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What You Don’t Know About Canadian Business Success: Progressive Industrial Fluids x HSBC

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Find out how Canada’s Progressive Industrial Fluids is using green equipment finance to smooth its transition to net zero.

Canada’s Progressive Industrial Fluids is committed to helping things run more smoothly. Established in 2008 in Mississauga, Ontario, a short drive from Toronto, the company researches, develops and produces industrial lubricants and additives for various industries and applications.

Progressive’s products extend the working life of equipment and tools and enable them to operate more efficiently. However, the company is determined to do much more in the fight against climate change.

Right now, most industrial lubricants and additives are derived from crude oil, but Progressive believes the future lies in environmentally friendly and biodegradable materials. The company has been researching such solutions for over a decade, seeking to find more sustainable replacements for its existing portfolio.

“Since Progressive Industrial Fluids was founded, the world has been greatly impacted by climate change, which is driven in large part by our reliance on hydrocarbon-based products. This is an issue that Progressive does not take lightly,” said Darren Chambers, Chief Executive officer.

“We have worked rigorously to research and develop ways to effectively replicate existing products in a more ecological fashion and are continuously updating our product database with new, eco-friendly products to support future generations."

Research-driven growth

Research and development have underpinned the company’s evolution thus far. Starting out as a local reseller of a limited range of products, Progressive invested heavily to create its own offerings – it now makes 95% of what it sells, having grown its catalogue and established a global business network. It has also adopted a vertically integrated model to control every stage of the manufacturing process.

A big chunk of Progressive’s lubricant sales goes to the automotive sector. As more car makers switch to clean energy, it is only fitting that their wheels are greased by sustainable materials, too. Biodegradable additives now make up a significant and growing share of the company’s production.

As Progressive continues to expand and develop new products, it also wants its operations to become less carbon-intensive. At the end of 2021, the company expanded into a brand new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in London, Ontario, with the smaller Mississauga plant converted into a warehouse and distribution centre.

Progressive is now striving to reach net zero across its operations: the installation of more than 350 rooftop solar panels will make its main facility carbon neutral in 2023, and it plans to remove emissions from its delivery logistics by converting its entire transport fleet to electric vehicles by 2025.

Implementing sustainable operations

HSBC is helping the company transition its manufacturing to solar energy through a green lease. This kind of green equipment finance helps the company spread the upfront cost of the purchase and installation of the panels over the lease term, enabling it to lower its electricity expenses on an ongoing basis and take a big step towards its sustainability targets.

HSBC has been Progressive’s day-to-day bank since 2017, providing the company credit facilities in addition to the mortgage for its new plant.

“We are proud to support Progressive Industrial Fluids as they transition their operations guided by the conviction that the future of their industry does not lie with hydrocarbon-based materials,” said Angie Lamarsh, Head of Sustainable Finance, Commercial Banking, at HSBC Bank Canada.

“One of the major obstacles to the wider installation of rooftop solar power systems is the upfront cost involved, even though over the long term, the costs can be more than recouped in terms of electricity savings. By bridging that capex gap, we hope to support carbon reductions and enable businesses to meet their climate goals while improving their bottom lines.”

Today, we and many of our customers contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. We have a strategy to reduce our own emissions and to help our customers reduce theirs. Find out more about our climate strategy in Canada: www.business.hsbc.ca/en-ca/sustainability and globally: www.hsbc.com/climate

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