What’s driving Infineum in 2021

Corporate - 19 April 2021

We learnt that a true crisis allows an organisation to achieve with great urgency things we might otherwise have considered impossible,” said CEO Trevor Russell in his assessment of Infineum’s future in a post-Covid-19 world.

Having finished 2020 strongly, Infineum is looking to grow ambitiously into the future and there’ll be plenty of opportunities to put those lessons learnt into practice to meet the challenges faced by all industries post-pandemic.

Addressing the particular challenges facing the additives industry, Trevor feels they can loosely be divided into three timeframes.

In the short-term, it is going to take time for our marketplace to stabilise as variants of the virus, vaccination programmes and economic recovery all play out at different rates around the world.

Medium-term, the dislocation of activity caused by Covid-19 has forced Governments to reconsider their green agendas. Some federal stimulus packages will accelerate sustainability programmes, others may be put on hold as Governments tackle huge debt burdens.

“In response, OEMs will determine where to place their Research & Development bets in coming years. But, regardless of pace, the trends we’ve been facing as an industry will continue, like electrification of passenger transportation, vehicle ownership patterns, autonomous driving, digitalisation, government intervention and internal combustion engine advances,” explained Trevor.

Longer-term, Trevor believes the challenge will become much more about how the additives industry supports future demand. With so much uncertainty around industry trends and their timing, risk-sharing across the lubricants and fuels value chains seemed an inevitable outcome.

From an Infineum perspective, many trends dovetail with our overarching purpose ‘to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry’ so we’re well-positioned to tackle them.

2021 priorities
Having led our industry for years on personnel and process safety, Trevor emphasised that the safety of employees and those with whom we interact will continue to be at the top of our priority list.

In fact, it was the response of Infineum employees to Covid-19, in all areas including safety, that made Trevor most proud in 2020.

“It was as humbling as it was remarkable. Some kept our labs and plants running with the most incredible attention to hygiene and safety. The majority were forced to work from home and did so with great productivity levels despite difficult personal circumstances. They stayed safe, they delighted our customers, they kept product moving and they advanced key projects,” he said.

And it means Infineum has a great foundation on which to continue to build as we aim to make significant progress this year on our journey to become a world-class specialty chemical company. Driving growth while adopting an increasingly customer centric approach being key.

“Our customers will be at the heart of everything we do as we work with them to enable their product, market and strategic goals to progress,” said Trevor.

This includes creating innovative, value-based solutions for customers in both traditional and new markets, harnessing our learnings from the crisis to radically improve customer experience and business operations, and accelerating key investments in product innovation, data analytics and digitalisation.

“If we realise our ambitions, I would expect our customers, business partners, shareholders, employees and surrounding communities to be delighted to be with us on the journey,” Trevor concluded.

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