May 202010

Since I couldn’t find much information about the United Petroleum in my recent research into the social responsibility of petrol providers, I sent them a direct inquiry.  They responded quickly, which is good; but the response does not make it easy to slot them in my ranking of petrol suppliers.

I sent them these questions:

I am concerned about the social responsibility of petrol suppliers, and have changed my buying habits based on this factor.  I am a regular customer of United by choice, and would like to know more about the source of petrol and ethanol sold at United service stations.

Does United mine and refine its own oil?  Does it acquire petrol from other suppliers?  If the latter, which suppliers?

Does the bioethanol used in United fuel blends come from waste products, or from food crops?

What is United Petroleum doing to ensure it outperforms competition in social responsibility?

The brevity was deliberate, as this was submitted via a feedback form on their website.  Impressively, I had a reply within 26 hours:

Hi Lachlan,

Thank you for your email. In response to your query, United does not refine its own oil, in Canberra we purchase it from Shell and Mobil.
The bioethanol in the fuel comes from Manildra, a by product of milling and CSR MOLAYSIS a by product of sugar production. Hope this helps answer your question.
Kind Regards

Xxxxxx Xxxxx

Communications Coordinator
United Petroleum Pty Ltd

To be honest, this doesn’t make it easy to reach a verdict.  I really want to avoid petrol from Mobil, as they are bottom-of-the-list social responsibility performers.  However, I do like supporting Australian companies.

So the outcome of my research is that BP supplants United as my primary fuel supplier.  I will look for United as a second option when BPs are hard to find, and I will respond to let them know I’m disappointed with their use of Mobil petrol.  I absolutely can’t wait for the arrival of cars like the GM-Volt, which will tangibly reduce our reliance on hydrocarbon fuels.

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