GB Lubricants strikes Gold with its drive for sustainability

GB Lubricants strike gold with it drive for sustainability

Gateshead-based GB Lubricants is striving to be an industry leader when it comes to sustainability and commitment to minimising its impact on the environment.

The company, which has been manufacturing and supplying high quality oils, lubricants and greases since 1877, has achieved the coveted EcoVadis Gold rating in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability for the third year in a row, increasing its overall score by six percent this year. To put this achievement into perspective, the certification puts GB Lubricants within the top five percent of all companies evaluated worldwide by EcoVadis for the company’s sustainability credentials.

GB Lubricants’ managing director Paul Booth is on a mission to ensure a positive and prosperous future not only for the company, its workforce and local community, but also the industry and the planet. “We all have a part to play,” he says. “Businesses need to be flexible and forward-thinking when discussing aspects of sustainability and future strategy. We stepped up our engagement with this subject soon after my arrival at GB Lubricants in 2016 and I want to share ideas on common challenges.”

To retain the EcoVadis Gold rating, GB Lubricants has had to continuously raise the bar. “We had to rise to the challenge and then surpass last year in several aspects of our assessment,” explains Paul. “There is a strong emphasis on continuous improvement, so the success boundaries get higher each year. Our gold award is the culmination of incremental improvements in many areas of our business activities which were submitted as part of this year’s Ecovadis audit and final independent assessment.

“We improved our strength areas in three of the four key sections – environment, labour & human rights and ethics. We were also pleased to maintain our score in the fourth key section – sustainable procurement – despite the requirement to source raw materials from around the world.”

The company is already working hard to retain the gold award in 2023.

“We have started to improve how we communicate relevant aspects of sustainability and labour policies to our employees and stakeholders and this will be developed further in the next 12 months,” explains Paul.

“We have also continued to increase our usage of green energy as a business. Although only a modest aspect of our energy mix was green in time for this year’s Ecovadis assessment, we have very ambitious targets and collaborations underway which we expect will be reflected in next year’s assessment.

“More importantly, this will have a significant impact in reducing our carbon footprint from production for the long term as we continue our sustainability journey with all stakeholders.”


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GB Lubricants – which operates to numerous ISO standards, including 14001 and 50001 (Energy Management) –  identified the need to be externally audited and certified for sustainability and CSR back in 2016 in order to benchmark its performance and help set strategy.  Accreditation to the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) sustainability standard was upgraded to the global EcoVadis award.

Earlier this year, the company sponsored and presented at the United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA) 2022 Sustainability Conference, which addressed the impact and implications on the lubricants industry and its supply chains of “Putting sustainability first”.

Paul, a UKLA Board member and treasurer, believes the transition from traditional hydrocarbon fuelled internal combustion engines to alternative forms of drive presents the lubricants industry with an opportunity to spearhead sustainable solutions as new technologies emerge.

“The importance of forward-thinking research and development to incorporate the most sustainable additive formulations, which can crucially achieve full Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) approvals, is key for the lubricants sector in the next 10 years,” he emphasises.

“We are already seeing signs of this coming through. However, there is a need for continued investment to accelerate these approvals and ensure more sustainable technology available to the market.”

With sales of the GB Lubricants’ biodegradable products having grown for each of the last five years, the company is proud to support customers, particularly in the forestry and off-highway sector where end users work in sensitive areas and near water courses.

 “The sophistication of the formulations we are manufacturing to match the increasingly higher levels of performance demanded by our customers is a major trend and it has been rewarding to be successful in achieving this,” concluded Paul.

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