Aldo Govi on future directions

New Infineum CEO talks about his key priorities, commitments and ambitions

Almost three decades at Infineum give new CEO Aldo Govi a deep understanding of the organisation and the global fuels and lubricants markets, which is combined with his ambition to drive Infineum forward to deliver on its purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry. With challenges and opportunities ahead, Insight talks to Aldo about his views of the changing industry, his key priorities and what his vision of success looks like.

Question Q

What areas will you focus on in your first year?

Answer A

As I took over as CEO, my most important message to employees was maintaining our strong safety performance. I now have ultimate responsibility for the safety of everyone working for Infineum, something I take very seriously.  It is important to me that anyone working for Infineum, goes home in the same condition in which they arrived at work. This is why I will be driving our relentless focus on personal and process safety.

For the business, I will be taking stock not only of our ambition but also the long-term drivers in our industry and the macro-economic conditions. I must consider how and where we are creating value for our customers and ourselves, through products and solutions, as well as any geopolitical risks and their impact.

My aim is to drive us towards our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. In the week I became CEO, I am proud to say we published our third Sustainability report, which shares more about the work we are doing to achieve our net zero ambition for scope 1 and 2 operated asset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Sustainability is a definite focus area for me, in my first year and beyond. I’ll be doing all I can to support our aim to lead our industry on this exciting journey, taking a collaborative approach and engaging on sustainability not just with our customers, but also with our colleagues, suppliers, shareholders, and communities.

Integrity is also very important to me and ensuring that every employee understands this and continues to operate to the highest standards of business ethics is an integral part of my message to employees in the first year and beyond.

I am passionate about Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and have shared this with our employees. This means taking actions to create an equitable and inclusive environment where everyone can flourish and be proud of working for Infineum. A great example of driving our DEI agenda is our new relationship with FOSSI in the US. This programme was set up to increase the number of under-represented professionals in STEM through scholarships and I am so pleased we have become involved.

Question Q

What are the biggest challenges you need to overcome to achieve your objectives?

Answer A

Our industry is facing multiple challenges as we adapt to the trends and major changes that are happening in our industry and the world in which we live.

On the one hand, the rapid electrification of the passenger car industry, to help respond to the challenge of making mobility more sustainable, is creating a number of challenges but also opportunities in a big part of our current business.

On the other hand, the combination of a pandemic, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the recent developments in the Middle East, and a persistent state of geopolitical tension, has resulted in high inflation and an economic downturn. In turn, this has challenged the status quo based on predictable GDP growth and modernisation in a global peaceful world.

As I am leading the organisation at a time when disruption has become the norm rather than the exception, I must be able to simultaneously optimise the current business model and inspire Infineum colleagues to create the future one. The challenge is the tension created from these two distinct objectives. This will need to be managed by me and my executive team, so we can continue to deliver exceptional value for existing customers while driving the business forward into new areas.

Question Q

What is your view of the future global fuels and lubricants markets – where do you see the potential for growth, how can Infineum meet evolving market needs and what will differentiate Infineum from its competitors?


Answer A

In terms of growth, I believe that markets like India, South-east Asia and Mexico will see growth in personal mobility and transportation of goods as their economies grow. But ultimately, one of the reasons for my focus on sustainability, is that it is an essential part of the future of our industry. As electrified vehicles take an increasing share of growth especially for personal mobility, increasingly fuel-efficient internal combustion engines (ICEs) including hybrids and other more sustainable solutions such as re-refined base oil (RRBO), will also play an important role. For heavier engines, alternative fuels will be a critical part of the decarbonisation story – biofuels, hydrogen, methanol, ammonia – all of which will require lubricants and lubricants with specific technical requirements.

I believe Infineum can meet evolving market needs through our strong sustainability approach and by focusing on our customers’ needs and those of the end users. In high growth markets, lubricants will need to be affordable with optimised products and components that deliver excellent value for our customers.

We’ve also been working with regional partners around the world as deglobalisation happens and supply risks increase customer interest in more adjacent supply chains.

What will differentiate Infineum from its competitors is simple. Aligned with our net zero ambition, it is our overarching desire to create value for our customers, our resilience, our strong ability to collaborate, our technology leadership and our aim to lead this industry to become more sustainable. As well as our innovative approach to delivering solutions for our customers and our deep understanding of lubricant and additive technology.

