GKN Automotive releases its first sustainability report

July 24, 2023

GKN Automotive manufacturing facility in Bruneck (Courtesy GKN Automotive)
GKN Automotive manufacturing facility in Bruneck (Courtesy GKN Automotive)

GKN Automotive has released its inaugural sustainability report, entitled ‘Innovating for Change,’ following the launch of its sustainability strategy in 2021. The strategy introduced a new framework for coordinating the company’s existing sustainability activities under four strategic pillars: Our People, Climate Action, Responsible Sourcing, and Our Impact.

As part of its strategy, GKN Automotive established key targets for each pillar aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include ensuring that 33% of the executive team is female by 2030, 75% of electricity consumed comes from certified renewables by 2030, and that by 2025, 50% of annual expenditure contributes to the decarbonisation of the automotive sector.

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GKN Automotive’s report details the company’s progress towards all targets achieved to date. These include:

  • Spending 86% of the Research & Development budget on decarbonisation efforts
  • Diverting 99% of all waste from landfill
  • Achieving up to a 30 GWh reduction in energy consumption through various initiatives, such as implementing energy monitoring systems, heat recovery systems, and photovoltaic cells
  • A 0.1% accident frequency rate
  • Zero conflict minerals knowingly sourced
  • Donating over £770,000 to charitable causes globally
  • Introducing a new supplier assessment tool to ensure greater transparency throughout the supply chain

The report also announces GKN Automotive’s net zero target 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:

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

Dr Clare Wyatt, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer at GKN Automotive, commented, “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,” she continued. “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, added, “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.”

The full report is available here.


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