our MTU Principles. Our demand for raw materials depends fundamentally on batch sizes in production and maintenance.

Water management

Water is a valuable resource that we use responsibly. We have effective water management systems in place at all production sites, although water consumption is of course dependent upon production volumes. In keeping with the precautionary principle, we treat wastewater properly and in accordance with the applicable legal requirements. One of our aims in the MTU Group is to decrease water consumption overall (absolute reduction) or, when production increases, to keep the increase in water consumption at a lower rate (relative reduction).

Our fully consolidated production sites are situated in Germany, Poland and Canada, none of which are water-stressed regions as determined by the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas (water risk for those countries: low or low/medium). Water-stressed regions are regions in which water is a scarce resource. We monitor the development of water availability in the regions in which we operate, which allows us to make decisions about additional measures to take, if required.

Our water consumption

We use drinking water for production and maintenance processes, in sanitary facilities and in the cafeteria. In addition, we use well water for cooling processes. Water withdrawal in the reporting year amounted to around 8.1 million m3 for all production sites (2020: 8.3 million m3). At our Munich location, we use Quaternary groundwater from our own wells. The water used was 98% groundwater and only 2% came from the municipal drinking water supply. Using well water contributes to environmental protection and climate action, as it eliminates the need for energy-intensive cooling processes such as compressor cooling systems.

We use recirculated water as much as possible in chemical process baths for applying protective coatings to blades and also for the process water in installations for testing component damage. Thanks to this recirculation, we have to treat only a small amount of wastewater before discharging it into the municipal sewers. This enabled us to save around 640,400 m3 of water in the reporting year. We also use recycled water for the chemical cleaning of engine parts. Our sustainable water management also includes systematic inspection and renovation of the well water and sewer networks.

Water balance (in m 3 ) GRI 303-3, 303-5












Potable water















Sewer system





Surface water









No water withdrawal or discharge in water-stressed regions; data presented in line with official wastewater and well reports and may deviate from previous publications. At the Munich site, a proportion of the well water and some of the rainwater collected from the roofs is discharged as surface water via the Schwabenbächl stream. Rainwater is discharged into the municipal sewer system only in the event of heavy rainfall. As a result, the sum of the volume discharged into groundwater and surface water may not correspond to the volume withdrawn.


Water quality

We treat wastewater in suitable sewage systems according to the type and extent of pollution. The quality of the discharged wastewater complies with the official requirements issued for the respective sites. We carry out strict monitoring at the sites to ensure that legal limits are observed and comply with all local authority requirements. Neither water sources nor water surfaces were negatively impacted or polluted by our operating activities, and again no harmful substances were leaked in our plants in 2021. This applies to our site in Canada in particular, which is located near to the ocean.

Circular economy

What we mean by circular economy is a lifecycle approach for our products that takes into account all phases of an engine, including the design of products and processes according to closed-loop principles. This includes the responsible use of primary resources, improved material efficiency and the use of secondary materials without impairing the quality or safety of our products. And responsible waste management and recycling are also part of the MTU approach. In addition, we are working on extending the service life of products; and we can prevent the use of new parts by means of customized repairs in particular.

Sustainability over the lifecycle of an engine

Engine materials such as titanium, nickel and alloying elements such as platinum or rhenium are of high value, and this explains why aircraft engines have very high recycling rates. As a vendor, we have no direct influence over the scrapping of engines, which is carried out by specialist companies.

Product development and design

In product development, designs must comply with all safety requirements and aim to create highly robust engines with a long service life. As a rule, aircraft engines spend 30 years in service before they are decommissioned. Since climate impact and energy consumption are a focus of product design, conserving resources is a natural part of the products’ lifecycle. In addition, designs ensure that the product can undergo multiple repairs throughout its service life, as repairing existing parts conserves more energy and resources than fitting new ones. At the end of an engine’s lifecycle, the metallic properties of all its constituent materials (e.g. titanium, nickel) means that they are almost entirely recyclable.

Use of materials in production and maintenance

The long service life of our products and the continuous improvement of our maintenance processes ensure our demand for raw materials is reduced. In all of our production methods, we pay attention to efficiency in the use of materials and seek to avoid waste. We develop our own production and repair methods that are characterized by their high material efficiency. The use of new repair techniques and targeted maintenance programs increases the service life of engines and actively helps reduce pollutant emissions in the subsequent operation of engines.

We achieve greater material efficiency in the production of new parts through the use of additive processes such as the 3D printing of metals. This manufacturing technology enables the rapid 3D production of highly complex components and allows for more freedom in designing them. Components are laser-melted directly from a powder bed according to CAD data—with just 5–10% of the powder ending up as excess material that cannot be used. We plan to employ this particularly resource-conserving method more and more as time goes on.

