Safestore and Our Environment

Our scale means that we need to focus on reducing our impact on the environment whilst working with suppliers who are committed to sustainable business practices.

We strive to:
​— minimise waste production and promote reuse and recycling where possible;
​— ensure the safe handling and disposal of waste products;
​— continue to deploy cardboard recycling facilities across our stores;
​— reduce our energy usage through a range of initiatives;
​— work with our suppliers to build more sustainable supply chains and;
​— use eco-friendly solutions when building new stores and, as a minimum, building to the BRE Environmental Assessment Method.

Our focus for 2018–2019:
— ensure the safe handling and disposal of waste products;
— continue to deploy cardboard recycling facilities across our stores which is supported by our efficiency roll-out for waste;
— reduce our energy usage through a range of initiatives;
— where possible we will look to use renewable energy sources;
— work with our suppliers to reduce our carbon footprint within our supply chains;
— use eco-friendly solutions when building new stores and, as a minimum, building to the BRE Environmental Assessment Method;
— this year we are going to revisit the packaging of our products to remove any plastic packaging which is not bio-degradable. This change will look to be implemented by the end of financial year 2019; — reduce our freshwater usage by 5% collectively for our UK stores; and
— change suppliers for the consumables so deliveries can be made from local depots, thus reducing the cost of CO2 emissions on transport.

Carbon Footprint and Energy Conservation Case Study

Stockport Bryant – new roof installation in 2018 Overview

We have carried out extensive works to maintain this important historic Grade II listed building in Stockport. Following lengthy consultation with Stockport MBC’s heritage officer, this year we have re-roofed the building making extensive use of existing Welsh slate tiles. We have additionally sympathetically used modern materials that achieve both conservation and energy performance requirements.

We carried out repairs to existing timbers including the installation of structural steel supports to the roof and outer wall structure joints and where necessary millboards to the floors were replaced.

These works have the benefit of bringing the top floor of this 80,000 sq ft MLA building back into full economic use.

Carbon footprint and energy conservation of materials used

As part of the works we have used Marley Eternit Rivendale Fibre Cement Slate.

The fibre cement slates used have the following properties:

— a low carbon footprint of 13 CO2 e/m2 ; and
— a 100% recyclable building material.

The slates have been combined with the full Marley Eternit specification including eaves ventilation and breathable membrane. An A+ rating (the lowest environmental impact) in the Building Research Establishment’s Green Guide to Specification can be achieved using these slates. At the “end of life”, the crushed fibre cement slate can be recycled without need for any further processing.

From a conservation viewpoint they provide a traditional slate aesthetic whilst reducing cost and lowering the carbon footprint of the roof.

Kingspan KS1000 TD composite roof panels

The primary function of insulated panels is energy conservation. The panels are designed using one of the highest performing and most efficient insulations and are also capable of providing extremely high levels of air tightness.

These attributes uniquely contribute to the energy efficiency of the building envelope with the potential to considerably cut CO2 emissions.

Topdek panels reduce costly roofing delays by installing the steel deck, insulation core and weather membrane in a single operation. This means buildings become weathertight faster and installers spend less time on the roof, helping improve safety.

Terne coated stainless steel seamless gutters

Terne coated stainless steels are defined as “stainless steel continuously hot dip coated with a lead-tin alloy”. These strip materials are much lighter than traditional lead roofing systems and so can result in lighter support structure cost savings.

Metals are infinitely recyclable and are safe for the environment.

Recycling scrap metal reduces greenhouse gas emissions and uses less energy than making metal from virgin ore. Metal recycling also conserves natural resources.

The stainless steel used on the project:

— is produced from 60% recycled materials; and
— has longevity – stainless steel has a very low life cycle cost.

Re-claimed Welsh slate

Natural slate is one of the world’s oldest continuously used roofing materials.

The decision to re-use the original Welsh slates on the two end bays that are both visually observable from ground level helps the building to retain its traditional aesthetics from a local conservation viewpoint.

The carbon footprint of recycling this material is reduced through not needing to transport or manufacture a new product specifically for this project.

Waste recycling

As part of our commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly construction techniques, and with the help of our contractor, we are taking the time to separate all of our recyclable waste on the project, including:

— scrap lead;
— waste glass;
— waste timber; and
— waste hard-core.

All non-hazardous waste timber has been collected and transported to a recycling plant in Droylsden, Manchester. Once at the processing facility the waste timber can be used to produce biomass woodchip fuel and other products like dust-free wood fibre bedding for both the equestrian and agricultural industries.

