Value creation

Using raw materials responsibly

Conservation of resources

When producing engine modules or engines in our plants, or when maintaining them in our maintenance shops, we aim to conserve resources as far as possible. Using processes that are efficient in terms of energy and raw materials, we aim to minimize consumption of scarce resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thus playing a role in environmental protection and climate action.


graphic

Our production sites, such as our maintenance plant here in Ludwigsfelde near Berlin, rely on resource-conserving procedures that are efficient with energy and materials and careful in the handling of water and waste.

With the help of our environmental management system, we aim to advance our resource-conserving production processes, and gradually improve energy efficiency in the manufacture of our products and in the maintenance of engines and modules. Our goal is highly efficient production and maintenance with minimal use of resources. We use raw materials, water and energy sparingly and will rely more on renewable energy sources in the future. We have set out the responsible use of resources as a guideline for all employees in our Code of Conduct and our MTU Principles. The use of resources depends on batch sizes in production and maintenance. The reporting year was dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in lower production volumes and capacity utilization at the plants.

 

Our contribution to SDGs 9, 12 and 13

By making our processes resource-conserving, we support SDG 9 on “Industry, innovation and infrastructure” and SDG 12 on “Responsible consumption and production.” A secondary objective of SDG 9 calls for sustainable industry with more efficient use of resources and increased use of environmentally friendly technologies and industrial processes. Our sustainable waste management system contributes in particular to SDG 12, which calls for a significant reduction in global waste generation by 2030. All the measures we take to protect resources, reduce our energy requirements, and above all use renewable energies, ultimately also benefit SDG 13 on “Climate action.”

Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Responsible consumption and production
Climate action

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

 

Energy management

MTU relies on a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy sources and chooses energy resources based on security of supply, cost effectiveness and environmental considerations. Regarding non-renewable primary energy, we use natural gas, the aviation fuel kerosene and a very small amount of diesel and heating oil (together accounting for less than 1.5%). In Munich, we generate electricity and heat using a cogeneration plant (BHKW). Compared to conventional power plants, cogeneration plants are much more efficient and emit less pollution. In addition, we use biomethane to operate the BHKW. The Hannover site makes use of solar energy with the aid of a solar thermal power plant and a cogeneration plant comprising three micro gas turbines for generating electricity and heat. We also achieve greater energy efficiency by having the sites use waste heat from compressed air generation as thermal energy (combination principle).

The highlight of the 2020 measures was investment in greater use of renewables. To this end, we have started building a photovoltaic system in Munich, which will go online in 2021. MTU plans to use the system to generate a portion of its own electricity—up to about 240,000 kilowatt hours a year—and thus save around 60 metric tons of CO2 a year. Similar systems are being planned or examined for other locations.

Energy sources used in 2020
Scope 1 and 2 (consumption in GWh; share in %)
GRI 302-1

graphic

Production sites only

 

Measures for energy-efficient production/maintenance

 

Energy consumption in 2020

Our energy requirement for Scope 1 (direct energy consumption) was 176.9 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2020 compared to 164.9 GWh in 2019 (+7.3%). Scope 1 primarily concerns the energy sources natural gas and kerosene. Natural gas is used primarily in production, for heating, and for test stand operation. The higher energy consumption for Scope 1 is due to a higher volume of natural gas, as heat consumption has increased due to new manufacturing halls and different ventilation (partial or complete fresh air operation because of coronavirus prevention measures). Kerosene is used as a fuel for testing engines on the test stand, so consumption depends on how extensive the tests are and on engine size. MTU has no influence on the type and duration of test runs. All newly maintained as well as manufactured engines must complete a test run prior to delivery for safety reasons and to demonstrate their performance. Consumption here was lower in 2020 due to a reduced test spectrum. Our digitalization strategy is also making strides toward increasing the use of simulations in development and manufacturing in order to reduce the amount of development testing for new engines. To this end, a number of projects in the area of development and technology are already underway. This is an important contributor to resource conservation. Regarding renewable energy, we used 17.7 GWh of biomethane for our cogeneration plant (2019: 20.8), corresponding to 10% of direct energy requirement.

70
four-person households
graphic

Their electricity consumption is roughly equivalent to the amount we can generate ourselves each year with our new photovoltaic system at the Munich site. From 2021 onward, we will feed the green electricity into the MTU grid.

In 2020, we procured a total of 116.0 GWh of external energy (Scope 2)—as a function of capacity utilization and due to increased use of mobile working, this is some 10.5% less than in the previous year (2020: 130.0 GWh). Purchased energy is mainly electricity, with a share of 94.8%. The electricity purchased is drawn from renewable sources in varying proportions. MTU Maintenance Canada gets all its electricity from hydroelectric power stations and therefore 100% from renewable sources (corresponding to a 2.5% share in Scope 2). As part of our ecoRoadmap, in the future we aim to successively increase the purchase of green electricity generated exclusively from renewable sources. More information about the ecoRoadmap on the road toward climate-neutral site operations in the Emissions chapter

Energy supply, production, Scope 1 and 2 (in GWh) GRI 302-1

 

2020

2019

2018

Total

292.9

294.9

288.0

Direct energy consumption, natural gas, kerosene, other = Scope 1

176.9

164.9

162.4

Indirect energy consumption, electricity, district heating = Scope 2

116.0

130.0

125.6

Covered by Scope 1: non-fossil fuels = biomethane

17.7

20.8

18.1

Production sites only; Scope 1 energy consumption for 2019 adjusted for double counting in previous publications

The total energy requirement for Scope 1 and 2 was 292.9 GWh in 2020, which is at the previous year’s level (-0.7%). With a systematic energy management system, we manage primarily the consumption of our main energy sources electricity and natural gas and implement improvements.

