Keeping Our Guests and Site Staff Safe During COVID-19

Most of us are driving less. I’ve been working from home for two weeks now and I venture out in the car only for a weekly grocery trip. However, not everyone is like me. There are first responders and essential service workers who need to get to work, truckers making sure those groceries get to the stores, and volunteers who deliver meals and prescriptions to seniors.

For these folks, our business is essential and our Petro-Canada locations remain committed to keeping people and business moving during this time. That’s why we’re taking increased measures to keep our customers and our site staff safe as emphasized by Pat Lizotte, our General Manager of retail sales & site operations:

“We know we’re an important hub for the community, so it was essential that we worked to make sure everyone who comes into our sites feels safe, and that we are taking the right precautions.”

Plexi-glass Shields at Petro-Canada

In our more than 1,800 retail and wholesale locations across the country, we are taking a number of actions, including:

  • increasing the frequency and depth of our cleaning measures. Many surfaces are high touch, so we are making sure all high touchpoints inside and outside are cleaned regularly. Examples include pin pads, door handles, ATM machines, washrooms, pump handles, pump grade buttons, card readers, squeegee handles, vacuums and air pumps.
  • adjusting some of our offerings, including removing self-serve coffee.
  • supporting physical distancing measures by:
    • encouraging guests to pre-pay at the pump
    • placing floor decals two metres from each other in larger sites so guests are aware of where they should be standing
    • installing Plexiglas between our gas station attendants and our customers to eliminate any physical contact.

Steve Duke, our General Manager of wholesale sales & side operations, reinforces the commitment to doing our part to keep everyone safe:

“We know that all of these pieces together are critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19. The hard work and efforts of all of our associates and marketers and their staff allow us to continue to keep our guests safe and business moving during this time.”

To stay up to date on the continued measures we’re taking, please visit our COVID-19 update page or check out our Facebook page.

~ Braden H.

Part 2: Clearing the Air on EVs – Q&A with Pat Lazenby

A couple of weeks ago we chatted with Pat Lazenby, the Project Manager at Suncor and person in charge of building Canada’s Electric Highway, about barriers to EV adoption. This week we continue our chat.

Petro-Canada EV

Q. What should I think about if I'm considering making the switch to an EV?

A. You’ll want to think about a few factors. First, consider your commute length and route. This will help determine the range of battery you need along with the charging options you’ll want to have available. Look at the charging station infrastructure in your driving area so you can map out your route and determine if you need workplace or on the go charging options.  Although it is possible to charge an EV with a typical wall outlet, the charging times can be very significant, especially with larger vehicle batteries.

Many homeowners install what we call level 2 home charging systems (240V) which can reduce charge times by 75 to 80%. The cost of these systems can range from $500 to $1200. Most certified electricians are capable of installing a home charger. If you live in or are thinking about buying a condo, investigate the accessibility for charging your EV.

And don’t forget that weather can also be a factor as very cold weather can reduce battery performance and range.

Finally consider cost factors. There are many more EV options now than there were a few years ago. There are also government rebates available both federally and in selected provinces. This can help reduce the upfront purchase cost that is higher than comparable fuel powered vehicles. The operating costs of EVs are also less than that of traditional fuel powered vehicles so make sure you do the long-term math.

Q. You mention range and charging station infrastructure above. How did Petro-Canada choose the stops along Canada's Electric Highway?

A. We had to look at several functional criteria such as the layout of the station, lot size and utility requirements. However, a key criterion was the distance between stations. Keep in mind that our goal was to enable most EV drivers to drive from coast-to-coast in Canada, even if they only charged with Petro-Canada. This meant that the distance between sites could not be more than 250 KMs and was ideally less than that. We also wanted our customers to enjoy other amenities while they are charging such as our restaurant partners and our convenience stores. Although we could not provide all of these services at every location, many sites have some of these services. Ed. – you can see which services that each station offers using on our station locator

Q. Where can I find out more about EVs?

A. One resource I like is Plug’n’Drive. They have a ton of information online about charging options, EVs and even a test drive location and office in North York which is open to the public. The friendly staff can help answer you may have, and you can take many EVs for a spin.  You may also want to check out your local EV Society. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and chat with many of them over the last year and they are a great resource for your local commute.  

Thanks, Pat, for taking the time to chat with us! Any other questions for Pat, PumpTalk readers? If so, post ‘em in the comments.

