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Annex:
Placing sustainability requirements 
on the purchase of biolubricants

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The availability of products with ecolabels
 
Table 1 gives an overview of the number of biolubricants per label and type of lubricant. There is some overlap in the lists. By the end of 2010 a total of 221 products met the requirements of the Blue Angel ecolabel: RAL-UZ 79 (hydraulic fluids), RAL-UZ 64 (grease and concrete release agents) and RAL-UZ 48 (chainsaw oil). The Blue Angel has had lubricant standards since 1977. Towards the end of 2010 a total of 103 products met the requirements of the Swedish Standard SS155434 (hydraulic fluids; demands published in 1996) and SS155470 (class B) grease; requirements published in 1998). By the end of 2010 there were no products that met the Swedish standard SS155470 (class A), nor were there any products eligible for the Nordic Swan ecolabel (established in 1989).
 
Table 1: Biolubricants per ecolabel and type of lubricant (October 2010)

Lubricant 
Type
 
Ecolabel
Hydraulic fluid
Grease
Concrete release agent
Chainsaw oil
Two-stroke oil
The Blue Angel
72
26
27
96
-
Swedish Standard
83
20
-
-
-
European Ecolabel
55
5
3
16
5
 
The criteria for the European Ecolabel for lubricants were established in 2005. After an initial slow start, the number of new products has rapidly increased over the past few years. By the end of 2010, 84 products with an ecolabel had been brought onto the market. These products were suitable for various applications; 55 of them were hydraulic fluids of diverse viscosity. Over half these products were launched in 2008. A number of products are marketed under several brand names, and may, therefore, be mentioned several times. This implies that good products also find their way on the market under different brand names.
 
Figure: Ecolabel lubricant products in Europe 2005-2010 (Oct)
The number of manufacturers and suppliers is also increasing rapidly. By late 2010, there were already 24 different manufacturers from 8 different countries (FI, FR, DE, CH, NL, AT, US, UK). Although a number of products are re-brands, this development shows that there is growing interest in supplying part of the biolubricants market. However impressive these trends may be, availability and demand sometimes do leave something to be desired.
 
Due to the relatively small size of the biolubricants market, products are occasionally not in stock or cannot always be delivered at short notice. This suggests that there is still room within the biolubricants market and that authorities have a duty to boost the use of biolubricants. An up-to-date list of products is available on the website of the European Ecolabel catalogue.
 
Even though a great number of eco-friendly products have already been developed, these products are sometimes taken out of production or are no longer offered on the market because of limited sales figures or due to other marketing considerations. That is why it is important that authorities promote the use of biolubricants by way of incentives policies.
 
Data on sales and consumption of biolubricants in the Netherlands after 2003 are not available yet. As long as the supply of European Ecolabel products for specific applications remains limited, (as is currently the case with greases) the purchasing policy may be geared towards the Class II requirements. See:
 
Table 2: ecolabels for various kinds of lubricants

Class
Ecolabel
Types
Link
I
European Ecolabel Lubricants
 
Hydraulic fluids and Tractor Transmission Oils
Greases and stern tube greases
Chainsaw oil, Concrete release agents cable oils, wire rope oils stern tube oils and other total-loss lubricants
Two-stroke oil
Industrial and marine gear oil
I*
Nordic Swan (4.4)
Hydraulic fluids
Greases
Chainsaw oil
Two-stroke oil
I*
SS155470-Class A (2004)
Greases
II
SS155434 (2003)
Hydraulic fluids
II
SS155470-Class B,C (2004)
Greases
II
Blue Angel RAL-UZ 79
Hydraulic fluids
www.blauer-engel.de/
Products>Hydraulic fluids
II
Blue Angel RAL-UZ 64 (2007)
Greases and Concrete release agents
www.blauer-engel.de/
Products>Lubricants/Forming oils
II
Blue Angel RAL-UZ 48
Chainsaw oil
www.blauer-engel.de/
Products>Chain Lubricants…
* By late 2010 there were no Nordic Swan (4.4) or SS155470 class A products.
 
 
 
 
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