Our progress in energy management in 2020

 

Let's talk about! In conversation with the head of the ecoFacility project at MTU Aero Engines Polska

→ You can find this film at https://youtu.be/oYfO_pQTd_8

  

Water

Water is a valuable resource that we use sparingly. We have effective water management systems in place at all production sites. Our water consumption also fluctuates depending on 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 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). In 2020, we invested some EUR 0.6 million in improved wastewater management.

Our fully consolidated production sites are in Germany, Poland and Canada, so they are not located in 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. We record water consumption locally as an absolute value. Water withdrawal amounted to around 8.3 million cubic meters for all production sites (2019: 9.7 million m3). The lower water usage figure is due primarily to less demand for groundwater at the Munich site (where we use Quaternary groundwater from our own wells). As in the previous year, the water used was 97.9% groundwater and only 2.1% 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 675,200 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 GRI 303-3-303-5

 

 

2020

2019

2018

 

Total

8,327,300

9,691,000

8,682,000

Intake

Potable water

175,000

204,000

186,000

 

Groundwater

8,152,300

9,487,000

8,496,000

 

Total

9,044,400

9,652,000

9,176,000

Discharge

Sewer system

110,200

133,000

140,000

 

Surface water

1,458,600

1,634,000

1,519,000

 

Groundwater

7,475,600

7,885,000

7,517,000

Production sites only; no water withdrawal or discharge in water stress areas; data presented in line with official wastewater and well reports and may deviate from previous publications. At the Munich site, a small proportion of the well water and some of the rainwater collected from the roofs is discharged as surface water via the Schwabenbächle 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 100% 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 2020. This applies to our site in Canada in particular, which is located directly on Sea Island in the Fraser River estuary in Richmond, British Columbia. The surrounding nature conservation areas are crucial for salmon migration and the Pacific route of migratory birds.

  

Material and waste

The long service life of our products and the continuous improvement of our maintenance processes ensure our demand for raw materials is reduced. Aircraft engines as a rule spend 30 years in service before they are decommissioned. 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. 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. We are one of the world’s leading companies in the field of blisk production and repair.

400,000
fewer single-use cups
graphic

We have abolished single-use cups at sites in Germany and Canada and replaced them with returnable or deposit cups. This means we avoid using numerous single-use cups each year. Due to the increased amount of waste generated by take-out lunches, we are switching to a reusable method here as well.

We achieve greater material efficiency in the production of new parts by using additive processes such as 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.

Harmless materials: REACh regulation

Wherever possible, we avoid using materials that are hazardous to the environment or to 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. Two technology projects are currently underway with which we are looking for chromic acid/chromium(VI) substitutes. We oblige our suppliers to comply with the EU’s legal requirements (registration, authorization, etc.) via the General Terms and Conditions of Purchase if they use REACh substances in their auxiliary or operating materials.

Use of materials

The consumption of production materials (alloys, spray powder and steel) amounted to 3,350 metric tons in the past financial year, while the quantity of consumables and supplies was 3,510 metric tons. In total, we needed 7,380 metric tons of materials, a significant drop from the previous year (2019: 16,030 metric tons) and mainly due to lower demand for consumables and supplies as a result of lower capacity utilization. Of all the materials we used, 7.1% were made from renewable materials.

Material consumption (in tons) GRI 301-1

 

2020

2019

2018

Total

7,380

16,030

15,110

Production material

3,350

4,340

3,760

Consumables and supplies

3,510

10,080

10,030

Other materials

520

1,610

1,320

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. Rather than procuring 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

Circular economy: Our waste management

77.3%
recycling rate
graphic

MTU was able to recycle a large proportion of its waste in 2020, too. We have achieved high rates of recycling for several years.

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. This is how we achieve high recycling rates over the years. We have abolished single-use drinks cups at sites in Germany and Canada and replaced them with returnable or deposit cups. This means we are already able to avoid around 400,000 cups per year (in normal times).

Waste footprint (in t) GRI 306-2

 

2020

2019

2018

Total waste

7,040

8,370

8,010

Recycled

5,440

7,320

7,060

Disposed of

1,600

1,050

950

Share of hazardous waste

2,790

3,440

3,290

Recycled

1,370

2,590

2,440

Disposed of

1,420

850

850

Production sites only; not including 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 generation in 2020 amounted to 7,040 metric tons, 15.9% less than the previous year. Measured against that total, the MTU Group achieved an overall recycling rate of 77.3%. The amount of waste produced and recycling routes depended primarily on production capacity utilization. The share of hazardous waste in the reporting period was 39.6%. In 2020 as in 2019, no soil contamination was found at MTU sites that resulted from the leakage of hazardous materials or pollutants.

Outlook

We aim for energy management to support the goal of making Munich a largely climate-neutral site in the future by expanding photovoltaic (PV) systems and using potential storage technologies and heat from deep geothermal energy. The first PV system will go into operation in 2021. After that, we will prepare a feasibility study on geothermal energy with regard to the technical, economic and legal aspects of implementation. Geothermal energy is considered a particularly environmentally friendly energy source that can replace fossil fuels and does not emit CO2. A PV system is already being planned for the Rzeszów site in Poland, and the maintenance facility in Ludwigsfelde near Berlin is also examining similar possibilities.


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