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Motoring World: What sustainability initiatives has Castrol India undertaken to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainable practices?

Deepesh Baxi: At Castrol India, we continuously endeavour to adopt an innovative strategic approach towards sustainability. Sustainability plays a vital role in enhancing organizational resilience, driving innovation, and building long-term value for stakeholders and the broader community. We intend to accomplish this by implementing a comprehensive sustainability strategy – called ‘PATH360’, designed to maximize our impact on creating a more sustainable future. Sustainability is an integral part of our business strategy. Here’s how PATH360 contributes to a more sustainable future:

  • Saving Waste: We have incorporated 30% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) materials into small bottles1 after having launched 100% PCR bottles for POWER1 Ultimate2 to reduce plastic consumption. Our goal is to further reduce our plastic footprint by half by 2030 while continuing to assist consumers in saving energy, waste, and water.
  • Reducing Carbon: We’ve undertaken stringent measures to bring down the carbon emissions associated with our operations. To drive this journey forward, we aim to transition to 80% renewable electricity by 20303. Additionally, we aim to halve the net carbon intensity per litre of the products by 20303.
  • Improving people’s lives: Dedicated to fostering positive transformation, our initiatives for people development catalyse both growth and empowerment. Through our skill development initiatives, we have empowered and impacted lives of thousands of mechanics and truck drivers. We aim to continuously improve the lives of people around the world. 

Launched in 2021, Castrol India’s PATH360 strategy outlines goals for 2030 in these three major areas – Saving waste, Reducing carbon, and Improving people’s lives, all of which contribute to our objective of reaching net zero by 2050 or sooner.

MW: Could you provide insights into Castrol India’s latest product offerings and how they cater to evolving consumer needs and technological advancements?

DB: At Castrol India, we’re committed to staying ahead of the curve. We closely monitor consumer trends and technological advancements to ensure our products meet evolving needs. Here’s how we’re doing that:

  • Expanding into Auto Care: Recognizing the growing importance of vehicle maintenance, we launched a comprehensive range of auto care products like chain cleaners, lubricants, and polishes. This caters to consumers who are increasingly taking a proactive approach to car care. The products are gaining momentum and are available in a majority of outlets and e-commerce platforms across India.
  • Targeted solutions for different vehicles: We understand that commercial vehicles and passenger cars have distinct needs. To address this, we introduced Castrol CRB ESSENTIAL, a cost-effective range of engine oils for commercial vehicles, promoting extended engine life and minimal downtime. For SUVs, we launched Castrol MAGNATEC SUV 5W-30, a premium synthetic oil receiving positive customer response.
  • Future-proofing with electric vehicles: Anticipating the rise of electric vehicles (EVs), we introduced Castrol ON. This advanced range of EV fluids, coolants, and lubricants is specifically designed for the unique requirements of electric powertrains.By offering targeted solutions and embracing new technologies, we aim to solidify Castrol’s position as a leader in the evolving automotive landscape.

MW: How has Castrol’s journey in India been so far, and what milestones or achievements are you particularly proud of?

DB: Building on our 125-year legacy, Castrol is constantly innovating to meet the evolving needs of the market, with which, we are excited to be able to transform the future of India. We’re focusing on developing high-performance lubricants for next-generation vehicles, while also prioritizing sustainability initiatives like using recycled materials in our packaging. Our recent achievement of the highest-ever revenue is a testament to this commitment. We see ourselves at the forefront of shaping a future where Indian automobiles benefit from cutting-edge lubricants that are friendlier to the environment.

MW: Looking ahead, what areas does Castrol India aim to focus on to continue its growth and maintain its leadership position in the market?

DB: We’re determined to stay ahead of the curve and solidify our leadership position. Our focus areas for future growth include:

  • Expanding our aftermarket presence: We’ve seen great success with our recent entry into the auto care segment, and we plan to further broaden our product offerings to cater to a wider range of aftermarket needs.
  • Pioneering data center solutions: Data centers are a rapidly growing sector with a rising demand for efficient cooling solutions. We’ll leverage our expertise in fluid technology to develop innovative lubricants specifically for thermal management in data centers.
  • Investing in next-generation technologies: Aligned with our “Onward, Upward, Forward” strategy, we’re actively involved in the global R&D efforts of our parent company bp. The INR 500 Crore investment in the UK R&D center, focused on thermal management and EV charging solutions, is a prime example. This ensures we’re at the forefront of advancements in lubricants and related technologies.

By focusing on these key areas, Castrol India aims to achieve sustainable growth, fortify its market leadership, and remain a pioneer in lubricant and fluid technology for the future.

MW: Could you elaborate on Castrol’s association with motorsports, particularly the tie-up with the KTM RC Cup, and how it aligns with the brand’s values and objectives?

