Fort Worth’s Go Green leaving smokeless trail of expansion

🕐 4 min read

A. Lee Graham For some, going smokeless requires chewing gum or sticky patches. For Go Green Smokeless Oil customers, it denotes environmentally friendly combustion. “We don’t compete with the big boys, but we offer something unique,” said Gary Graham, senior consultant with Go Green Smokeless Oil International Inc., which is staking its place in the hotly competitive retail petroleum market. From its 3,000-square-foot headquarters in Fort Worth’s Water Gardens building, the firm oversees manufacturing operations in Southlake that supply synthetic, biodegradable motor oils. The motor oils offer lower emissions, extended engine life and better performance, according to Graham.

Whether derived from renewable sugar-based hydrocarbons or fully synthetic sources, each of the firm’s 14 oils is designed to reduce smoke and emissions from older vehicles that burn more oil due to age and wear. Among vehicles that could benefit most from Go Green products are natural gas-fueled cars and trucks, which have lower emissions and longer oil change intervals. Targeting such vehicles has helped the company distinguish itself in a market better known for mass-produced black oil than the “green” alternative offered by the Cowtown company. Go Green already includes the Dallas Zoo and Highland Park Police Department as customers. Acknowledging that the firm “isn’t attempting to put Exxon out of business,” Graham pointed to a narrower focus on natural gas vehicles.

“At Go Green, we have the ability to use synthetic base stocks that are able to withstand the longer OCI [oil change intervals] and use an additive package that is better suited for longer OCI and the higher combustion chamber temperatures found in natural gas engines,” Graham said. Not only does the firm make and sell smokeless and multi-viscosity motor oils and small engine lubricants, but it also offers oil-change service – or will when Go Green Oil Change Center makes its Austin debut. Set to open sometime in December along Ranch Road 620 N., the facility will sell all of the company’s 14 varieties, from fully synthetic to re-refined synthetic and bio-based formulations. The lube center will stand out among the Jiffy Lubes of the world through its products as well as its conservation measures, Graham said.

“The best way to lower solid waste is to first reduce,” said Graham. He described the oil change center’s mission as to eschew traditional practice and embrace environmental stewardship. Instead of buying oils in plastic bottles, as many lube centers do, Graham said, the Go Green facility will buy and store in bulk, meaning no plastic bottles to end up in landfills. But plastic containers are required for its retail products. That is one of several factors that led CEO Mike Hutcheson and his son, Cole, also with the company, to choose Fort Worth as company headquarters. “From bottle caps to packaging, everything you need is in the area,” said Hutcheson, who oversees the operation from downtown but conducts manufacturing in Southlake. The firm chose Austin for its lube center prototype due to what Graham called its environmentally conscious population. Ten more centers are planned, including at least one in Fort Worth. They would be funded through private investors and what Graham called an “external offering.”

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The firm already is a public company but plans to begin offering shares next year. “We’re actively looking right now for properties,” said Hutcheson, whose company takes an active role in landing customers. Added Graham, “Our strategy is not to go on a shelf and hope someone finds our products, but to contact those prospective niche customers directly through electronic media, direct mail and inside sales.” Some might scratch their heads at a green company staking its livelihood on the blackest of riches. But founding such a firm was a longtime dream of Hutcheson, who spent several years in the wholesale automotive industry. While selling vehicles at an Abilene dealership, he noticed the harmful effects of exhaust emissions and smoke. He struck up a working relationship with Dow Chemical and Go Green produced what it called the “world’s first and only” fully synthetic, non-toxic, ultimate biodegradable motor oil formulated for any combustible engine with a smoke and emission problem.

With a product line established and lube centers on the horizon, Go Green hopes to reap riches while looking out for the environment. It only has five employees but is recruiting more sales people. Attending the recent AAPEX (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo) in Las Vegas convinced Graham that demand will continue to grow. “Because of the overwhelming worldwide response, we hired our first internal sales person last week and are recruiting additional talent,” Graham said.  

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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