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SECTOR FOCUS: SUSTAINABILITY


Embracing a sustainable future for lubricants


Apu Gosalia, Vice President, Sustainability (CSO) and Global Competitive Intelligence, Fuchs


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of sustainability is the ability for an activity to be maintained at a certain rate or level, whilst avoiding the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.


It was nearly to the day, 20 years ago, that John Elkington, co-founder and honorary chairman of the think tank and advisory firm SustainAbility, made a presentation on “Environment, Sustainability and the Base Oil Industry”, at the ICIS World Base Oils Conference in February 1999. Now 20 years later, sustainability is still on the agenda in our industry, with a presentation as well as a panel discussion scheduled at this year’s 23rd ICIS World Base Oils & Lubricants Conference.


Sustainability strikes at the very core of the lubricants industry. Without a sustainable business model our customers will leave us, the raw materials used in our


14 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.149 FEBRUARY 2019


lubricants would diminish and the resources expended in the manufacture of our products, like energy, would also expire. Put quite simply any business that does not embrace sustainability, is in itself unsustainable.


Most resources are limited and therefore we must use them appropriately, conserving and replenishing them where possible for the benefit of future generations by minimising their use in connection with our business activities.


In Europe, annual sustainability reporting has become mandatory since last year for companies of a certain size. With such reporting it is important that the industry leads both the metrics and mechanics of such measures. Developing specific measures that are meaningful, measurable and are themselves sustainable is of the utmost importance to lubricants producers, their suppliers and distributors.


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