Insight 06: Moving You… Sustainably
Article written by Phil Hall, CEO.
I had an interesting chat a couple of months ago with a brilliant mind. He asked me exactly what we are doing to ensure that we have a positive impact on the environments within which we operate.
At Mirus, our core values centralise around our purpose, or our ‘why’: to challenge the norm through sustainably delivering transformative products and services that move people both physically and emotionally. Everything we do supports this belief. We have always taken pride in being a high performance business that delivers lightweight, durable products in a lean, reliable and repeatable manner. We are fundamentally a low carbon operation, and this is considered throughout our value chain. As we approach AIX Hamburg 2019, where we will be revealing an all-new platform, we are also shifting up a gear in terms of our approach to environmental and social responsibility. Sustainable innovation is core to our belief system and influences every aspect of our operations.
At this point, I’d like to refer to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, an event that some of our team recently attended. There were some truly glorious pieces of design on display (The all-electric Pininfarina Battista hypercar being a real highlight). This year’s extraordinary show exhibited an industry in a hugely evolutionary stage with unprecedented change visible in the automotive landscape. In the words of leading motoring journalist and all-round car aficionado Harry Metcalfe, we have ‘never seen the motor industry in such an evolutionary stage’. We are seeing ‘fundamental changes within the automotive landscape’ driven by strict emissions limits and ultimately eye-watering fines for OEMs who do not meet the specified targets.
At Mirus, we always keep an eye on what goes on in other industries and as aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the sheer level of change within the automotive world is difficult to ignore. Whilst aviation is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transport sources, compared to 74% from road transport (source www.atag.org), we all need to be doing our part to help reduce emissions.
The aerospace industry has its own targets set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). This scheme has been set up to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. Change is coming and we need to be proactive to keep ahead. These are dynamic and exciting times where we need to be bold.
For AirAsia, our Hawk already reduces CO2 emissions by 5g per second per aircraft compared with the seats it replaces, and we have various R&D / concept programmes underway to explore further weight saving. A focus on weight reduction to reduce fuel burn, and ultimately emissions, is not new for Mirus. Revealed at AIX Hamburg 2017, our Vision 2030 concept seat takes our lightweight belief system the extreme with its minimalist design and ruthless weight saving measures (at 3.8KG this is the lightest aircraft seat ever). Fast forward to 2019 and as we shift into our next phase, we are taking concrete steps to ensure that we lead the way in our industry:
- Our all-new Kestrel seat – This all new product (which compliments the Hawk in our product range) alludes to where Mirus is going. Adopting lessons learned from the Vision 2030 programme, this ultra-light weight seat forefronts sustainable innovation. This seat would nearly triple the reduction in carbon emissions stated above. The Kestrel promises to re-imagine the economy experience and influence cabin configurations and architectures beyond just the seat. We are excited to reveal more in due course!
- AFRA Membership– Our membership of the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) takes us into new territory as the first interior company to proactively examine the effect our products and processes have on the environment.
- Sustainable Aviation Initiative (SAI)– This wholly Mirus backed initiative will connect to schools, universities, business, inventors and dreamers on a global scale. It has the purpose of nurturing new technology, ideas and schemes that improve the sustainability of aviation interiors and reduce CO2 emissions. A percentage of all sales revenue will be put into to this fund to breathe life into new ideas. We will team up with airline partners to ensure compatibility to end use operations. Contact SAI@mirus-as.com to find out more.
- Composite manufacture – We are champions of the use of composite materials in aerospace and are already spearheading a number of pioneering programmes, working with industry bodies to improve understanding and acceptance of the materials in aerospace. As announced a couple of months ago, we have also invested in our own state-of-the-art composite manufacturing facility, as we pioneer the industrialisation of lightweight structural composites, with potential applications far beyond just our seatbacks. Alongside this, we are constantly investigating the recycling and repurposing of composite materials.
We are excited to be moving forward into our next chapter, with great new products, processes, practices and an initiative designed to help change the world. Watch this space for more updates!
That chat I mentioned earlier by the way was with my son, he’s 13 years old. It reminded me that one of the most important things that we can do as a business is to ensure that we do our bit to make the world a better place for our future generations.
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