~Braden H.

Celebrating Success and Leadership on International Women’s Day: Janna Schrottner

Our final profile celebrating International Women’s Day is Janna Schrottner, President of Jepson Petroleum (Alberta) Ltd. in Calgary.

Petro-Canada Celebrates International Women's Day

Hi, Janna! Please tell us a little bit about your role.

I’m the president of Jepson Petroleum (Alberta) Ltd. and the Petro-Canada wholesale marketer for Calgary and Southern Alberta. Our company has approximately 80 employees and a fleet of 45 trucks, with staff based in 12 locations throughout Southern Alberta. We deliver fuel and lubricants to our own customers, as well as Petro-Canada customers, and operate Petro-Canada’s Petro-Pass cardlocks in our area. In our organization I handle the major relationships with outside parties, including with the bank and Petro-Canada, and make sure that our vision, mission and overall direction as a company is clear, communicated and implemented.   As we are a small company, I also deal with safety oversight, HR matters, financial statement oversight, internal controls and pretty much anything else that comes up.

Q. What career highlights are you most proud of?

I obtained my Chartered Accountant designation in 2005. A lot of work went into both studying for the exam and articling at the CA firm and I have a huge sense of pride in that accomplishment even now, years later.

In 2016 I purchased AgCom Petroleum Sales Ltd, which was the wholesale marketer in Southern Alberta, excluding the Calgary area. I took over Jepson Petroleum (Alberta) Ltd. in 2017 when my dad retired, and I consolidated the two companies. Aligning the business processes of the companies and working to get the right team in place is still a work in progress, but we’ve made significant headway in this and it is very satisfying.

Q. How long have you been connected with Petro-Canada?

As Jepson Petroleum is a family business, I have been connected with Petro-Canada since I was a child. I started working for my dad’s company cleaning Petro-Pass washrooms as a teenager, and in the summers would work doing maintenance, delivering lubricants and acting as vacation coverage for the office staff. Between my first and second years of university I was a guest service attendant at a full service station just outside of Calgary, and mainly worked attending the pumps. After university I worked in various accounting and consulting firms but came back to Jepson Petroleum on a full time basis around 10 years ago. Petro-Canada has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Q. In your time with Petro-Canada, and from your perspective working in a traditionally male-dominated industry, what has helped you navigate the workplace and your career?

Generally I find the most difficult aspect of working in a traditionally male-dominated industry to be dealing with (mostly) unconscious biases and stereotypes, resulting in my input being dismissed or not sought after at all. If it’s something unimportant, like being mistaken as an office manager and summarily dismissed by a cable tech, my reaction is different than if I am being talked over in a meeting or not sent important information by someone who knows my position in the company. I find pointing out the mistake to be helpful; I pick my battles and I try to make sure I am present and noticed. As a woman, finding a balance between being considered a decisive leader and being considered a difficult person can be a challenge. I hope that as more women are in more senior leadership roles, this will become less of a problem.

Janna Schrottner

Q. The 2020 theme for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual – an equal world is an enabled world. What does this mean to you?

To me, #EachforEqual means that we can all contribute to a more gender equal world, and that even small changes in thoughts and actions can make a difference.

Q. From your perspective, how do you think Petro-Canada and Suncor are achieving #EachforEqual?

My experience as a woman dealing with Petro-Canada and Suncor has been positive. I have had nothing but support from all levels of the company, particularly during my takeover of AgCom, and do not feel that my gender has hindered my ability to work with Petro-Canada at all.

Q. Why do you think it’s important we work together to create a respectful and inclusive workplace? How will you support our journey?

Different people from different backgrounds bring different strengths to the workplace. I will support the journey by continuing to hire and promote women into positions that are not necessarily considered “women” positions, including drivers and site managers. In addition, I will continue questioning assumptions and biases to create opportunities for all.

Q. What two key pieces of advice would you offer women in the workplace?

One piece of advice I would offer women is that leadership doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. Leadership in business has shifted and does not necessarily mean that it always has to be a top-down approach – collaborative leadership can be very effective. Also, sometimes even being in the room can be the beginning of change. Being present and being heard can make a difference.

Q. How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day?

I have 2 children and will be watching them in a ski race on International Women’s Day.

A big “thank you” to Janna, Darlene, and Patty for taking the time to answer our questions. How are you celebrating International Women’s Day? How are you supporting women in the workplace? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!