Helping customers address climate change

02 BUY IMPROVE SELL

Continue to invest in and support our businesses as they develop products and services aligned with a net zero future

Trees In Forest

Our objectives

  • Invest in research and development (“R&D”) to support and harness product innovation and quality within our businesses, to help their customers deliver on their commercial and environmental goals and to help find effective solutions to assist them in combatting climate change.
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UN SDG

SDG 09 (1)
SDG 13

Helping customers address climate change

Product responsibility is central to the Melrose model of acquiring and improving underperforming manufacturing businesses. This is grounded in investing in safe and sustainable production practices, and demonstrated by sustainable product performance and effective product life cycle management. Furthermore, we recognise the risks and opportunities that the transition to a net zero economy presents for our businesses and their customers. Despite our business often operating in some of the hardest industries to decarbonise, we work closely with them to ensure that they are well positioned to meet emerging regulatory requirements and wider environmental expectations.

Climate-related issues have a direct impact on product strategy, development and financial planning across all our businesses. Our businesses work closely with their customers and world-class research institutions to develop market-leading and cost-effective innovations, delivering solutions that address environmental challenges.

In 2021, our businesses invested over ÂŁ153 million in developing products that help their customers improve their energy efficiency and to reduce their GHG emissions, water consumption and waste generation compared with conventional technologies.

ÂŁ153m

Invested in developing products that help their customers improve their energy efficiency

GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace continues to invest a significant proportion of its research and development spend each year in enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions within aircraft. The business leverages publicly available funding to support climate-related research and development, such as Clean Sky in Europe. GKN Aerospace is a signatory to the Joint Declaration of European Aviation Stakeholders related to Clean Aviation in Horizon Europe, committing to a European Partnership towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. GKN Aerospace has also committed to achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and to designing products that will enable its customers to develop aircraft that emit net zero GHG emissions throughout their life cycle by 2050.

GKN Aerospace

Notable achievements in new and ongoing projects to help support this goal:

GKN Aerospace Div Overview
  • Leading the ground-breaking development in liquid hydrogen technology.
    The £54 million collaborative H2GEAR programme focuses on technology to accelerate aerospace decarbonisation, with the goal of zero CO2 emissions hydrogen-powered sub-regional aircraft entering the skies as early as 2026. The programme is expected to create more than 3,100 jobs across the UK and will reinforce the UK’s position at the forefront of aerospace technology research and development.
  • Developing, in collaboration with HiiROC, a “turquoise hydrogen” technology developer, a hydrogen gas generation solution for the GKN Aerospace Global Technology Centre (“GTC”) in Bristol, UK.
    The project, which is in its early stages, aims to combine HiiROC’s H2 generation technology with current hydrogen storage technology from GKN Hydrogen to replace the use of natural gas at the GTC. If successful, this may present a significant opportunity across the wider business in terms of reducing energy and emissions footprint.
  • The manufacture and delivery of the first fully integrated wings, rear fuselage, tail plane, movable devices and wiring system for Eviation’s Alice experimental electric aircraft in 2021.
    The Eviation Alice aircraft is the world’s first bespoke designed all electric aircraft in the new sub-regional electric air vehicle market, which boasts zero tail pipe emission in operation and incredibly low operational cost. In August 2021, GKN Aerospace was engaged in refining the configuration of the aircraft certification standard. Successes on the Eviation Alice programme have reinforced GKN Aerospace’s position as an industry leader in developing and delivering fully equipped major aerostructure modules and in the field of producing rapid tailored solutions for the sustainable aviation market.
  • Being a key partner in Airbus’ “Wing of Tomorrow” composite spar project.
    The UK Aerospace Technology Institute-funded programme, led by Airbus UK, aims to provide technologies for a sustainable future single aisle wing. A composite wing is the most significant opportunity for the single aisle airframe to improve aerodynamic performance, and to reduce CO2 emissions by many millions of tonnes every year. The work is being undertaken in GKN Aerospace’s new GTC in Bristol, UK, with the business investing more than £25 million in the programme over three years. During 2021, GKN Aerospace used its expertise in resin transfer moulding technology to deliver its first composite wing spar and fixed trailing edge. Sustainability has been firmly in mind in designing the manufacturing system to complete the assembly tasks. These developments will provide significant manufacturing improvements through reduced energy consumption, reduced production waste and increased opportunity for equipment modification or repurposing, leading to reduced environmental impact both in GKN Aerospace and through the equipment supply chain. 
  • Leading in the testing of sustainable aviation fuels.
    Pioneering development in the use of biofuels in aviation could lead to huge reductions in carbon emissions. Test flights using the Gripen RM12 engine powered 100% by biofuel have so far shown excellent performance both in flight and on the ground. GKN Aerospace’s leading engine technology enables biofuels to be used interchangeably with normal jet fuel.

