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Five Things to Know About Lubricants Sustainability

Read the key things you need to know about how Shell Lubricant Solutions can help improve the sustainability of your business operations.

Industrial Lubricant Sustainability key points

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1. Advancements in lubricants have the potential to reduce emissions and save on fleet costs1

Research has found that the fuel savings from improving and using effective engine lubricants equate to average savings per vehicle of between €37–€67 per year for cars and €720–€1282 per year for heavy trucks.

2. Biodegradable oils are generally less flammable and less harmful to plants or animals

Biodegradable lubricants such as synthetic or vegetable oils are much more considerate to the environment, and are less toxic to plants and animals. A greater number of biodegradable lubricants for different specifications such as hydraulic fluids are being developed with greater biodegradability and less toxicity that can operate in more environmentally sensitive areas.2

3. Without proper disposal procedures in place, 50% of all lubricants used worldwide end up in the environment3

The main cause of lubricant loss is accidental release or spills, which results in toxic oils contaminating forests, fields and waterways with limited detection.4 Biodegradable lubricants mean that any lubricant released into the environment can be broken down easily in soil and water.

4. Biodegradable lubricants can help businesses meet consumer sustainability expectations and environmental regulations

Consumers are increasingly looking for businesses to take responsibility for environmental issues such as climate change. Using biodegradable products within production allows consumers to be at ease when buying a product, knowing that waste from these products are biodegradable and not harming the planet. Environmental regulations are also in place that hold businesses accountable for environmental damage to natural habitats, protected species, land or water.5

5. The production of biodegradable plastics often requires half as much energy than non-degradable plastics

Bioplastics are made from natural substances such as corn starch meaning they can save energy in the manufacturing process. The manufacturing of natural polymers requires 65% less energy compared to a similar polymer made from petroleum.6

2 Morledge Pre Publisher.pdf

3 Mbohwa, C., Madanhire, I. (2016). Mitigating Environmental Impact of Petroleum Lubricants




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