"In simple terms we put the customer at the heart of everything we do. By helping our customers to win, so we win, and we grow sustainably together."
Question Q

What short and longer term challenges can you foresee and how will Infineum respond?

Answer A

The most immediate and pressing challenge is the current market slow-down in our industry. Whilst it is a challenge which is mainly linked to global economic and geopolitical conditions, we should not discount the fact that it may be a sign of a new and lower baseline.

In this context, our ability to introduce improvements to existing products and services as we better understand our customers’ needs will be critical.

We will need to be disciplined in investing the right amount in technology, supply chain, manufacturing and commercial to deliver solutions to meet the ICE lube’s needs of our customers.

Longer term, the challenges remain as they have been for a few years, and most materially the rate and pace of electrification and the need to be more diversified and sustainable. Additionally, we will need to be able to exploit the opportunities brought from digitalisation (from deep data analytics to machine learning and GenAI) and to deliver automation, improved and optimised manufacturing assets and supply chains.

I am incredibly confident that our strong core innovation and our ability to solve complex problems will translate into a number of successful new ventures and business opportunities, to fulfil our purpose and vision.

"In the short term we must become more agile and resilient, in the longer term we must adapt and diversify in a changing world."
Question Q

Sustainability, including decarbonisation and reducing emissions, are important industry drivers. How is Infineum working to help industry stakeholders meet their goals?

Answer A

The world wants to move towards more sustainable solutions. We are working in our ecosystem to design and propose these solutions, to show that they are feasible and viable, and to set the trend as early adopters, to show the way for everyone to follow and contribute.

First of all, we are working to be a sustainable company, implementing plans to deliver our ambitions. This includes DEI and the whole ESG area, not just decarbonisation. We have made significant interventions in the way we work as a company to embed sustainability into our daily activities. This is critical because to help the industry, we must lead by example.

We are very active in the industry with our 'Seeds of change' campaign. We are speaking at industry events to discuss challenges, to propose solutions, to bring to the front the value and importance of a coherent approach from all the key stakeholders, such as the ones given at Lubes Expo in 2022 and 2023.

Our Sustainability report , as I mentioned, is another vehicle to share our ambition, our progress and our dilemmas, generating interest, engagement and inspiring other organisations.

Question Q

How is Infineum working to meet its own sustainability ambitions?

Answer A

Our purpose is to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, and we want to transform into a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. This is key as it shows how sustainability is a strategic choice for Infineum.

We stated our 2025 ambitions, which set the path for us back in 2019, and as mentioned, we recently published our net zero ambitions: 50% reduction for scope 1&2 by 2030 and net zero by 2050, 20% reduction for scope 3 by 2050 – the only additive company and one of few chemical companies with a scope 3 ambition.

We have formed a Sustainability Executive Team, composed of Executive Directors from key functional areas (Marketing, Technology, Procurement, Supply Chain, Strategy, Sales) who oversee these roadmaps of activity to drive us towards our ambition.

We have embedded sustainability thinking and practices in what we do every day, examples include, completion of lifecycle analysis for all our products, introduction of a carbon pricing in the economics of all our projects and we are working with customers and suppliers to design and deliver solutions. 

"Sustainability is one of my areas of focus and I will be driving this agenda forward in line with our ambition."
Question Q

How will Infineum attract the next generation of diverse talent required to be a successful modern speciality chemicals company?

Answer A

Attracting diverse talent has been a key objective for some time and becomes even more crucial as we transform into a more diversified sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company.

To engage the next generation of talent, we will have to continue to remain successful and a leader in any industry we operate in and challenge and update our employer brand and the value proposition we offer to our colleagues. This includes continuing to advance and emphasise our strong values and inclusive work environment, showcasing our welcoming culture and opportunities for personal growth, career development and work-life balance. It also means actively engaging across social media with new talent pools and diverse educational institutions, highlighting our sustainability ambitions, safety orientation and diversity-driven impact.

Question Q

What other ambitions do you have for Infineum to 2030 and what will success look like to you?

Answer A

My ambition for Infineum to 2030 is very clear.

We are going to deliver on our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

We will continue to be a model employer and a sought-after business partner for our values centred on Safety, Integrity, Sustainability and DEI

We will maintain our leadership in the transportation additive industry through our customer centric approach, the value of our technology and our reliability.

We will create value in a number of new sectors that contribute to the energy transition, leveraging our innovation capabilities and our network of partners.

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