AF Changemaker: lubricating to lessen climate change

“We were honoured to host and show His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester our award-winning carbon neutral lubricant blending technology. Our new, unique ultrasound technology delivers dramatic energy savings and cleans up the way lubricants are made.”

What changes are you making?

“In 2022 we announced our net zero credentials, to the surprise of many. The biggest change at the Witham Group has been our new carbon neutral blending system. It uses ultrasound rather than traditional technologies to blend our products, and the impact of this is that it drastically reduces energy usage.

“Before, for example, a 10,000-litre blend of lubricants used about 1982 kW energy. This has been reduced to just 8 kW per 10,000 litre blend. The equipment takes up less space, and production time is reduced from 2-3
hours to less than 30 minutes. It gives us much more flexibility to produce specific runs of product and is far more reactive to industry needs as well as reducing our production costs. This process is a world first. We currently hold the European patent and are actively looking to explore other applications.

“We offer eco options for virtually all applications including ones for building and structure protection as well as machine maintenance and operation. By using these products you can:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Demonstrate better environmental
    supply chain standards
  • Reduce your CO2 emissions
  • Find your vehicle fuel economy will improve
  • Protect your buildings and machinery
  • Make time savings”

What results are you seeing?

“By adopting this new process, along with other improvements throughout the company, we have been able
to achieve carbon neutral status for our lubricants and hold British Standard ISO 14001. This recognises
the quality of our environmental practices, procedures, and ongoing commitment to the environment. We
are extremely proud that this has all been achieved without the need to financially support carbon purchase
programmes to off-set our impact.

“Our Qualube Biolube, Witham Prolan and Qualube Envioyl product ranges are all high performance and award-winning and we will soon be introducing a new range of non-lithium based Qualube Multi-purpose greases. These ranges are manufactured using a mixture of alternative to fossil-based products, such as rape oil, (used in the Hydroveg Biodegradable Hydraulic Oil) and lanolin oil (derived from sheep wool) used in the Prolan range of lubricants.

“It can be amazingly confusing planning for your business with so many new and supposedly eco choices. The market is full of eco-equivalents that, offering ‘get rich quick’ schemes, promise much, but in fact deliver little.
For our customers, including AF Members, becoming more environmentally sustainable, accountable, and responsible for the eco-impact of their business is extremely important now and is going to become increasingly key in the future. At the same time, we know you must also be able to remain financially viable.

“If a machine is out of action, or you must repeat a protection process, it is going to cost you money. Using the
correct lubricant or grease can make an enormous difference to the extended life, efficiency, and effectiveness of that machine – anything else is likely to prove a false economy. In the current economic and environmental climate (pardon the pun) you must make the most of these valuable assets and nurture them to get maximum benefit.

“Now is the time to invest your focus and spend to, with minor changes, get the biggest rewards, both environmentally and financially.”

What next?

“Product development, packaging improvements and technology innovations are key focus for us. But we’ll also continue developing our partnership and customer offers, like the one we have with AF. We know oils and grease can be confusing, so we will also continue to offer our onsite technical lubrication survey that will review the products our customers use, what they use them for and the most economic volume. Bulk tanks are a great option for the bigger user and, with no plastic packaging, reduced waste it is another eco win-win.”