GKN Automotive, drive systems provider, has published its first standalone sustainability report, Innovating for Change.

GKN Automotive launched its sustainability strategy in 2021, introducing a new framework for the company to coordinate existing sustainability activities under four strategic pillars: Our People, Climate Action, Responsible Sourcing and Our Impact.

These focus areas clarify the company’s approach to decarbonising its products and operations, working with suppliers to uphold ESG standards, and delivering a positive impact on the communities it operates in.

As part of this strategy, GKN Automotive set key targets under each pillar aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for example: ensuring 33% female membership of the executive team by 2030, ensuring 75% of electricity consumed is from certified renewables by 2030, and ensuring that, by 2025, 50% of annual expenditure contributes towards the decarbonisation of the automotive sector.

GKN Automotive’s Innovating for Change report publishes the company’s progress against all targets to date. Some of the 2022 highlights include:

  • 86% of the Research & Development budget was spent on decarbonisation
  • 99% of all waste was diverted from landfill
  • Up to 30GWh reduction in energy consumption via initiatives, achieved, in part, by the implementation of energy monitoring systems, heat recovery systems and photovoltaic cells
  • 0.1% accident frequency rate
  • Zero conflict minerals knowingly sourced
  • Over £770,000 donated to charitable causes globally
  • New supplier assessment tool was introduced to ensure even greater transparency throughout our supply chain

The report also announces GKN Automotive’s net zero targets of 2045, which has been submitted to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for validation this year. To achieve this, the company will focus on four key areas:

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  1. Increasing energy efficiency across its global plants
  2. Increasing its sourcing of on-site and off-site renewable electricity
  3. Increasing its engagement with suppliers on sustainability
  4. Continuing to invest in technologies that contribute to the decarbonisation of the industry

Dr Clare Wyatt, chief communications and sustainability officer at GKN Automotive, said: “The automotive industry plays an essential role in decarbonising the road transport sector and enabling the global transition to net zero through replacing vehicles that run on fossil fuels with battery-powered electric vehicles.

“Our role in GKN Automotive is to manage that transition and in doing so, to drive a cleaner, more sustainable world.

“I’m immensely proud of the determination and focus shown by our employees to ensure our work in sustainability is carried out comprehensively, and I feel honoured to share the results of our efforts in this report.

“We are in a great position to be at the forefront of change in our industry, and we will continue to integrate sustainability throughout the business, turning our strategy into action.”

Markus Bannert, CEO of GKN Automotive, comments: “I’m proud of the work underway, and I’m absolutely clear we have more to learn and much more to do.

“We will continue to work in partnership with all of our stakeholders, our employees, our communities, our customers, our suppliers and our new shareholder Dowlais Group plc to ensure GKN Automotive continues to be a world-leading, sustainable business that responsibly and ethically drives a cleaner, more sustainable world.”

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