Our Commitment to Responsibility
NewMarket Corporation and its operating companies holds close the long-standing values that have contributed significantly to our success and will continue to do so into the future. For over a century, the Values that we live by, namely Safety and Environmental Responsibility, along with Good Corporate Citizenship, have been critical to our commitment to doing business in a way that protects our employees, the communities in which we operate, and the environment.
NewMarket and all of its operating companies are committed to making the world a better place through our products and our operations. We use our formulations, technology, and application expertise, together with our market insights, to help our customers develop & market products that:
- Reduce emissions
- Improve fuel economy
- Reduce the use of fossil fuels
- Extend the life of engines and equipment
- Enable reliable, efficient, low-cost transportation
Examples of our efforts within Afton Chemical Corporation include developing engine oil additives to optimize performance, help improve fuel economy and reduce emissions in passenger cars, and developing automatic transmission fluid (ATF) additives specially designed to improve fuel economy. Afton has also developed products for use in hybrid vehicles, is the leading additive supplier to the electric vehicle market, and we are investing in and delivering new technologies to enable electric vehicle market growth. On the industrial side, Afton has been providing wind turbine oil solutions for many years, supporting this growing renewable energy market. For more details on our product development and enabling technology, click here.
Afton and Ethyl participate in industry initiatives, like Responsible Care®, that help improve health, safety, and the environment globally. We are a founding member of Responsible Care, having been involved since its inception in 1988. We have implemented Responsible Care management systems at all our U.S. manufacturing sites and our Afton headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. We have also implemented ISO 14001 management systems at all global manufacturing and R&D facilities (click here to learn more about Afton’s Responsible Care Initiatives). Our focus on Responsible Care metrics helps us minimize our environmental impact, improve internal efficiencies, and identify opportunities to better serve our customers. We also serve on the Additive Technical Committee’s (ATC) Sustainability Sub-Committee and the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Sustainability Initiative and Security Committee.
Our Values are our foundation and support the inclusive and respectful culture we have established in all of our locations around the globe.
- Unquestioned integrity
- Respect for people
- Safety and environmental responsibility
- Partners with customers and suppliers
- Continuously improving quality
- Economic viability
In alignment with our Values, NewMarket, Afton and Ethyl provide meaningful and valuable career opportunities for over 2,100 employees. We have a diverse workforce, representative of the various geographies in which we do business, and we place a high value on diverse thoughts, skills, perspectives, cultures and knowledge.
Our compensation philosophy ensures internal equity, and we provide market competitive total rewards, including competitive base pay and a comprehensive benefits package, to attract, motivate and retain our employees. In North America, for example, this includes both a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit plan. As reported in our regulatory filings, the ratio of our CEO annual compensation to our median employee compensation is 22:1. Additionally, our female to male pay ratio is 100%, demonstrating no gap in pay for female employees compared to male employees in similarly situated roles.
When we hire new employees, we do so with the goal that they stay with the company for their career. Globally, greater than 15% of our employees have more than 20 years of service, and greater than 5% of our employees have more than 30 years of service. Our full-time employee turnover rate, which captures all reasons for employee departure including retirement, is less than 8% and our global quit rate, which includes full-time employees who voluntarily chose to leave the company, is approximately 2%. Less than 5% of our global employee population is held by part-time employees.
NewMarket is also committed to providing and maintaining a work environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation and that fosters respect for all employees, customers, suppliers and contractors. Click here to learn more about our Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.
Through NewMarket Foundation, we support many programs in our community that focus on education, health, social services, and cultural activities and programs that improve the quality of life in the communities in which we operate. The Whale Foundation, a public charity, also exists to provide grants to qualified individuals who have experienced financial hardship due to natural disaster, life-threatening illness or injury, the death of a family member or other catastrophic or extreme circumstances beyond their control.
Afton and Ethyl follow NewMarket’s long-established global standards of conducting business with ethical practices, as outlined in the NewMarket Code of Conduct. Everyone we deal with, including employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and communities, has a right to feel confident that we act with honesty, integrity, and fairness.
