Can the Lubricants Industry Truly Be Sustainable?


Can the Lubricants Industry Truly Be Sustainable?

There is an argument – frequently heard within the lubricants industry – that lubes and the companies that supply them contribute to the environmental sustainability of all industry, indeed of much human activity. By reducing and preventing wear, they reduce energy consumption and prolong the life moving equipment, thereby conserving natural resources.

But what about the sustainability of lubricant businesses themselves? Lube marketers – along with companies that supply them base stocks, chemical additives and other goods and services – can be held to the same expectations as other businesses in terms of impacts of their own operations on the environment, employees and their communities. Increasingly it appears that they are being held to such expectations, or eventually will be, by customers and governments.

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Special Report


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A special report in the August issue of Lubes’n’Greases explores this trend and the impacts it holds for the industry. In the first article, “Can the Lubricants Industry Truly Be Sustainable?” Simon Johns provides an overview of the topic. Carbon footprints receive the lion’s share of attention discussions on the topic. They are certainly an issue for any industry so heavily reliant on petroleum products, but sustainability also encompasses social and governance impacts of companies.

A second article, “Pump Up the Policy,” examines policies – governmental and otherwise – aimed at encouraging or requiring businesses to operate sustainably. Some are already in place and more are in the works. Meanwhile standards organizations are developing protocols for measuring business performance in this area.

The final article provides a transcript of an interview with Apu Gosalia, a long-time veteran of the industry and one of the foremost experts about steps that lubricant companies can take to become more sustainable.

Follow this link to view the report.

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