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UKLA President’s Report


This will be my final President’s Report for Lube magazine before I hand over the Presidency of the UKLA to Martyn Mann in September. During the short period of my presidency the world has changed somewhat and so has it seems the business world which is coming to terms with a post Brexit Britain. In our industry we have all experienced the impact of the exchange rate on imported raw material costs, this mirrors what we have seen in the retail sector where food prices and clothing prices have been rising significantly over recent months. The wider consequences of the decision to leave the EU will no doubt become clear as we negotiate the terms of exit.


As I look at the pace of change in the market for lubricants, it is a somewhat scary but exciting future ahead where those companies who embrace change and invest in innovation and bring increased value to customers with packaged services will continue to be successful. Those who do not will find it increasingly difficult to find a niche in the market to survive. We may not be able to influence the Brexit negotiations but we can make our own decisions to build for the future. As I have said in a number of my previous columns, investing in training the future stars of the industry with the apprenticeship levy is becoming a commercially attractive proposition. In France companies for a number of years have had a legal obligation to spend 1% of their annual salary bill on employee training.


As an industry association, the UKLA continues to evaluate how it can add value to its services to members enabling them to become more successful. However, there is an increasingly


UEIL President’s Report


The recent months have been characterised by a heated debate over President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change (COP 21). The United States, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions (second only to China whose share is just above 20 percent), had committed to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.


While the political impact of such decision has certainly been large, as the agreement was signed by 195 countries, with Syria and Nicaragua being the only non-participants in the accord, the real impact on emission control measures in the United States may be somewhat limited. In fact, the United States is already about halfway to its 2025 emissions reduction target, and of the remaining reductions, only a part could be affected by the federal government through national regulations. In fact, the bulk of the decisions which drive United States climate action in the aggregate are made by cities, states, businesses, and civil society, actors that have declared will remain committed to the Paris accord.


Cities and states can reduce emissions in many ways, including negotiating contracts with local utilities to supply greater amounts of renewable energy, building rapid transit programmes and other infrastructure projects. Washington, for example, has adopted a cap on carbon pollution, has invested in growing clean energy jobs and subsidises electrical vehicle purchases and charging stations. The mayor of Salt Lake City said her administration had recently brokered an agreement with the local utility to power the city with 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. Moreover, several US states are making headway on the path for renewable energy, as their political leaders see tapping the wind, and to a lesser degree the sun, as an economic strategy. The clean energy push allows their utilities to lock in low power prices for decades, creates manufacturing jobs, brings


important group of suppliers who are not yet members of the Association, this group being the lubricant distributors in the UK. As a number of the large lubricant producers have ceased to have a manufacturing presence in the UK or have chosen to go (through) to market through distribution, the distributors’ share of the supply chain has increased year on year and we are now seeing substantial businesses developing. The


UKLA continues to encourage distributors into the Association so that they can share their knowledge and experience with other members whilst taking advantage of the benefits that membership brings. I have written to a number of distributors personally but so far have had only limited success. If you are the owner or a manager of a lubricants distribution business I would encourage you to get in touch with the UKLA who would be delighted to discuss with you the increasing benefit membership of the Association brings.


This is my final President’s Report and I have to say, I will not miss writing it, it is quite a challenge to find relevant and appropriate content, but thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read my comments. Although I will give up my president’s position I will continue to serve on the Board of the UKLA.


Steve Mayo UKLA President


money to the farmers who host wind turbines and attracts investments from large companies that want renewable power. Turbines now supply almost 6 percent of the United States electricity, and studies suggest they could eventually supply a third or more.


Similarly, corporations can contribute to lowering emissions by, for instance, buying renewable energy for their offices and factories, or making sure their supply chains are climate-friendly. Several US business leaders strongly believe the Paris deal will help generate new jobs and economic growth, by expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, markets in which US companies are well positioned to lead, and publicly committed to continue on their strategy to invest in measure aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.


On a global scale, the feared domino effect following US withdrawal from the Paris agreement did not happen and all major worlds political leaders restated their commitment to full implementation of the agreement, confirming their full support to fighting climate change.


Our industry needs to understand the technical challenges that the continued strive towards emission control and renewable energy will pose and further focus on performance and sustainability. Sustainability and innovation will be the focus of the UEIL yearly congress on October 25-27 2017 in Bologna, which will offer an excellent occasion to discuss how our industry can be innovative and forward looking.


Valentina Serra-Holm UEIL President


LUBE MAGAZINE NO.140 AUGUST 2017


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