EDITORIAL Time to review

I’m not alone in being desperate to see the back of 2020 – I can’t think of a more eagerly anticipated new year’s eve. But for all the unprecedented havoc this year has inflicted, for all the uncertainty it has wrought, there are many lessons we’ve learnt, many positive new approaches we’ve adopted, many new tools and resources we’ve implemented to get ourselves and our companies through it all. Many of these changes, ongoing and flexible remote working, virtual communication platforms, for example, will no doubt be maintained, driving innovation and pushing boundaries further as organisations continue their transition to a new normal.

But it seems the year is ending as dramatically as it began; recent announcements of a vaccine breakthrough have given the world a renewed sense of optimism and hope – finally there are signs that it will be possible to manage the Covid 19 virus. Alongside the vital health benefits worldwide, this means the reintroduction of many of the international industry events and conferences our sector thrives on… and how we are all looking forward to those long overdue get-togethers!

Closer to home, there have been dramatic announcements from the UK government about its Green Industrial revolution. The environmental benefits of the government’s decision to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030, in order to achieve its ambitious net zero emissions target by 2050, are clear and brilliantly intentioned; the decision however raises questions on the future of the automotive industry, the impact this will have for the lubricants sector, and on the UK’s preparedness to drive this massive shift.

It will require mammoth effort and investment in infrastructure, including public transportation upgrades, and the provision and accessibility of charging points in order to accommodate the changes


necessary for communities to wholeheartedly adopt electric cars. But it’s vital that we do so given the importance of sustainable, environmentally friendly practices that we must all adopt.

Interestingly, Norway aims to become the first country to end the sale of fossil fuel run petrol/diesel cars by 2025. In 2019, their electric car sales were 60%. In the UK this figure was just 5.5%. With electric cars on the UK roads currently at less than 1%, we have a long way to go.

The UEIL Sustainability Task Force and the EU Green Deal are testament to how important the issue of sustainability is to our industry and its future. We will be covering this topic in the months ahead with further exciting announcements of our own coming early in the new year… watch this space!

Until then, in this issue, we focus on biodegradable lubricants, biobased brightstocks and testing; Estolides - an innovative alternative to ester-based oils is the Lube Tech white paper; UKLA’s David Wright provides an overview of the UK’s departure from the EU, and I interview David Hopkinson, recently appointed UK Head of Delegation to to the UEIL, about his role.

What an action-packed (challenging!) year 2020 has been… hurry up 2021, you can’t come around quickly enough!

Best wishes everyone,

Andrianne Philippou,

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