While sustainability has been a buzzword in the industry for several years, there is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened the appetite for sustainability at local, national and global levels.
News of the climate benefits related to pandemic-induced shutdowns with clearer water, less polluted air and smog-free city skylines have circulated around the world – indisputable evidence of the impact of human actions and behaviour on the environment – shifting the debate on sustainability to a completely different perspective.
As a return to activity is underway, sustainability is playing a pivotal role in governmental decisions globally and will therefore have a significant impact on business strategies in the years to come.
If we look specifically at Europe, sustainability will be a cornerstone of the post-pandemic future of the region, as the EU has dedicated around 30% of its over €720 billion COVID-19 recovery plan to climate-change-related measures.
Therefore, if we want to survive and thrive in a post-COVID-19 environment, our industry needs to implement long-term sustainability strategies that allow us to capture opportunities and shape our post-pandemic futures. For it to be successful, once a sustainability strategy is articulated by leadership, it is essential that businesses internalise it and take ‘ownership’ of sustainability for the wellbeing of the planet and its people. Only if each employee is engaged in the journey and empowered, can the sustainability transformation journey truly take place.
As sustainability will become a top priority for Europe’s “new normal”, we have decided that the theme of this year’s UEIL Annual Virtual Congress will be “From business resilience to sustainable growth – Re-imagining the future of the lubricants industry”. Across two days, 20-21 October 2021, we will cover a wide variety of topics, with sustainability in focus – from transformational leadership to the EU Green Deal, from the importance of diversity to the role of bio-based lubricants and circular economy in building a more sustainable lubricant industry. As we are all agents of change, and sustainability is in our own hands, the program will be mostly articulated in interactive roundtables, where all delegates will have the opportunity to discuss different topics with world leading experts.
I am looking forward to seeing you there, envisioning together the sustainable growth of our industry!