Efficient and eco-friendly processes are increasingly being used for repairs at our maintenance locations. One example is the use of water jets to remove coatings from components, which avoids the need for environmentally harmful chemical processes.

Energy-efficient production is also an aspect of material efficiency and product manufacturing. For more information, see Energy management and climate action

Material consumption in 2021

The consumption of production materials (alloys and spray powder) as well as of consumables and supplies was 8,230 metric tons, which is roughly the same as in the previous year (2020:7,380) and still reflects lower capacity utilization than before the coronavirus pandemic. Of our total consumption, 19.7% came from renewable materials, which is a considerable increase from the previous year (7.1%).

Material consumption (in metric tons) GRI 301-1









Production material




Consumables and supplies




Other materials




Externally sourced material for production sites; production material comprises titanium and nickel alloys and spray powder; consumables and supplies include oils, cooling lubricants, chemicals, lubricants, gases and kerosene and diesel used as fuel; the other material comprises paper, cardboard packaging and wooden pallets and boxes. For engine parts, MTU uses returnable packaging that can be reused several times.

Our products require the use of materials that are classified as conflict minerals due to their possible origin in Central Africa and can be problematic with regard to human rights violations. As we do not procure these mineral raw materials directly, we have implemented appropriate processes in our supplier management in order to comply with our human rights due diligence. → More information about human rights in the supply chain

Harmless materials: REACh regulation

Wherever possible, we avoid using materials that are hazardous to the environment or to human health in our manufacturing processes and products. According to the European REACh (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation, certain substances of very high concern (SVHCs) containing chromium(VI) are subject to authorization. We implement all provisions of the EU regulation for protecting employees and the environment. We use the REACh-listed material chromium trioxide for wear and corrosion protection. The European Chemicals Agency ECHA authorized MTU to continue its use in several of our processes until 2029 on the basis of the extremely safe workplace standards in our surface coating activities. At the same time, we are pushing ahead with the long-term elimination of SVHCs that require authorization. Through technology projects, we are searching for substitutes for chromic acid / chromium(VI). We oblige our suppliers to comply with the EU’s legal requirements (registration, authorization, etc.) via our General Terms and Conditions of Purchase if they use REACh substances in their auxiliary or operating materials.

Engine repairs

With its “repair beats replacement” philosophy, MTU Maintenance achieves a truly impressive depth in aircraft engine repair. Using special techniques the company has developed in-house, we repair engine components that in other maintenance shops would have to be replaced with new parts. For example, we manage to give around 70% of all engine blades a second, third or even fourth lease on life. We are gradually expanding this product recycling approach to include new processes with an eye to achieving even longer service lives and thus greater material efficiency. For instance, in the case of life-limited parts, we have succeeded in repairing integrally manufactured engine blades and disks, known as “blisks.” This is important because the number of blisks being installed in engines is increasing. MTU is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of blisk production and repair.

In addition, we offer repairs and various other measures to improve the operating behavior of components and engines. Special coatings in particular are able to increase the performance capability and durability of components, while targeted individual repairs of components can also help lower engine emissions and improve operating behavior.

Repairs to engine components not only avoid the energy- and resource-intensive manufacture of spare parts, but also offer further opportunities in the context of the circular economy for the usage and recycling phase—for example, through the targeted use of customized repair scopes, components can be repaired not just once but multiple times.

We collect all metal parts and components for targeted recycling, especially the highly valuable materials nickel, titanium and rhenium.

Our waste management

MTU practices sustainable waste management with the safe disposal of waste sorted according to waste type and recycling process. First and foremost, we try to avoid waste, reuse leftover materials and use waste either for its materials or as energy; if recycling is not possible, waste is disposed of properly. In this way, we seek to minimize material consumption and waste disposal volumes, but also to achieve high recycling rates.

Recycling rate

MTU was able once again to recycle a large proportion of its waste in 2021. We have achieved high rates of recycling for years.

We have abolished single-use drinks cups at sites in Germany and Canada and replaced them with returnable or deposit cups. This means that we save around 400,000 cups per year (in normal times).

Waste footprint (in metric tons) GRI 306-2





Total waste








Disposed of




Share of hazardous waste








Disposed of




Excluding construction waste; the higher volume of hazardous waste for disposal in 2020 results from a revised declaration by the customer at our site in Rzeszów, Poland

Total waste produced in 2021 was 6,800 metric tons, which is slightly down on last year’s level. Measured against that total, the MTU Group achieved an overall recycling rate of 78.1%. The amount of waste produced and of recyclables utilized depend primarily on production capacity utilization. The proportion of hazardous waste in the reporting period was 40.6%, slightly higher than in the previous year (39.6%). In 2021, once again, no soil contamination was found at MTU sites that resulted from the leakage of hazardous materials or pollutants.

By conserving resources, we can help achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Responsible consumption and production

→ Learn more about our contribution to the SDGs of the UN’s 2030 Agenda

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