We expect our employees to always conduct business following our policies and practices as well as our Values. The NewMarket Code of Conduct comprises all of these policies and more, and it provides a clear statement of our expectations for how we will conduct business as a company and as individuals. Each employee is required to complete training on our Code of Conduct annually. We are committed to a common set of beliefs and act with the utmost professionalism and integrity.
We have built our reputation for over 125 years, and it is one of our most important assets. Our employees are known for their high ethical standards and integrity.
Afton’s ESG Activities
Through a comprehensive internal review process that included synthesis and analysis of customer information, investor needs, employee interests, and business risk, Afton identified carbon, product safety, and transparency as the highest priority areas to the management in ESG.
Because we value doing the right thing, we’ve been continually reducing our carbon footprint. Here are some recent examples:
Afton continues to build out our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) process, which was first initiated in 2011. These LCAs help our internal teams and customers determine what adjustments or alternatives can be implemented to improve a product’s environmental footprint while still delivering product performance. We apply this lifecycle thinking approach to all that we do, including several energy reduction projects underway to eliminate over 2,000 MT of CO2 equivalent in 2020, and we have identified projects for further CO2 equivalent reductions in the coming years.
In 2015, at Afton’s R&D Innovation Center in Richmond, Virginia, the Mechanical Testing team installed regenerative AC motors to generate electricity that is put back into the local power grid. The project has resulted in a significant reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions annually. Real-time displays offer our employees and customers a look at CO2 emissions avoidance during testing.
In 2020, NewMarket Corporation participated in the CDP. The CDP (formerly the “Carbon Disclosure Project”) global disclosure system enables companies, cities, states, and regions to measure and manage environmental impacts. This information is particularly significant for institutional investors who use disclosed data to inform their decision making and will help Afton analyze and engage with our supply chain partners on carbon.
Also in 2020, our Bracknell R&D Center received the Green Energy Certificate (awarded by SSE Business Energy) using 100% renewable energy for both electric and gas.
Waste minimization is an essential part of Afton’s manufacturing and R&D programs and also contribute to our carbon reduction plans. Our detailed review of the global waste metrics from Afton facilities enables us to identify opportunities at our facilities worldwide, from improved filtration to increased recycling efforts. In 2019, 23% of our waste was recovered, reclaimed, recycled, and beneficially reused. In 2020, various projects resulted in over 7 million pounds of waste reduction.
An example of our waste minimization efforts includes marketing a saleable by-product, Sodium Hydrosulfide (NaHS). We have reused 100% of the NaHS within our facilities or sold commercially, reducing air emissions and waste.
Across all our product lines, we’ve been making the world a better place by developing solutions that provide technology benefits, fuel economy improvements, and emissions reduction. Early in the product development process, we ensure our products are environmentally safe and friendly, from conception to manufacturing and ultimately to end-use. Here are examples from each of our strategic business units, Driveline, Engine Oil, Fuels, and Industrial:
Our automatic transmission fluid (ATF) additive technology delivers measurable benefits designed to improve system durability by enabling OEMs to introduce new transmission designs that lower emissions, improve fuel economy, and enhance driver experience.
In developing our Next Generation dual clutch transmission (DCT) Fluid, Afton worked closely with our customer to develop a finished fluid that earned EU Ecolabel certification. Established in 1992 and recognized across Europe, the EU Ecolabel is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their lifecycle. The EU Ecolabel promotes the circular economy by encouraging producers to generate less waste and CO2 during the manufacturing process.
Driven by increasingly stringent emissions legislation and efficiency, automakers have implemented significant engine design, operation, and control changes. These designs place additional stress on lubricants, and the ILSAC GF-6 specification introduced in May 2020 was designed to address these, particularly with new tests to evaluate pre-ignition and timing chain wear performance. Afton’s new GF-6 technology is designed to provide industry-leading deposit control, improved fuel economy, and low-speed pre-ignition protection. It was also developed to meet the challenges of the latest China VI emissions regulations. Click here for more details.
