Millers Oils’ Managing Director, Tony Lowe, offers insight into how an oil blender can take responsibility for its environmental impact.
Over its 130-year history, Millers Oils has seen a host of legislative changes come into effect. In recent years, the move towards a greener, more environmentally conscious agenda has certainly shaped the OEM and aftermarket sectors. In particular, the 2018 changes to the MOT test saw a raft of changes, most notably stricter rules for diesel car emissions, whilst the European Commission: Emission Standard updates, including the introduction of Euro 6 and the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy, placed these environmental protection measures right at the fore of consumer consciousness.
Tony Lowe, Managing Director at Millers Oils, commented, “At Millers Oils, we are abundantly aware of the concerns that surround protecting our planet. However, as a blender and manufacturer of lubricants, the issue of ‘greener living’ becomes slightly more complex. Despite the challenges, we are continuously working with our suppliers to see what options are available to improve our sustainability. We are aware that we still use plastics, base oils and additives to produce lubricants, and as such, it is a real balancing act to ensure that we are supplying a product that is fit for purpose, whilst also considering what we can do to limit our impact upon the environment. Where possible, we have already taken a number of steps as a business by making more responsible choices, and we will continue to look at new ways to keep this going long into the future.”
Creating products to reduce emissions
With changes in legislation, and more clean air and congestion zones limiting access to major cities, consumers have become increasingly aware of the importance of reducing vehicle emissions. Hybrid and electric vehicle popularity is also increasing, but for many, the price tag is keeping access to these vehicles out of reach. As a result, blenders and manufacturers have worked to provide alternative solutions that offer some peace of mind.
Fuel treatments such as Ecomax for both petrol and diesel engine applications have been designed to improve fuel efficiency (with the Petrol Ecomax reporting a 3.2% reduction in fuel consumption), as well as to reduce harmful emissions of hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide. These cost-effective treatments also improve the cleanliness of the fuel and engine systems, helping to prolong their lifespan.
With stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), Millers Oils has sought to provide a resolution with its Diesel Particulate Cleaner and Regenerator, which is designed to clean DPFs by reducing the regeneration temperature required to allow the trapped soot particles to be burnt off. This one-shot additive ensures a cleaner, more efficient DPF, restoring engine power and fuel economy.
Tackling Euro 6 fears
Since the changes to Euro 6 legislation, the reduction of the passable emissions limit within the MOT test has resulted in a distinct increase in the chance of failure for garage customers. In fact, a recent DVLA study found that diesel car MOT failures were up by 311%, whilst petrol vehicle failure exceeded 72% between May and November 2018. To put those numbers into context, that is over 238,000 diesel vehicle owners, with 505,721 petrol car owners concerned about the fate of their car next time their MOT is due.
Millers Oils’ Emission Performance Programme (EPP) was created in an attempt to remedy this. This professional garage programme is tailored to tackle the emissions issue and enables garages to promise a pass on emissions within an MOT. If garages offer a ‘pass or your money back’ promise, Millers Oils will provide the replenishment products in the event of a fail.
A Millers Oils EPP service helps to tackle common issues that occur inside the vehicle which can go undetected and may not be resolved in a standard service. EPP also provides garages with a range of high-quality treatments to enhance this service, offering greater profitability. It is effective across a range of vehicle types, ages and mileages, making a difference to not only fuel economy but also to the vehicle’s emissions and overall performance.
A work environment that gives back
Steps have also been taken at the company’s factory in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, to incorporate more renewable energy sources, with solar panels placed on the factory’s roof. These solar panels mean that Millers Oils can operate a ‘full-return’ of electricity back to the grid during the weekend downtime period, and a 50% return during the working week.
Further energy savings have been made by working to replace all lighting throughout Millers Oils’ 90,000ft2 blending facilities, offices and research and development site. These LED lights have helped to reduce energy consumption, whilst new PIR sensors ensure that lighting is only used when it is needed.