The History of Sunoco
Sunoco has grown from its humble roots as a small oil company in Pittsburgh, PA, to one of the largest fuel distribution companies in the United States. Sunoco's rich, 130 plus-year heritage, legacy and reputation for innovation, and commitment to its local communities are foundational elements of this iconic American brand. Today, Sunoco distributes fuel to over 5,000 gas station locations in more than 30 states.
1886 Pennsylvania Roots
Joseph Newton Pew and Edward O. Emerson were partners at Peoples Natural Gas Company in Pittsburgh, PA, when they decided to expand their gas business to oil. It proved to be a success. Within a few years, the oil company had acquired pipelines, leases and storage tanks – emerging as one of the area's leading suppliers of crude oil.
On March 17, 1890, they made it official with a new name. The Sun Oil Company was producing, transporting, and storing oil as well as refining, shipping, and marketing petroleum.
1920s First Service Station
Sun opened its first service station in Ardmore, PA, and shortly after, another in Toledo, OH.
On November 12, 1925, Sun Oil Company went public – its stock appearing for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange.
Before the decade was over, Sun was in the oilfield equipment business with the 1929 formation of Sperry-Sun, a joint venture with Sperry Gyroscope.
1937 Landmark in Refining Industry
One of the most dramatic events of the 1930s for the company, and the refining industry, took place when Sun placed on stream the world's first large-scale, commercial catalytic cracking plant in Marcus Hook, PA, in 1937. The Marcus Hook plant is still owned and in operation today, serving as a refining facility location for the company's race fuels.
1950s Beyond the States
Sun began expanding north and south in the 1950s. In Canada, Sun started a 15,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Sarnia, Ontario. And, in Venezuela beginning in 1957, Venezuelan Sun Oil Company produced more than 1 billion barrels of oil from Lake Maracaibo before ceasing operations in 1975 when the Venezuelan government nationalized Sun's holdings.
1956 Invention of the Custom Blending Pump
Sun revolutionized the oil industry when it introduced the Custom Blending Pump, a novel system for dispensing a choice of five octane grades of gasoline from a single pump. A model of the pump is currently on display at the Smithsonian.
1970s Reshaping the Company
Major restructuring reshaped the company in 1975, when it organized into 14 operating units, two property companies and a non-operating parent company. This was accompanied by a move to a new corporate headquarters in Radnor, PA. Reflecting the diversification of the company, Sun Oil Company was renamed again to the Sun Company, Inc. in 1976.
1980s Ultra Release
With a history of innovation and love of performance, Sun developed and released the market's highest octane unleaded gas, Sunoco ULTRA 94, in 1983. The company discontinued ULTRA 94 in 2005, after a solid 22-year run.
In the late 1980s, Sun Company, Inc. began rebranding its fueling stations under the name Sunoco, to match the name of its gasoline.
1998 New Name
In November of 1998, Sun Company, Inc. changed its name to Sunoco, Inc.
2000s Giving Back
Sunoco is proud to give back to the communities it serves. Over the years, the company has partnered with both national and local organizations to provide financial contributions, fuel donations, and volunteer time to help assist those in need.
2004 Racing Fuel of Choice
In 2004, Sunoco signed on as the Official Fuel of NASCAR®, and more recently IndyCar and the NHRA. In total, Sunoco is the official fuel of more than 50 racing series.
2018 Launch of the Sunoco App
To help customers save time and get rewarded at the pump, Sunoco launched its new mobile app in 2018. The app gives customers the fastest way to fuel with quick access to the closest Sunoco station, simple payment options, integration with grocery rewards and exclusive offers—all right through their phone.
Health, Environmental, and Safety
Sunoco believes it has a responsibility to protect the environment and provide a safe workplace. This is a fundamental core value embedded throughout operations and within its business landscape. Sunoco is proud to be industry leaders when it comes to environmental practices and consistently exhibits 1st quartile safety performance when benchmarked against peers.
Sunoco is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment to employees, customers, and contractors. It strives for continuous safety improvement and looks for opportunities to improve safety culture and practices. Sunoco's employees are the company's and their family's most valuable asset; therefore, there is no job or priority more important than ensuring the safety of Sunoco's employees. The company executes this core organizational goal by doing the right thing, as demonstrated by a culture of strong safety leadership. Sunoco works diligently to recognize and then mitigate potential hazards, soliciting employee solutions. It delivers detailed health and safety training and instills in all employees a personal accountability and ownership to perform work in a safe manner, by complying with Sunoco's Health and Safety Policy and Procedures and all applicable federal, state, and local safety and health regulations.
Sunoco takes great pride and commitment in working to protect the public and environment. It executes this commitment throughout the business landscape by adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local environmental regulations and standards. In addition, the company adheres to Sunoco's internal Environmental Policy and Procedures. Sunoco's operating facilities take this core organizational value very seriously and integrate sound environmental practices and controls into daily operations, as well as look for opportunities for continuous operational improvement to enhance environmental controls and practices to protect the public and environment.