Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)— A Pivotal Approach to Business in Lubricant Industry

Posted by Manisha S on February 1st, 2023

As lubricant industry players face compelling challenges around sustainability issues, including product recyclability and greenhouse gas emission reduction, they are poised to focus on recycling and recovery of lubrication packaging into their ESG goals. Venture capitalists and other investors are prioritizing investment in sustainable businesses with environmental, social and governance concerns integral to corporate strategy. Bespoke solutions to reach sustainability and decarbonization goals could gain ground. ESG will remain pivotal in enhancing business ethics, creating sustainable growth with a resilient supply chain, retaining employees and attracting customers. 

Forward-looking players are expected to foster their footprint on ESG standards that have become invaluable in gauging a company’s capability to make an informed decision. ESG factors are likely to play a vital role in containing organizational risks. It has emerged as the main cog in corporate policies and practices with investors and businesses gearing to address workplace safety, inclusion, access to affordable healthcare and environmental equity. The need for ESG disclosure has shaped how companies allocate funds in the global landscape, and the demand for accountability has underscored ESG disclosure to track sustainability performance. For instance, businesses in Europe are obliged to report the proportion of investment considered sustainable in line with EU regulations. 

Discover more regarding the practices and strategies being implemented by industry participants form the Lubricant Industry ESG Thematic Report, 2022, published by Astra ESG Solutions

Environmental Perspective

Environmental, social and governance aspects are at the forefront as prominent players gear to overcome social, economic and environmental challenges. Leading players are poised to improve, respond and recover their resilience to the shifting ESG landscape. Investors are inclined to know how companies will respond to social, environmental and economic landscape and related opportunities and risks. A host of companies has come forward to publish sustainability reports as organizations across geographies, industries and company sizes allocate more resources toward enhancing ESG. According to the Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. (G&A) 2021 Sustainability Reporting, 92% of S&P 500 Companies and 70% of Russell 1000 Companies published sustainability reports in 2020. 

A significant part of ESG growth is mainly attributed to environmental factors and apt responses to climate change. Companies are likely to contribute disclosures in energy efficiency, biodiversity, environmental management, water efficiency and GHG emissions. For instance, Chevron Shipping could disclose vessels’ climate alignment scores leveraging the Sea Cargo Charter methodology from 2023. Further, the environmental impact of lubricants has prompted vital players to provide impetus to bio-based lubricants that can boost the sustainability quotient through high viscosity index, enhanced water quality and longer equipment life. Prominently, BP aims to contain scope 1 and scope 2 emissions globally by 30% by 2030. On the other hand, Shell has been providing carbon-neutral lubricants, including biodegradable multi-purpose grease and energy-efficient high viscosity index hydraulic oils to offset carbon footprint. 

Social Perspective

On the social front, lubricant companies have emphasized data privacy, product quality, employee development, community support and development. Stakeholders have dubbed social license as corporate oxygen—impossible to survive without it. Some social practices, such as promoting equality and diversity in the workplace, providing training and well-being support and underpinning local and national charities will augur well for leading companies in the landscape. 

According to Grand View Research Lubricant Industry ESG Thematic Report 2022, Idemitsu Kosan tops the chart in the social category with an impressive score of 70%. The tag is partly due to the institutionalization of human rights monitoring mechanisms across its supply chain operation. Besides, most companies are ISO 45001 standards certified and have rolled out robust healthcare plans and programs, H&S training and health insurance—promising factors bolstering employee retention rates. Meanwhile, Lukoil had the highest employee turnover rate (6.7%) in 2020 amidst comprehensive healthcare plans.

Prominent players have left no stone unturned to underscore their social and community investments. For instance, in 2020, Chevron contemplated injecting USD 15 million to underpin the Black community in the U.S. to address equity barriers. Besides, in 2021, the company poured USD 6.6 million into non-profits and community organizations in Kern, Fresno, and Monterey counties. The U.S.-based company is also said to have employed more than 700 full-time employees, along with 1,600 contract employees in those counties. Incumbent players are poised to get a grip with social factors as the building block of a sustainable world. 

Is your business one of participants to the Global Lubricant Industry? Contact us for focused consultation around ESG Investing, and help you build sustainable business practices.

Governance Perspective

Governance is envisaged as an indicator of how transparent, accountable and ethical a company is with stakeholders. It also highlights board structure, audit committee functioning, board independence and financial audit and control. An emphasis on governance could bode well with investors and customers and encourage sound risk management practices. Chevron is at the pole position in corporate governance, notes the ESG scoring model of Grand View Research. It has more than 90% independent directors—the highest in terms of a board comprising independent directors. The American multinational energy corporation established a Supplier Diversity Governance Board providing strategic direction and oversight of supplier diversity strategy across its U.S.-based units. With solid governance being the foundation to create value for stockholders, board members are expected to review operational, financial, market, political and other risks that are inherent in the business. 

ESG is a valuable consideration—one that goes beyond philanthropic perception and is paramount to sustainable development. In essence, Royal Dutch Shell scored more than 80% in corporate governance—second to Chevron. The former has the highest percentage of female members on its board, taking a giant leap toward gender equality. The company is gearing to surpass or reach 40% of women in senior leadership by 2030. Governance will likely leverage companies to cash in on and manage various ESG risks and opportunities. 

Well-established players and new entrants are slated to integrate ESG practices to foster brand reputation, propel sustainability and minimize costs. Companies are likely to focus on generating more environmentally friendly and efficient lubricants. For instance, in March 2021, Castrol rolled out the PATH360 strategy sustainability strategy with 2030 aims and focus areas, including reducing carbon, saving waste and enhancing lives. Stakeholders are bullish on the prospect of lubricants against the backdrop of heightened product demand and emphasis on ESG frameworks. The global lubricant market size garnered USD 125.81 billion in 2020 and could witness a 3.7% CAGR from 2021 to 2028. 

About Astra – ESG Solutions By Grand View Research

Astra is the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) arm of Grand View Research Inc. – a global market research publishing & management consulting firm.

Astra offers comprehensive ESG thematic assessment & scores across diverse impact & socially responsible investment topics, including both public and private companies along with intuitive dashboards. Our ESG solutions are powered by robust fundamental & alternative information. Astra specializes in consulting services that equip corporates and the investment community with the in-depth ESG research and actionable insight they need to support their bottom lines and their values. We have supported our clients across diverse ESG consulting projects & advisory services, including climate strategies & assessment, ESG benchmarking, stakeholder engagement programs, active ownership, developing ESG investment strategies, ESG data services, build corporate sustainability reports. Astra team includes a pool of industry experts and ESG enthusiasts who possess extensive end-end ESG research and consulting experience at a global level.

For more ESG Thematic reports, please visit Astra ESG Solutions, powered by Grand View Research

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Manisha S

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Manisha S
Joined: August 2nd, 2017
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