UKLA President’s Report

This is my final column as UKLA President after two years in the role, and it has been a privilege to lead the organisation, especially at such a momentous time with the emphasis during much of my term on the preparations in the UK lubricants industry for trading after Brexit and more latterly in navigating through the surreal world of the Coronavirus.

Whilst both these major developments will cast their influence for years to come, I think the most important issue of our time remains how we tackle the growing concerns about the future survivability of our planet, and in particular how we respond to the issue of environmental sustainability.

I was struck by a comment made by Trevor Russell, CEO of Infineum, during his insightful interview with Valentina Serra-Holm at ICIS London in February this year, that of around 70 million cars and trucks sold globally in 2019, only about 1 million were electric. Those nearly 70 million non-electric vehicles will still be on our roads in several decades’ time. And whilst the proportion of electric vehicles sold each year is likely to increase significantly, the global car and truck parc is still going to be dominated by internal

combustion engines for decades to come.

The implication is clear : whilst it is vital that we play our part in developing the capabilities of electric vehicles, the contribution we can play as the lubricants industry in further improving

the fuel efficiency and emissions performance of the internal combustion engine cars (and trucks) already on our roads and those that will be manufactured in the coming decades will make an even bigger impact in the next half century on the global environment.

This theme is one that my fellow directors on the Board of the UKLA will continue working, despite the current Coronavirus challenges, for the benefit of our industry.

I would like to take this opportunity in my final UKLA President’s column to thank my fellow directors of the UKLA, the Director General and the Secretariat for all their help and support for me in my role as President over the last two years, which I have much appreciated.

David Hopkinson, UKLA President

UEIL President’s Report

I am proud to share that on 30 June, the UEIL Sustainability Committee held its kickoff meeting.

This is a very important milestone for our association, and I dare say for the European lubricant industry at large. As the European Commission has made sustainability the core of its political agenda, it is essential that we take the lead in defining, developing and measuring sustainability in the European lubricant industry and that we communicate to external stakeholders that we care about our impact.

During 2019, the UEIL Sustainability Task Force, composed of experts representing the whole value chain and led by Apu Gosalia, has carried out tremendous work to define the UEIL sustainability roadmap and strategy.

Now, the Sustainability Committee is encouraged to build on this work and define what “caring about our impact” really means for our industry.


The Committee will follow a step-by-step approach. A very important task will be to create a framework for our members, with particular attention to SMEs which represent the core of our Association and of the European lubricant industry.

As UEIL President, I am very happy to be part of this sustainability journey. I am proud to work in this industry and a firm believer of the value we generate for society, and I think that it is important that we become better at communicating this to external stakeholders.

I would like to thank the Committee Chair, Dr. Christine Fuchs from Fuchs Lubricants, all the member companies, and the national associations, as well as ATC and ATIEL for taking part in this important work and I wish the Sustainability Committee all the best in their endeavour.

Valentina Serra-Holm, UEIL President

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