GKN Automotive

GKN Automotive is at the forefront of increasing the efficiency of key automotive components and parts that are used across the world. As well as investing to minimise the CO 2 impact in vehicles, all products are designed to meet the highest international and OEM standards for hazardous materials and recyclability.

GKN Automotive

Notable achievements in new and ongoing projects to help support this goal:

SM 17 05143SM 17 2 1 RT (Custom)
  • At the GKN Automotive UK Innovation Centre in Abingdon, UK, the business is helping to progress the electric vehicle revolution and ongoing decarbonisation of the global automotive sector. In December 2021, GKN Automotive launched its Advanced Research Centre to help develop next-generation e-Drive technologies to power future electric vehicles and increase engineering capability in the UK to help meet the Group’s net zero commitment. GKN Automotive is partnering with research teams in the engineering departments at the University of Nottingham and Newcastle University, operating collaboratively with engineers at the UK Innovation Centre.
  • As a result of the business’s continued investment in and focus on electric motors, GKN Automotive is now the market leader in highly efficient all-wheel drive (“AWD”) and e-Drive systems, enabling its customers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions. The Disconnect AWD technology helps reduce AWD-related CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared with conventional AWDs. In addition, the new generation AWD components are 30% more efficient and 20% lighter than previous generations, and are made from 98% recyclable materials. Product durability has been increased by 25%, now achieving more than 320,000 kilometres. The 525,000 systems sold just in 2021 will reduce vehicle emissions by more than 45,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. 2021 also saw the release of the new Generation 3-in-1 e-Drive system. This highly integrated technology with significantly more power at less weight and smaller packaging is designed for future plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles. In addition, the use of expensive and supply constrained materials such as copper and rare earth elements in production has been reduced.
  • In 2021, GKN Automotive also invested ÂŁ71 million through its ePowertrain division (2020: ÂŁ43 million) in research and development relating to e-Drive and other clean technology initiatives.

GKN Powder Metallurgy

GKN Powder Metallurgy’s new proprietary electric pumps are substituting engine driven pumps on vehicle transmissions. A conventional automobile pump system causes the pump to be constantly driven, resulting in unnecessary energy wastage. GKN Powder Metallurgy’s new electric pump system operates on demand, actuated from the electronic controlling unit of the car, thereby reducing energy waste. This ground-breaking technology can achieve a fuel benefit of up to 10% compared to a conventional engine driven pump operating within a conventional driving mode. For full hybrid and electric vehicles, the electric pump is set to become the leading solution for lubrication and cooling.

GKN Powder Metallurgy has also developed a number of technological solutions that focus on supporting vehicle electrification, including motor components and magnet technology.

GKN Powder Metallurgy

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This year a key focus was the business’s continued development of its transition plan for the switch to electric vehicles. As well as innovative solutions like the launch of an electric pump for hybrid transmission vehicles, the business is well progressed in harnessing its unique powder technologies in connection with break-through technologies for magnets for e-motors.

As part of the improvement plan, the core business has been streamlined, resulting in the divestment in May 2021 of a non-core low margin structural plant in the US, and the planned Canada plant closure, which is set to be concluded during 2022. In addition, the closure of a Sinter Metals site in Germany was communicated in November 2021. These actions are set to bring strong benefits to the business’s carbon footprint for the long-term.

Having taken it through the initial development phase, GKN Hydrogen, the hydrogen storage business, was also separated into a standalone business under direct Melrose management at the end of the year.

Other parts of the business made good progress as well. For Powders (Hoeganaes), the hydride powder for hydrogen storage was further developed and it will be a long-term supplier to GKN Hydrogen. In Additive, the expansion of polymers into the Michigan, US site was initiated, as a way of increasing the presence in the Midwest and, in particular, to serve the global automotive manufacturers.

Ergotron

TRACE™ and Constant Force™

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards multiple workspaces as the new workplace reality. With the blurring of the separation between office, home and third space, technology has become paramount to the overall employee experience. With this variability in working environments, seamless workflow to accommodate individual needs and enhanced collaboration has become ever more critical. This has come at a time when society is placing greater focus on individual employee health and a responsibility on employers to support all aspects of employee wellbeing. Ergotron’s innovative TRACE™ Monitor Mount is a hybrid of Ergotron’s best technologies and innovations, offering users the freedom to meet the needs of their unique workstyles and positively

impact their performance, wellbeing and satisfaction. Ergotron’s Constant Force™ technology pairs with a linear guide system that allows for smooth monitor adjustment and 240 degrees pan for a flexible, ergonomic set-up. In personal or shared workspaces, users can work seated or standing, with their monitors at a customisable height to support the ideal posture for comfortable, healthy working. Ergotron’s proprietary TRACE™ arm technology provides an easier and more intuitive positioning of the display. Set apart from traditional monitor arms, the TRACE™ Monitor Mount is designed with distinct vertical and lateral movements to move in a straight line, tracing the user movement along its natural path to effortlessly transition between individual and collaborative work, always returning to the personalised home position.

Other Industrial

Ergotron