Big Yellow Self Storage has achieved a record 11.5% drop in total carbon emissions over the last year, greatly reducing the company’s carbon footprint and contributing to a saving of £100,000. The substantial drop, published in the company’s annual report for financial year 2009 on, heralds a shift in its commitment to reduce the effects of climate change, proving that the benefits of energy efficient lighting and renewable energy generation by self storage firms can be lucrative as well as socially responsible.
In line with its development and expansion programme, Big Yellow Self Storage (bigyellow.co.uk) has a long history of taking full advantage of opportunities to balance social and environmental responsibilities with commercial objectives. As a company, it has refined an already comprehensive programme since incorporation in 1998, believing that their self storage business really can tick all three of these boxes.
Big Yellow Self Storage believes CSR activity will create a more sustainable business, encourage customer loyalty and ultimately grow shareholder value. Short term payback comes from energy efficiency increases, which in turn improve the company’s economic bottom line by reducing expenditure on electricity and heating. On-site renewable energy installations therefore contribute towards the same goal with long lasting effects.
In the year ended 31 March 2009, four stores (Barking, Balham, Fulham and Merton) have been generating energy for most of the year and energy generation data has totaled 57,000 kWh, resulting in a carbon emission saving of 24.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2te). The solar photo voltaic installations are approaching the 10% CO2 reduction targets set by the Local Planning Authorities. To date solar photovoltaic energy has proved to be the most reliable method of meeting energy and carbon dioxide reduction targets. Ground source heat pumps have provided adequate heating to the reception areas in the winter season.
Operations focused on managing carbon emissions and improving recycling initiatives with the inclusion of eco-labelled packaging materials improves customer and employee satisfaction. Developing “green” aspects of the business is an initiative that the company has strived to champion within the self storage industry in the UK. As part of this objective, a formal integrated CSR structure has been implemented to lead and encourage ‘best practice’ within the industry. This covers all of Big Yellow Self Storage’s operations as both a developer and operator of self storage.
“We want to meet the self storage needs of both private and business customers, while helping to create local employment and contribute to local community regeneration. Prevention of pollution and natural resource waste and providing capital for sustainable development that is economically viable are key goals,” comments Paul Donnelly, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Big Yellow Self Storage.
Donnelly continues, “We’re well on the way to achieving our goals, as the company has met the strict criteria of the FTSE4Good Index Series for ethical institutional investors who invest in companies that demonstrate good standards in corporate responsibility.
“To ensure that the online community which we operate within is aware of developments in our green initiatives, we’ve recently launched our very own self storage blog at where we’ll be publishing features on the development of our CSR initiatives and thought leadership in the self storage industry”.
Renewable Energy Generation and CO2 Emission Reduction 1st April 2008 – 31 March 2009
Renewable Energy CO2 t e Store CO2 t e
Stores Energy Generation (kWh) Saving Totals
Barking Wind Turbine 2,780 1.2 1.2
Balham Solar PV 11,238 4.8
GSHP 4,975 2.1 6.9
Fulham Solar PV 22,500 9.7
GSHP 6,816 2.9 12.6
Merton Solar PV 6,715 2.9
Wind Turbine 1,976 0.9 3.8
Totals 57,000 24.5 24.5
* Renewable electricity generated x 0.43 = long term marginal factor reduction of CO2 emissions from major power stations.
For more information about the Big Yellow Self Storage’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme contact Splendid Communications.