A Barnsley-based supplier of lubricants to customers in construction, manufacturing and logistics has embarked on its own Net Zero journey.

Goldcrest Oil (North East), based in Wombwell, has completed the Net Zero Barnsley programme delivered by The Business Village in partnership with Barnsley Council. The company has worked with specialist consultants to understand and calculate its carbon footprint and identify practical measures to reduce it.

Goldcrest Oil, which has three other depots across the UK, delivers premium engine oils, gear/transmission oils, greases, chemicals, AdBlue, machine/cutting fluids and anti-freeze to nearly 3,000 customers. Even though their product is oil-based, they have the same obligation as every other business to work towards net zero carbon emissions in line with Government targets.

ESG lead at Goldcrest Steve Perriam said: “We’re aware that we’re at the at the ‘dirty’ fossil fuel end of business and some people might have expected us to lie low and not engage with the need to cut carbon emissions, but we are part of the solution like everyone else.

“We joined Net Zero Barnsley to get to grips with this and review every aspect of how we work to ensure we run our business as efficiently as possible, reduce waste and support sustainable working practices.
“It’s right for the planet and its right for us. It’s become glaringly obvious that if we don’t embrace Net Zero we will be disadvantaged as a business. Tenders for our big clients already require us to demonstrate what we’re doing to reduce emissions. They need suppliers who can help them achieve their net zero targets.”

Goldcrest’s net zero journey is starting in Wombwell and will be replicated at company depots in Essex, the West Midlands and the North West.

Wombwell depot manager Lewis Gibson said: “Looking to the future, we anticipate that quality lubricants, delivered and used as efficiently as possible, will always be needed to help run vehicles and machines, and to keep the wheels of industry turning. We are determined to play an active role in supporting a frictionless transition to a low carbon economy.”

Goldcrest has already replaced reams of plastic wrap with strong barrel straps to secure orders to palettes and, in the Wombwell office, they’ve stepped up recycling and adopted smart heating controls which has reduced energy use by two thirds. On the road, the company has introduced strategies to deliver better routing and configuration for maximisation of each load; and they are encouraging customers to plan ahead and anticipate future requirements to reduce the number of deliveries. A ‘light right foot’ policy incentivises drivers to drive their trucks as smoothly and efficiently as possible and avoid sharp fuel-intensive acceleration.

Steve said: “Fast turn-around next day deliveries has been a big selling point in our industry, but, as we all work on reducing carbon emissions, we are promoting a ‘three to five working days delivery’ model where possible, with the customer’s agreement. This enables more full loads to go out and highlights the lower carbon effort being incorporated into the business.”

Steve is also championing alternative packaging to heavy-duty 20-litre plastic oil drums. A ‘Bag In Box’ (BIB) packaging design – similar to the familiar ‘wine in a box’ product – already exists and significantly reduces the amount of hazardous plastic which goes to waste, as the strong outer box can be recycled, or even reused in future. This makes it over 90% recyclable – but Steve says it will take time for customers to adapt to such a change.

Net Zero Barnsley business development manager Kevin Steel said: “It is great that Goldcrest Oil has embarked on its own journey to Net Zero and is leading the way in its supply chain, enabling its customers to make progress in reducing carbon too. We were happy to help Steve and the pioneering team in Wombwell and look forward to seeing their work rolled out across Goldcrest’s UK operations.”

All UK businesses must reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, and Barnsley Council has set an earlier target of 2045. Net Zero Barnsley will work with dozens of Barnsley businesses over the next two years to help them work towards achieving this.

The Business Village is delivering the Net Zero Barnsley programme, in partnership with Barnsley Council, as part of the Low Carbon Project, part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Sheffield City Council is the accountable body for the South Yorkshire region. The Low Carbon project has received £3,445,606 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.