UKLA president: Lubricants industry is part of the solution
The lubricants industry must be seen as part of the solution and not part of the problem as the world evolves to a greener, more sustainable future, according to Andrew Goddard, executive chairman of Morris Lubricants, who is the new president of the UK Lubricants Association (UKLA).
Goddard is the great great grandson of James Kent Morris, founder of Morris Lubricants. The company has been manufacturing lubricants in Shrewsbury, UK, since 1869 and is one of Europe’s leading lubricant blenders and marketers.
The UK has committed to carbon neutrality by announcing that the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrids will end by 2030 and 2035 respectively.
Goddard has warned that the lubricants industry faces significant challenges to its products, customers and markets in the near future but backed the sector’s record of innovation to evolve with the changing times to take new opportunities.
Whether vehicles are powered by electric or hydrogen in the future, he says there will still be a demand for lubricants.
“Regardless of the market sector, the future could well be ultra-efficient engines running on low carbon fuels that use bio-synthetic finished lubricants made from sustainable sources,” he said.
“We have always been an industry driven by change, from new automotive standards to the advent of synthetic base stocks that underpin the performance of our finished products, and latterly the move to new, sustainable sources of raw materials and environmentally-compliant products.
“It seems that at every turn we are confronted by a new set of regulations and a new set of market standards. I say that is a positive step because a constantly changing environment is essential for companies, keeping us on our toes and ensuring that we remain competitive as our own future survival relies on constant innovation.
“Regulation ensures that we continue to meet market expectations and our customers’ exacting standards. Even the ending of the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles will drive innovation built on better performing, multi-purpose oils and lubricants that are environmentally acceptable.”
UKLA members are already developing specially tailored lubricants for electric and hydrogen vehicles and new formulations are being manufactured using more sustainable raw materials, such as corn, maize, soya, or even hydro-based.
“The next 100 years will be typified by companies that can capitalise on the fourth industrial revolution,” said Goddard. “The nature and characteristics of our society may well change faster over the next generation than they have over previous decades.