It’s nothing new for industry to bristle at the burden of regulation. For decades governments have created rules for businesses to follow, and businesses have complained or warned about the impacts on their operations—and in some cases about ultimate impacts on individuals and society.
But alarms an order of magnitude greater are currently going up in Europe about a network of regulations that is even larger. Adopted in 2020, the EU Green Deal is the European Union’s incredibly wide-ranging attempt to bring about a big, quick shift in sustainability. Focused largely on combating climate change and reducing human and environmental exposure to hazardous chemicals, the policy calls for generational changes in the bloc’s chemicals industry and numerous other sectors.
Due to the scope of rules and the speed at which they are being implemented, insiders warn they could cause drastic disruptions to industry, especially the chemicals industry, including lubricant additives. Not only could additional mandates pile atop companies, but new rules could hamstring the ability to use a number of materials on which lubricant companies depend, including lithium, chlorinated paraffins, alkyl phenols, polytetrafluoroethylene and compounds containing phosphorus.
“This framework is the mother of all regulatory frameworks,” Fuchs Petrolub Chief Technology Officer and executive board member Lutz Lindemann said Aug. 31 at Mineral Oil Technology Forum organized in Stuttgart by Uniti, the German association of medium-sized mineral oil companies. “The intent is good, the approach is good, but the regulation is very difficult and has potential to be terribly disruptive.”