Being the first bank to merit LEED Platinum and Gold certifications for its branches, UnionBank is positively forging ahead to sustainable banking in the Philippines.
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) recently awarded a LEED Platinum certification, the highest possible rating for leadership in energy efficiency and environmental design, to UnionBank’s Olongapo branch.
Moreover, the Bank’s Tacloban branch, which was the first bank to restore operations after Super Typhoon Yolanda ravaged the province in 2013, became the first bank branch to earn LEED Gold certification.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is an internationally recognized symbol of excellence for green building design and construction that promotes a healthy, durable, affordable, and environmental practice in building design and construction.
It has been changing the way people think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Leaders around the world have made LEED the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings.
To achieve LEED Platinum and Gold certifications, UnionBank’s Facilities Management Group (FMG) headed by First Vice President, Montano Dimapilis, closely monitored the strict adherence to the rigorous LEED requirements to meet the standards of six different categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design.
“The recent distinction of being the first bank to achieve the highest possible rating from the international symbol of green excellence proves our championing of sustainable banking in the country. This is just the beginning of the Bank’s sustainability initiatives. You can be sure to expect more LEED news from us soon.”
-Montano Dimapilis, First Vice President and Facilities Management Group Head, UnionBank
The new UnionBank-owned building in Olongapo has available green building features such as rainwater catchment for flushing of toilets and irrigation of the vegetated roof deck, a parking area with open-grid pavers, and bicycle racks allocated for UnionBank employees.
The Olongapo branch’s interior features include HVAC systems, lighting fixtures with occupancy sensors, and plumbing fixtures. It will also provide its own site-renewable energy that can produce a maximum power of three kilowatts through the use of solar panels located at the building’s roof deck.
The Tacloban branch’s sustainability measures include plumbing fixtures that help keep water efficiency, volatile organic compound (VOC) materials to ensure the health and safety of everyone, solar panels to supplement energy source, and LED lights and sensors that reduce consumption by 15%.
In upholding its sustainability efforts, UnionBank endeavors to extensively adopt guidelines for green building planning, construction, maintenance and operation, serving as a benchmark of resource efficiency in the banking and financial sector.
UnionBank has long been pursuing green initiatives. Apart from its annual tree planting activity, together with the Aboitiz Group, the Bank has an existing partnership with Globe Telecom for the latter’s e-waste recycling program, under which project proceeds are used to build classrooms throughout the country.