'LEEDing' the way to greener banks

LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a global certification program for buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council administers and awards this certification, which has become a global benchmark in green design and construction.

LEED works as a merit system: the more points a building earns, the higher its rating. Acquiring the maximum LEED points surely requires additional work and spending, but its benefits far outweigh the efforts and costs in the long run.

UnionBank is able to save on expenditures and enhance its stature through the following LEED parameters:

Energy & Atmosphere

UnionBank conserves energy by using:

  • Energy-efficient, light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures
  • Energy star appliances
  • Solar panels

Our air-conditioning and refrigerant systems do not use chlorofluorocarbons further lowering our CO2 emissions.

Water Efficiency

The water consumption in our branches has been reduced by at least 20 percent to date. This was achieved through the use of:

  • Dual-flush toilets
  • Waterless urinals
  • Low-flow rate faucets

Indoor Environmental Quality

We provide a healthy and comfortable banking experience in our branches through:

  • Low-volatile organic compound sealants and adhesives
  • Green paints
  • Individual air-conditioning controls

Materials and resources

We are mindful of our use of materials and consume resources prudently. Today, we:

  • Minimize waste during construction
  • Reuse materials to save on raw resources
  • Support local economies by using regional materials

Location and transportation

As a general rule, UnionBank today strategically builds branches that:

  • Are easily accessible to transportation hubs
  • Promote biking and walking
  • Encourage carpooling and the use of innovative apps that promote vehicle sharing

Energy Consumption
Total energy consumption as of the end December 2017

GHG Emissions
Total GHG emissions as of the end December 2017: 9471 TCO2e
GHG emission levels were computed using the grid emission factors for the region from the Department of Energy.

Olangapo and Tacloban branches set the bar for LEED in Philippine banking

In January 2017, UnionBank became the first Filipino bank to earn Platinum and Gold certifications from LEED.

On February 2017, our Olangapo branch achieved the Platinum mark, the highest LEED rating.

Our Tacloban branch, meanwhile, became the first UnionBank branch to earn Gold certification on January 2017.

Not long after, our branches in Angeles, Pampanga; BGC 3rd Avenue; BGC 26th Street; Cebu Time Square; and Cebu Mactan Newtown also acquired Gold certifications.

What does this mean in terms of our bottom line? We are now able to systematically reduce energy and water costs. We also provide a healthier and relaxing branch experience compared to other banks.

Moreover, the sense of pride and confidence we generate among our customers and employees boost our viability and relevance in the long term.


UnionBank HQ hums on renewables --

Our head office building in Ortigas Center-all 50 floors of it-now operates on clean energy.

In partnership with AboitizPower's Cleanergy brand, we have become the first high-rise financial center in the Philippines to operate fully on a renewable energy source.

On April 2017, all of UnionBank Plaza's energy started coming from the 420-MW MakBan geothermal power plant in Laguna and Batangas.

This welcome shift to geothermal energy by HQ is a testament to Unionbank's support to enlarging clean-energy use in the Philippines.

This plant is part of AboitizPower's Cleanergy renewable energy portfolio, which generates more than 1,200 MW of energy from its geothermal, hydro and solar facilities across the country.

The extensive use of renewable energy in the Philippines still face major obstacles, as most of the country's energy still come from coal. Renewable plants are cheap to operate, but can be very expensive to build.

This welcome shift to geothermal energy by HQ is a testament to Unionbank's support to enlarging clean-energy use in the Philippines.

Alongside our Platinum and Gold LEED certifications for several branches in Luzon and the Visayas, the shift also significantly reduces our GHG emissions and total carbon footprint. All these help global efforts to curb the harsh weather impacts brought by climate change.

Why worry about E-Waste?

Project 1 Phone show us why

Your old smartphone gathering dust at home may seem harmless. But when discarded into landfills alongside millions of other electronic waste, they begin to pose serious hazards to entire communities and even our personal health.

The Philippines is consuming more and more electronic products than ever. This is expected to result into alarming levels of e-waste-toxic chemicals and heavy metals that are not easy to dispose or recycle safely.

We thus partnered with Globe in 2016 to promote wiser e-waste reuse and disposal through Globe's successful "Project 1 Phone", UnionBank is the largest donor.

The project disassembles e-waste down to its basic components. Useful parts and precious metals are resold or reused, and the harmful parts are discarded safely.

Small Lifestyle Changes for the Planet

Every small thing we do, from the food we eat, our choice to drive a car, our habits related to waste-all these seemingly mundane daily life choices have an impact on our environment.

Realizing the potentially huge impact of transforming the daily habits of our employees, one small doable change at a time, UnionBank took on the Aboitiz Group's No Impact Challenge.

This inventive program, adapted from the global No Impact movement, finds strength in numbers by encouraging all our employees to make better lifestyle choices in a race or contest set-up.

Our employees have formed teams of 10 or more to pursue four weeks of carbon-cleansing activities.

While these are as simple as going for a 20-minute walk, having a vegan meal, or avoiding carbonated drinks, they result in significant carbon reductions when rolled out across the entire Aboitiz Group.

As of the end of 2017, Aboitiz employees have come together for a combined 206 metric tons of CO2 emissions reduced in just 2 weeks.

For its part, UnionBankers contribute for the reduction of 66 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Imagine what we can accomplish if we fully imbibe a healthier and more sustainable life?

This is not only good for the planet, it is also good for our own wellbeing and personal health.

One Million Trees in 2025 program

The spirit of camaraderie and volunteerism is well and alive at UnionBank as seen in the recent strong showing of our employees in the Aboitiz Group's flagship green drive.

Aside from the participation of UnionBank to the Aboitiz Group Simultaneous Tree Planting Activity, the Bank's Branch Channel Management, headed by Job Dator initiated to restoring 1 Million Trees in 2025 in which supported by its Channel Management Center led by EVP Dennis Matutina. This was made in support to the bank's sustainability initiative and also coursed through our GoBeyond Communities employee-volunteerism program.

The spirit of camaraderie and volunteerism is well and alive at UnionBank

Wiser About Resources

Paperless monitoring and recycling or repurposing

To advance UnionBank's sustainability agenda in our day-to- day operations, most of our cash centers and branches today are now practicing paperless security monitoring and reporting.

This ensures that we cut down on the use of paper, while strengthening our security reporting procedures through tighter digital means.

Aside from this new resource efficiency drive, our head office led by our Facilities Management Group is advocating the repurposing and recycling of furniture and various equipment whenever feasible. This further cuts down the Bank's waste streams, including e-waste, and champions the sustainable use of materials and a renewed appreciation for sustainable design.

Sustainability Roadshows

The Sustainability Roadshow is a key stakeholder engagement and education campaign by the UnionBank Sustainability Team. It aims to enlighten, involve, and empower UnionBankers on the topic of sustainability by demonstrating how relevant it is to their personal and professional experiences.

The roadshow also serves as the venue for the team to educate employees on the sustainability initiatives of the Bank, with the LEED Green Building Initiative as its flagship project.

Through the roadshow, UnionBankers assigned in Bank branches are informed of the process and benefits of LEED and energy efficiency, enabling them to deepen their understanding and commitment to sustainability.