Climate action at our sites
We want to continuously reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and airborne pollutants resulting from development, manufacturing and maintenance work in our plants as a contribution to protecting the global climate and improving local air quality. Through numerous measures, we are making progress in these areas.
The use of energy for manufacturing and maintenance in our plants results in emissions of greenhouse gases and airborne pollutants, which contribute to climate change. Additional greenhouse gas emissions occur in the upstream and downstream value chain. The greatest proportion of emissions with an effect on the climate occurs when our products are used. This is why CO2 and pollutant emissions from our products are of greater relevance to us and form the focus of our sustainability strategy. For a detailed description of how we have used a technology agenda to set ourselves goals for eco-efficient products and how we are striving to achieve emissions-free flight, see the section on → Climate & flying.
We continuously assess greenhouse gas emissions related to the manufacture and maintenance of engines and modules at our plants according to the recognized international Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. Our aim is to reduce them permanently. Of all the greenhouse gases that the Kyoto Protocol lists as having an impact on the climate—such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—only the CO2 emissions are relevant for MTU. Our carbon footprint is made up of direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) from sources owned by the company and of indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2) that come from the consumption of bought-in electricity and district heating. Upstream and downstream CO2 emissions, for example generated by suppliers or from business trips and transports in the external logistics chain, fall under Scope 3.
Our contribution to the SDGs
By reducing greenhouse gases, we can contribute to SDG 13 on “Climate action” and live up to our responsibility as a manufacturing company in the face of global challenges such as climate change.
In 2019, MTU emitted a total of 78,800 metric tons (2018: 76,000 metric tons) of CO2, representing a slight increase in absolute CO2 emissions of 3.7%. This is due primarily to a rise in Scope 1 CO2 emissions at almost all sites resulting from higher production volumes. Our Scope 1 emissions are caused mainly by the use of natural gas (which accounts for 20.1% of the overall carbon footprint) and kerosene (also 20.1%); our natural gas requirements are dependent above all on production volume, our kerosene requirement on the type and duration of test runs. At 50.8%, use of electricity (Scope 2) makes up the largest share of CO2 emissions. Scope 2 emissions have remained at a constant level over the last three years. Our specific CO2 emissions amounted to 168 kilograms per production hour in 2019.
CO2 emissions (in t CO2 equivalents) Scope 1 and 2 GRI 305-1, 305-2
The Clean Air Industrial Site (CLAIR-IS) program will continue to run at MTU’s headquarters in Munich until the end of 2020. With the help of this program, we want to reduce the CO2 emissions at the company’s largest plant by 25% (baseline year: 1990). And we aim to do so even though production has quadrupled over the past decade. In total, we have already saved some 448,000 metric tons of CO2. A new environmental program for the Munich site, with defined reduction targets up through 2022, is being planned.
By the end of 2020, we want to reduce CO2 emissions at our Munich site by 25%. We have already saved almost half a million metric tons.
Examples of CO2 savings in 2019
- Using well water for cooling purposes: some 5,600 metric tons
- Turning machines off instead of putting them on standby: 770 metric tons
- Operating BHKW 2.0 cogeneration plant using biomethane: 6,500 metric tons
- Using micro gas turbines: 260 metric tons
MTU is a member of the Munich Business Climate Pact (Klimapakt Münchner Wirtschaft), which entered its second round in 2019 with the slogan “More cooperation—more climate action.” In the first round, we reduced our CO2 by 7,500 metric tons; now, we have set our sights on cutting a further 5,000 metric tons by 2021. As a manufacturing company, we believe we have a special duty here. This initiative was recognized by the German government as a particularly innovative energy efficiency network at the Hannover Messe 2019. In addition, our in-house Zero mission at our Munich site has launched various actions to minimize consumption and emissions.
To make our company’s environmental impact still more transparent, we take part in the annual assessment by the international non-profit organization CDP, which collects data on companies’ greenhouse gas emissions, climate risks and climate strategies on an annual basis. By participating, we aim to further improve the climate-related information about our carbon footprint and are currently examining how to communicate business-relevant climate risks and opportunities in the future according to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We present our position on TCFD recommendations here.
Electromobility at MTU
We also extend our climate action efforts to cover our transport and logistics chain. Measures include optimizing routes for in-plant transport and using vehicles with better environmental performance or electric motors to reduce fleet consumption. We reduce CO2 emissions by, for example, setting an upper emission limit for our company vehicles or by using electric cars in our vehicle fleet. In Germany, we have a total of eight all-electric and two plug-in hybrid vehicles in use, representing 6% of the whole fleet. We expect to be able to increase that to at least 10% in 2020. We have installed eight normal charging stations, some of them in employee parking lots. By 2022, we aim to expand the network to as many as 15 charging stations for MTU and employee vehicles, and to offer rapid-charging stations as well. Furthermore, we promote sustainable commuting practices among our workforce, through a special discounted “job ticket” for the local public transportation network or web portals for carpooling. Last year, as part of our Zero mission, we conducted a survey of the 5,527 employees at the Munich site to find out about the transportation they use and sustainable alternatives. We are currently reviewing the results of the survey for potential solutions to put into practice.
Emissions from the transport and logistics chain (excluding company vehicles) fall under Scope 3, for which we do not have complete data. The amount of CO2 emissions caused by business trips (travel by aircraft, train or rental car) totaled 6,900 metric tons in 2019.
CO2 emissions (in t CO2 equivalents) Scope 3 from business travel GRI 305-3
Emissions per employee
The energy sources we use generate other airborne emissions aside from CO2 emissions. The use of kerosene, natural gas, electricity and district heating from fossil fuels causes the emission of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and dust. We aim to reduce these emissions as well. For example, generation of electricity and heat in the new BHKW cogeneration plant at the Munich site cuts emissions of nitrogen oxides by 80% and of carbon monoxide by 66% compared to its predecessor. Absolute emissions for 2019 totaled 266 metric tons, which, due to production activities, was above the previous year’s level (+9%). Nitrogen oxides accounted for the lion’s share of these emissions, primarily due to the use of kerosene in test runs.
Airborne emissions (in tons) Scope 1 und 2 GRI 305-7
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Nitrogen oxide (NO X listed as NO 2)
Sulfur dioxide (SO X listed as SO 2 )
In 2019, we analyzed new concepts for climate action at several of our sites, the evaluation of which is still ongoing at the time of writing. Potential implementation of such a concept at the site or group level is therefore still to be determined. It may also be possible to use sustainable aviation fuels across the Group, which would enable us to perform sustainable test runs on our test stands using climate-neutral fuels. We will continue to investigate the feasibility of this approach with regard to economical, technical and approval-related considerations.