Our Grade II listed building at Stockport Bryant Completed hip using fibre cement slates

Climate Change

Safestore aims to minimise the impact of our business operations on the environment, both directly and through our sourcing activities. We consciously look to make changes in a sustainable way which matches our growth within the market sector.

In the context of climate change, we strive to respond to all aspects that have an impacting effect on our products and services. In recognition of the serious implications that climate change and other environmental risks may pose to our customers, shareholders and our employees, we have developed a comprehensive CSR strategy to minimise our overall impact on the environment.

New Stores

Mitcham-v2-(1).jpgAll of our new stores are designed with efficiency in mind, from using recycled materials in the construction to the energy-efficient way in which we light our stores.

Our impact on the environment is at the heart of all our developments. Our new store in Mitcham achieved a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (“BREEAM”) rating of “Very Good” and an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) rating of “A” when it opened earlier in the year.

Our last four new store openings have achieved an EPC rating of “A”.

Our future development site in Carshalton, South London, will require us to achieve a BREEAM rating of “Excellent” when it opens in 2019.

All steel used for the construction of our stores has a minimum of 60% recycled content and is all sourced from British steel. The chipboard used for our mezzanine floors is all Forest Stewardship Council (“FSC”) certified.

Since 2016 all construction projects have achieved a minimum of 95% construction waste being recycled.

Two years ago we switched our lighting in new stores from fluorescent to light emitting diode (“LED”). This has enabled us to drastically reduce the amount of electricity required to light our stores. Our Mitcham store is currently fitted out across three floors and by using these fittings we are currently saving 9,504 watts of electricity per annum compared with the old fluorescent fittings.

Photovoltaic cells play an important part in providing renewable energy. Our new store in Mitcham has a 5 kW system installed on the roof which will generate 4,500 kWh of electricity per year which is put back into the grid.

Rainwater from our new stores is often held in attenuation tanks on site and slowly discharged into the main sewers so as not to overflow the system.

We comply with all current planning policies and building regulations and actively engage with planners over the design to ensure our stores fit well within the local environment.

As a responsible developer we require all of our sites to be registered with the Considerate Construction Scheme through our Construction Management Partners and actively support dialogue and feedback with the local community.

We consider all sites for new stores and over the years have redeveloped many brownfield sites and continue to do so. As a responsible developer we decontaminate and remediate our sites where required before construction works commence.

This year also saw us add our third basement car park to the portfolio with the conversion of an old NCP car park in Paddington. The subterranean store offers 37,000 sq ft of storage space within a short walk of Marble Arch.

Our Packaging Range

Although usage has increased, we have increased our store portfolio by circa 10% with the addition of twelve stores which were acquired in November 2017 and newly opened stores.

An increase in sales across our product range has shown an uplift in volumes over the previous twelve-month period. Please see confirmation below of this year’s and last year’s numbers for comparison in kilograms supplied.

We worked with our supplier Ecopac to update its logistics by opting to use supply chains already in place, optimising scheduled routes already. We anticipate saving 15 tonnes of CO2 by switching supplier. Reducing the number of orders by stores to one per month where possible it will decrease the amount of deliveries needed on our behalf.

Our continued commitment to fully recycled paper has minimised the cost to the environment and we estimate that at these volumes around 650 trees have been saved.

We continue to liaise with our suppliers to help us achieve the goals which we have set to help improve our overall footprint on the environment.

This is also incorporated in our packing supplier Ecopac, which offers a diversified range of solutions for our packaging needs:

— replacing virgin material with recycled material;
— replacing standard polythenes with bio-polythene;
— replacing polystyrene with starch-based products; and
— lightweight without compromising performance.

in kgs
​in kgs
Difference kg Difference %
Oxy-bio bubble     5,775 5,915 140 2.4
Poly covers   4,230 4,504 274 6.5
Corrugated (cardboard)            250,000 259,000 9,000 3.6

Our Uniforms

We are proud to use suppliers that hold environmental and ethical principles to high standards. Our uniform supplier processes are based on the ethical trade initiative, based on the International Register of Certificated Auditors (“IRCA”) who audit and inspect their supply base.

The principles are based on the Ethical Trade Initiative where:

— employment is freely chosen;
— freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected;
— working conditions are safe and hygienic;
— child labour shall not be used;
— living wages are paid;
— working hours are not excessive;
— no discrimination is practised;
— regular employment is provided; and
— no harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.