DB: Motorsports are in Castrol’s DNA, and we’re passionate about nurturing future talent in India. That’s why we launched “Castrol POWER1 presents India’s Ultimate MotoStar on MTV”, a nationwide hunt for the next big racing hero. With over 10,000 registrations, including strong participation from beyond major cities, the program is a testament to India’s growing moto-racing passion. The top winners will even train at the LCR Honda Castrol MotoGP™ Team facility in Europe – an incredible opportunity!

Our association with the KTM RC Cup further strengthens our commitment to performance motorsports in India. As the official Performance Partner, Castrol POWER1 lubricants, developed with our extensive racing experience, will be powering the competition. This association perfectly aligns with our values of excellence and innovation. By showcasing the capabilities of Castrol POWER1 in this high-performance environment, we empower riders with the confidence to push their limits and achieve optimal performance.

MW: Castrol is known for its social initiatives. Could you highlight some of the key social projects or initiatives that Castrol India has been involved in and their impact on communities or society?

DB: Castrol India is committed to driving positive change beyond the road. Here are some of our impactful social initiatives:

  • Empowering truck drivers: The Castrol Sarathi Mitra program aims at holistic development of truck drivers who play a vital part in the India’s economy. Over 200,000 drivers have benefited from road safety training, financial literacy programs, and healthcare programs enabling improving their lives and well-being.
  • Skilling mechanics: The Castrol Eklavya program addresses the need to help the mechanics remain relevant through continuous upskilling on latest technologies in the auto sector. More than 240,000 mechanics have gained valuable technical expertise, customer service skills, and entrepreneurial knowledge, empowering them for professional success.
  • Building Sustainable Communities: Recognizing the importance of a holistic approach, Castrol India’s Ujjwal Kal initiative promotes sustainable development in the communities around our areas of operation. Focused on education, skill development, healthcare, and sanitation in communities around our plants, this program has positively impacted thousands of lives, creating lasting value for all stakeholders.

MW: In what ways does Castrol India integrate sustainability into its product development and manufacturing processes?

DB: For us, sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do. We focus on two key areas:

  • Reducing our plastic footprint: We’re continuously innovating to reduce our plastic footprint. For example, our new POWER1 bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic, saving 1,800 metric tonnes of virgin plastic annually. We’re also expanding the use of recycled materials in other parts of our packaging.
  • Responsible manufacturing: We’re transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar power and green energy purchases, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Additionally, we’ve replaced furnace oil with cleaner-burning Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in India across our manufacturing plants.

Furthermore, we strictly implement a “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” approach across all our plants, minimizing waste and maximizing resource utilization. By prioritizing these initiatives, Castrol India is making a significant contribution to a more sustainable future.

MW: Can you discuss any upcoming innovations or advancements in lubrication technology that Castrol India is working on to meet the changing needs of customers and environmental standards?

DB: Castrol India is at the forefront of developing next-generation lubricants to address two key trends:

  • Data center cooling: With data centers becoming energy guzzlers, efficient thermal management is crucial. We’re pioneering cutting-edge cooling solutions specifically designed for this growing industry.
  • Electric vehicle revolution: As EVs take center stage, Castrol is ready. Our advanced “Castrol ON” range of EV fluids, coolants, and lubricants addresses the unique needs of electric vehicles. We’re already supplying these fluids to major EV manufacturers and OEMs in India, solidifying our position as a key player in this transformative shift.

MW: Castrol India recently onboarded SRK as a brand ambassador, can you please tell us reasons behind choosing SRK as a brand representation for Castrol India? – how well does his personality resonate with the brand?

DB: Shah Rukh Khan’s association with Castrol India reflects our brand image. Here’s why:

  • Performance, Energy and excellence: SRK’s dedication to his craft, consistently delivering high-quality performances throughout his career, mirrors Castrol’s commitment to providing high-performance lubricants.
  • Reliability and trust: Just like Castrol aims to be a reliable partner for your vehicle, SRK is known for his professionalism and dependability in the industry.
  • Innovation and evolution: SRK constantly reinvents himself and embraces new challenges, which aligns with Castrol’s focus on innovation and evolving alongside the automotive industry.
  • Broad appeal: SRK’s vast fan base across generations and demographics allows Castrol to connect with a wider audience and diverse regions in India.
  • Partnership of Stars: Castrol and SRK stand as titans in respective industries, their scale and prominence synonymous with excellence within their categories and sectors.

By choosing SRK, Castrol India leverages his image of excellence, reliability, and constant evolution – values that perfectly resonate with the brand.

MW: What are the factors responsible behind adopting a shift in brand imagery from protection to performance?

DB: The automotive market is shifting towards performance vehicles like SUVs and high-capacity bikes, reflecting evolving consumer preferences for power and versatility. In response, drivers now expect engine oil to not only protect but also enhance vehicle performance. Castrol embraces this shift, offering advanced lubrication technology that provides superior engine protection while optimizing performance. From ensuring smooth acceleration to maximizing fuel efficiency and engine durability, Castrol’s lubricants meet the demands of modern vehicles. It is imperative to communicate the enhanced technology that provides superior performance to the consumers to meet their expectations and staying ahead.