4 ways Unioil is ahead in its industry in terms of environment protection

Unioil President Kenneth Pundanera and CFO Janice Co Roxas-Chua sign the company's pledge board during 'Doing Our Part' campaign launch.

Combustion of fuel in vehicles has always been among the top contributors to air pollution and emission of greenhouse gases that harm the planet’s atmosphere. But Unioil Petroleum Philippines, Inc. wants to prove that players in the gasoline industry can initiate changes in business practices and development of products to become environmentally responsible.

“‘Doing Our Part’ is a campaign that aims to make everyone realize that change in society need not be difficult,” said Unioil President Kenneth Pundanera during the recent launch of the company’s latest initiative. “Change begins with regular individuals in small but meaningful decisions, which when collectively and consciously done will lead to much greater results.”

“It’s not solely an environmental campaign. Rather, it is a campaign that aims to inspire any kind of action that helps build a better world,” he continued. Through ‘Doing Our Part,’ Unioil encourages everyone to be more conscious of his/her decisions, which may pose impact to the surroundings. The independent oil retailer has pioneered in adopting these four innovative ways to become an environment advocate in its industry.

First to adopt Euro 5 fuel standards in PH
“Unioil has constantly been the industry leader in bringing the cleanest fuels to the market, having been the first to bring the key air compliant Euro 2 fuels in 2002, Euro 4 fuels in 2013, and Euro 5 fuels in 2017,” said Unioil Chief Financial Officer Janice Co Roxas-Chua.

In September, the company became the first to shift its entire fuel lineup to comply with Euro 5 standard requirements. “After we shifted our entire lineup with Euro 5 standards, we became the first and still the only company in the Philippines to introduce Euro 5 diesel, Euro 5 regular gasoline, and Euro 5 premium gasoline—the cleanest range of high performance fuel,” Pundanera emphasized.

Euro 5 standard fuels contain maximum sulfur content of 10 parts per million compared to Euro 4 standard’s 50 parts per million. Thus, it is five times cleaner. Sulfur is among the main pollutants in fuel as it transforms into sulfur dioxide, which when retained in the atmosphere causes smog and acid rain. By using Euro 5 fuels, you could significantly lower your car’s harmful emissions by up to 77% without spending more.

Doing Our Part starts with the realization that we have the power of choice. Let’s start by using the cleanest range of high performance fuels,” Puntanera said.

Air quality monitoring in gas stations
Since the launch of Unioil’s Airvisual project in 2016, air quality monitoring devices have already been installed in the company’s 27 out of 60 gas stations across the country.

Such devices utilize advanced laser technology that allows measurement volume of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 in the air—mini-particles that are 20 times smaller than the human hair strand. This is a very significant measure of air quality since particles of such size could enter the human lungs.

The Airvisual monitoring devices transmit live air quality data to the web, making it possible for just about anyone to check out air quality conditions in cities through a downloadable smartphone app. “Soon, we hope to share our air monitoring results through DENR’s own quality monitoring site, thereby increasing the number of air quality monitors in our cities,” said Pundanera.

First hybrid gasoline station in the country
This year, Unioil launched its first hybrid gasoline station—the one located along Congressional Avenue in Quezon City. The service station is the company’s and the country’s first to be partially powered by the sun, which is among the cleanest and most efficient energy sources available from nature.

To make this happen, a Smartflower solar system panel was installed in the store. Smartflower is a globally recognized brand for intelligent solar energy solutions with the unique sun-tracking technology that automatically makes adjustments based on sun’s movement throughout the day. Despite its higher cost, it is up to 40% more efficient in producing energy compared to conventional stationary panels. A Smartflower unit also helps reduce Unioil’s carbon foot print by up to 4.7 metric tons annually, which is equivalent to planting about 5,000 trees.

The country’s first electric vehicle charging station
“Alternative energy is the single biggest threat to the profitability of the oil industry. Yet, we are the first in the industry to fully embrace it,” said Roxas-Chua. “We are the first to open a vehicle charging station in one of our retail stations (in Quezon City) and we plan to build 15 more by 2018.”

According to Pundanera, putting up such electric vehicle charging stations is the company’s way of promoting the use of electric vehicles, which produce much less emission compared to conventional fuel-combustion cars. “Installed side by side with the Smartflower solar panels, we believe the next step forward is to harness the sun’s energy to power our vehicles,” he said.