Sustainability at GKN

Sustainability at GKN

Some time ago all graduates took part in a sustainability workshop hosted by the man in the picture, Zakir Hussain. The session turned out to be very inspiring and informative regarding GKN’s sustainability vision. We thought, who else than the host himself would be an ideal person to inspire a couple more. So, with us today we have Zakir Hussain talking about his own journey and why sustainability is important to him and GKN.

Hi my name is Zakir Hussain, a Global Grad from the UK. I joined the organisation in September of 2019 fresh out of university, where I studied Chemical Engineering. During my studies, I never thought I would be joining the Aerospace industry. However, when I attended my interview, I felt “this is a place I would see myself growing and developing in. GKN’s community seem to really care about who I am rather than focusing on what I am”. So I took the leap of faith and haven’t looked back since!

At GKN I have been given some really great opportunities to work on projects which are really significant. Such as, designing and implementing an Automated Defect Reporting System which combined tools from Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0, market analysis on Horizon 3 technologies for new business opportunities and to lead GKN’s Energy, Waste & Emissions Workstream for creating the Sustainability Strategy to help the organisation improve on its global sustainability. I have had real control over how much responsibility I would like as well as being able to pave my own career path. Moreover, I have had great opportunities to work and collaborate with seniors within the organisation very early on, such as The Director of Sustainability and The Vice President of Global Manufacturing Engineering Capability. For those who are considering GKN, I would say, ultimately you are really in control of the how, who and when elements of making your career fly!

There is a great support network here at GKN, ranging from mentors, coaches and buddies. These parties will look to support and guide you the best way they can, ranging from giving advice based on their personal experience good or bad to coaching you through how to find the answer and putting you in contact with parties whom may have the answer. In addition to this, in line with GKN’s principle of “Open and Honest” there is a real sense of comfort when seeking out support and help from all parties.

One key area of interest I have is Sustainability. Sustainability has been close to my heart for a large part of my life, during my university education I had a great deal of exposure to the issues, we as a race, are facing today which will be further exacerbated for future generations. I strongly believe as an engineer, there is an obligation to ensure society’s needs are being met in a sustainable way to not hinder future generations from meeting their needs.

Sustainability has become a real focus for GKN Aerospace in the past year. Being a Tier 1 company, GKN has a real opportunity to leverage its position in improving its own sustainability as well as its suppliers and customers. At the end of 2020, a new energy contract was signed, for all the Dutch sites to use 100% renewable electricity. This resulted in GKN reducing its global GHG emissions by 8-11% on a yearly bases. Moreover, to increase awareness and knowledge of the topic, I am leading a team where we are creating an e-learning module for our Manufacturing Engineers which will be rolled out and used globally. So far, from our beta-version, we have seen an increase in awareness and knowledge by 36%!

Thank you for taking the time to read what is ultimately, a testimony that GKN Aerospace is a great place to work.

Thank you,

Zakir Hussain

A Proud Graduate


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