Benefits of Sustainability for Lubricants Business

Sustainability can power business to make, and to do, in a way that continually benefits customers and profitability. Lubricant companies have a great opportunity and increasing obligation to manufacture, distribute and supply products in a way that keeps global business moving whilst operating sustainable business practices. 

Sustainability is not new in the Lubricants industry

The lubricants industry is not unfamiliar with sustainability. In fact, sustainable lubricants have been available for many years – as early as World War I and World War II, industries switched to vegetable oils for greases, lubricants and other applications as a result of rationing. In the 1970s, alternatives to oils were also sought out during the oil embargo. 

Nowadays, with a renewed interest in sustainability and environmental protection, more organizations are seeking for high-quality sustainable lubricant suppliers to move away from traditional, usually more harmful to the environment, products.

A number of acceptable sustainable and biodegradable lubricants have been developed over the decades. For example, Mobil Corporation launched its Environmental Awareness Lubricants (EALs) in the 1990s. Around the same time, Lubrizol Corporation also developed lubricants from sunflower oil. More recently, Shell announced it will offer customers carbon-neutral lubricants across a range of products for passenger cars, heavy-duty diesel engines and industrial applications.

Although sustainable development is frequently associated with high investments, the switch may be well worth it. Here are some of the most significant benefits of providing sustainable practices in your business.

Benefits of Sustainability for Lubricants Business

1. Creating a competitive advantage 

The environmentally-friendly lubricants are expected to witness consistent demand in the coming years. As mentioned earlier, this is due to the growing awareness as well as the governments becoming increasingly stricter about ecological and environmental protection.

To keep up with this trend, organizations continue to emphasize providing high-grade lubricant and custom product solutions to boost their unique selling proposition and competitive position. According to Apu Gossalia, the move towards higher-quality lubricants products means that it could be contributing to the sustainability not only of the lubricants industry but the other industries it serves.

From a business perspective, a sustainable product portfolio can differentiate a business from its competition, command higher selling prices, increase customer loyalty and market share, and produce a higher return on investment.

2. Providing a platform for innovation

Social and environmental issues present new business opportunities for companies that develop solutions to the challenges the lubricants industry has been facing. Innovative projects focusing on developing greener lubricant products not only deliver higher performance but also treat wastewater and lower greenhouse gas emissions. They also help to maintain jobs and create new ones by reducing costs and logistical headaches for the producer.

3. Ensuring business continuity

Sustainability means protecting a business from the risks of today while ensuring that it can respond to the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. In light of the recent disruptive events like COVID-19 or fluctuation of the oil prices, it is important to have a long-term outlook to ensure longevity, and to make sure your business remains resilient. It is also evident that companies with long-term, sustainable business plans that minimise operating risks and costs in the future are extremely valued for stakeholders, and also attract more investors.

4. Improving brand value and reputation

Sharing the sustainability story is a powerful marketing tool. Brand reputation or ‘goodwill’ is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. A reputation is a form of capital that must be built up as a long-term strategy. Aligning the sustainability strategy with a product or brand can help to tap into the customers’ needs and reinforce your company’s culture.

5. Staff retention and attraction

Employees and job candidates, particularly those from the younger generations, seek work that is meaningful and demonstrates value to society. Top talent is seeking out employers that have a clear vision for their contribution to a sustainable global economy. Embedding sustainability into business allows to attract and retain talent.

This is a topic that we will exclusively focus on in our next article.

Challenges of Sustainability for Lubricants Industry

Despite many benefits and opportunities, the drive to net-zero and sustainability presents lubricants companies with multiple challenges. The initial move towards sustainability requires investments in new technologies, which might disrupt old supply chains, maintenance practices, and workplace dynamics. Some organizations will have to work harder to build internal knowledge and organizational systems to not be left behind the competition.

Understanding Emerging Trends in the Lubricants Industry

What are the next big shifts in your sector? What sustainability practices are followed in your organization? In our rapidly changing world, a successful business is one that can effectively manage change. It is important to be able to have a view of the sustainable future and to be willing to adapt to change. 

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