On the diesel side, we work to develop heavy-duty engine oil (HDEO) additives to help optimize the performance of the latest diesel engine technology. Our top tier solutions are designed to support Total Cost of Ownership benefits, including longer drain intervals, improved fuel economy, and less downtime for vehicle maintenance. Click here to learn more about our recent Global Top Tier HDEO additive.
As the automotive industry increased their use of gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology to deliver improved fuel economy and reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG), Afton has simultaneously embarked on a decades-long focused R&D campaign resulting in the development and deployment of additives that make gasoline cleaner and engines more efficient. We developed a GDI Headquarters to help customers with critical information related to GDI and how Afton technology can support its use. Below are articles highlighting Afton’s involvement in GDI Fuel Additive technology addressing fuel economy and emissions control:
Our industrial additives have included wind turbine oil solutions since the early 2000s. Our technology reliably runs in thousands of wind turbines worldwide, supporting the growing renewable energy market. With our additives, we enable the wind turbine manufacturers and their gearbox suppliers to achieve more efficient output and productivity.
We also produce industrial additives specifically designed to support longer oil drain intervals, reducing the amount of used oil in the environment. These additives are used in various applications, such as turbine oils, hydraulic fluids, and industrial gear oils.
Afton developed a biodegradable hydraulic oil formulation in support of our customer. We evaluated several possible formulations using QSAR eco-tox models, supplier data, and read-across data. We were able to deliver an “inherently biodegradable” package to our customers on-time and on-budget.
Areas of focus that are material to multiple product areas include:
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): In 2011, Afton completed its first LCA identifying that raw materials contribute ~70-80% of additive carbon footprint. We continue our LCA work in 2020 and set a long-term goal to build an automated LCA tool that can be used for all customer products.
- Product Safety: Afton has in place a cross-functional program to evaluate and, where feasible, eliminate chemicals of concern (COC), such as Carcinogens, Mutagenic Reproductive, Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic, Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), and Sensitizers. We proactively assess current and future formulations for COC. We have product level roadmaps to drive actions with timelines.
- Transparency: In 2020, Afton won the ACC Sustainability Leadership Award for Transparency and Collaboration for our “Improved Transparency for Product Hazard Communication”. To enhance transparency and publicly available information on the products we manufacture, we undertook a three-year project to overhaul our hazard communications data and associated database. This overhaul involved an extensive review of all classification, toxicology, ecotoxicology, and regulatory information used to support product hazard classifications. By reviewing environmental, health, and safety information on more than 1,000 chemical substances, we identified potential data gaps and released confidentiality claims for several chemicals.
- eMobility: As the leading additive supplier to the electric vehicle market, Afton is investing in and delivering new technologies to enable electric vehicle market growth to help reduce carbon emissions. We anticipated and are responding to the need for future lubricants to consider conductivity, the effect of electric fields, low friction/high speed, noise, and battery cooling or copper wire drawing. Click here to learn more about Afton’s eMobility insights and trends that are transforming the Automotive industry.
At Afton, we are committed to sourcing our raw materials responsibly and ensuring our suppliers are aligned with our core values. Afton has a global supply chain audit program under which we evaluate suppliers before approval for onboarding and periodically after that. When possible, we work with suppliers to improve their practices and build capacity in the interests of workers and communities.
Additionally, we recognize that the harvesting and processing of palm-based raw materials may pose an environmental risk. Although Afton uses no pure palm kernel oil, a very small percentage of our raw materials contain small fractions of palm oil derivatives. Our goal by 2023 is to ensure all of the palm-based raw materials sourced are harvested and processed in environmentally responsible ways.
Protecting Human Rights Within Our Supply Chain
Afton is committed to corporate social responsibility within its community and in its industry. We do not employ nor condone the employment of forced or compulsory labor, slave labor, or unlawful child labor. We do not engage in nor condone human trafficking, which can lead to forced labor. As part of the NewMarket family of companies, we have adopted a policy against Slavery and Human Trafficking that we apply to all our suppliers and service providers and their affiliates. Click here to learn more about our policy and the steps we take following the provisions of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010.
Responsible Care® is a registered service mark of the American Chemistry Council.