What powers us?

We have taken positive steps this year to reduce our carbon footprint. From October 2018 we changed to 100% renewable energy sources in all our UK freehold sites which equates to a 5,218t CO2 reduction to our overall carbon footprint. To put this into perspective this would equate to an estimated 237,150 trees saved per annum.

Smart meters

We are continually seeking opportunities to reduce energy consumption to the lowest practicable levels appropriate for the operational needs of the business and to satisfy the requirements of our customers. We have installed smart meters in 80% of our stores and have targeted 100% by mid-2019. It is our intention to phase in business management systems (“BMS”) in our stores, using tablet controlled units for lighting controlled by Wi-Fi.

Lighting up our stores

Recognising that our electricity consumption is predominantly derived from our lighting requirements we have installed timers and PIR sensors at all of our stores and have undertaken a portfolio-wide LED lighting installation programme.

During the last twelve months, Safestore has been aggressively changing fluorescent lighting to LED lighting. This programme of works has involved the replacement of over 25,000 fluorescent lights, in over 100 stores. The carbon saving that has been generated is the equivalent of taking over 800 diesel cars off the road every year.

The lighting replacement programme included the internal corridor lights changing from a 70w fluorescent to a 28w LED. These have individual microwave technology to sense a person’s movement and turn on five metres before and turn off ten metres after they have passed the light. The new lighting also has a range of 10–90% meaning it benefits from not having to burn energy turning on from a cold start, saving a significant amount of energy per annum.

We also took the opportunity to change any old halogen floodlights to LED PIR floodlighting and our reception square lighting from 72w to 30w LED panels. The lighting replacement has also had significant other benefits and it needs changing less often.

It comes with a seven-year warranty meaning less harmful mercury vapour gas is being produced by lighting manufacturers and reduced maintenance means fewer contractor journeys to our stores.

The impact of the installation programme has reduced our electricity consumption by 22% over the past twelve months.


We continually seek opportunities to reduce energy consumption and have removed gas from two of our stores and are looking to remove it from existing stores where possible over the coming twelve months. Our gas use was impacted significantly at the beginning of the year due to adverse weather caused by the “Beast from the East” and Storm Emma. All new built stores do not require gas and are electrically heated in the limited areas of the stores required.


The deregulation of water has allowed us to consolidate to one supplier this year rather than the 29 we had previously. This means that we now have clear communication with just one supplier making it easier for us to achieve our reduction goals.

As a company we consume very low volumes of water but strive to further minimise our consumption wherever possible through the installation of efficient water fixtures and fittings. We are trialling a flow saver system at our Head Office which limits the amount of water used in our bathrooms and kitchens from the taps. It estimates a 70% saving on water compared to a standard tap. If the trial is successful it will be rolled out to our higher usage stores.


Recycling, recycling and recycling

Poster-eat-drink-recycle-repeat.jpgThis year the percentage of our waste going to recycling has increased by 54% which is a positive step. We will continue to encourage our colleagues and our customers to use the recycle bins wherever possible.

We are currently actioning an efficiency plan across our portfolio to ensure that we have the correct facilities on site to enable our stores to minimise landfill waste ensuring waste that is generated is recycled.

We are also trialling the “Every Can Counts” initiative recycling aluminium and tin cans as these can be melted down and endlessly re-used. Again it is our intention to roll this out across all stores.

Our Actions in 2018

With all suppliers that have been renewed in the last twelve months we have ensured that our suppliers have agreed to our modern slavery, anti-bribery and GDPR requirements.


Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Report

This report was undertaken in accordance with the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) Emissions Reporting requirements outlined in the Companies Act for listed companies, which requires Safestore Holdings plc (“Safestore”) to report on its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions each financial year.

This report contains our GHG disclosure for the 2017/18 financial year. We have 119 stores in the UK and 27 stores in France. During the 2017/18 reporting period we opened two new UK stores (Mitcham and Paddington Marble Arch), acquired twelve new UK stores (Birmingham Sheldon, Birmingham Yardley, Bolton North, Bristol Brislington, Camden Town, Fareham, Farnham, Luton, Nottingham, Southampton Quay, Wednesbury and Winchester) and opened one new French store (Poissy). This report contains the following environmental data for all 146 of our stores: GHG emissions, electricity consumption, electricity transmission and distribution, gas consumption, water consumption, waste generation and business travel.

Greenhouse Gases Statement

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