Safestore and Our Environment

Target   Perfomance 2022/23
UK owned stores powered by 100% renewable electricity

Reduce UK store waste to landfill by 50% by 2025 vs 2016/17 level

Increase the diversion of construction waste from landfill to 100%

  Reduce carbon emissions by 20% of 2021 baseline by 2025
  100% completed
100% completed - we have achieved 100% diversion from landfill for UK operational waste ahead of schedule
100% completed - we have achieved 100% diversion of UK construction waste from landfill
17% on track –absolute market-based emissions 17% below 2022 despite portfolio growth; intensity 19% below

Climate action and emissions reduction

In this section, we explain how we are reducing our impact on the planet through ongoing improvements in construction standards and our store operations. We also include our Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) statement, through which we seek to understand and manage the potential risks (and opportunities) to our business associated with a changing environment.

Our net zero commitment

We are pleased to share our commitment to become an operationally net zero group by 2035. This commitment covers Scope 1 and 2 emissions and Scope 3 emissions, which relate to ongoing operations (water, waste, electricity, transmission and distribution, and business travel).

Our net zero transition plan is a combination of consumption reduction initiatives as outlined later in this section such as phasing out gas heating in the UK portfolio and ensuring all energy consumed is self-generated (where viable) or purchased from certified renewable sources.

We also intend to work with our construction partners to understand the baseline of embodied carbon in our new developments and explore ways of reducing this where viable. Our sustainable construction standards aspire to maximise the use of recycled material and minimise waste whilst building to Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (“BREEAM”) ’Very Good’ standards. Based on research by the London Energy Transformation Initiative (“LETI”) redevelopment projects have an embodied carbon footprint of approximately 50% of new build developments. As such, the Group’s flexible model is likely to generate less embodied carbon than operators which develop new build structures exclusively.

2022/23 highlights

Green electricity used across the Group with certification for the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Spain   7 new plug-in hybrid electric cars have been purchased, replacing petrol vehicles in the UK
100% diversion from landfill for UK operational waste   100% first UK store development with all construction waste diverted from landfill
32 UK stores now have gas use removed, reducing overall usage year-on-year by 21%   590 equivalent number of trees saved from being felled by using fully recycled paper

Sustainable operations

Renewable energy


We are committed to the use of green electricity. We actively seek to reduce our overall energy usage through efficiency programmes and self-generate our power where practicable.

Across our UK estate, we are supplied by 100% REGO certified renewable energy. This electricity is supplied by multiple renewable sources, including wind farms off East Anglia and Glebe Farm Solar Park.1.

We have solar installations with a total capability of over 150kW2. These panels provide self-generated electricity, allowing us to reduce our demand for grid electricity, and as a result, we have seen a reduction in the associated costs.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)

  Last year This year % change
Electricity (MWh) 11,943 11,412 (4.4)%

The electricity used by our sites in Spain is provided from renewable sources, partially generated from solar panels fitted to our stores. Our upcoming stores will also be equipped with solar panels, further increasing our capability to self-generate green power.

In France, we have certified guarantees of origin from several solar photovoltaic, wind, and hydroelectric sources.

In January 2023, we signed a new green contract in the Netherlands covering all sites, and we are currently working on certified green energy for our sites in Belgium.


Over the last five years, we have continued to optimise our UK lighting consumption. Following the installation of motion-sensitive LED lighting throughout communal areas, we are now upgrading the lighting within our larger units. To date, during FY2022/23, we have replaced the lighting in over 400 storage units. We will continue this evolution of LED lighting as customers vacate units.
In France, we have completed the internal LED lighting upgrades and our focus has moved on to all exterior lighting including the replacement of high consumption fluorescent tubes with motion-sensitive LED lighting.

Voltage optimisation

Voltage optimisation is a transformer-based technology which optimises incoming supply from the national grid to match the voltage required by equipment at an organisation’s premises. Optimising voltage reduces commercial energy use and costs as well as lowering carbon emissions.

Last year, we installed voltage optimisation at our largest location, the Battersea Park store and Business Centre. The return on investment for Battersea will be calculated after twelve months with a predicted decrease in electricity demand and a more stable supply to the critical infrastructure at the site. We plan to install voltage optimisation at our Liverpool and Bristol Brislington locations.

We continue to monitor advances in technology and any viable solutions for the future to reduce our electricity usage.


In 2020, we committed to eliminating gas usage by 2030 from our UK stores; this will be achieved by installing high-output, low-energy electric heaters, which are more efficient than water radiators reducing consumption and demand on electricity.

As at the end of October 2023, we had eliminated gas usage in 32 stores. We will work towards our 2030 target by removing gas in at least five stores per year according to our net zero plan.

The benefits of removing gas from our stores are wide-ranging and include:

  • a reduction in the CO2 output attributed to Safestore
  • lower maintenance costs as electric heating systems are more reliable
  • no requirement for carbon monoxide testing
  • protection against volatile gas prices
Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Gas (MWh) 2,300 1,862 (49%)

The gas used in our European stores is for the purposes of heating reception areas and supplying hot water. Wherever possible, we have purchased CO2-compensated gas contracts to minimise the impact of our gas usage whilst we review the option of removing gas.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES”)

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 prohibit landlords from letting a property with an EPC rating of below E unless an exemption applies. This is relevant to our UK locations with lettable offices and non self storage space.

The prohibition has applied to new tenancies for residential properties since 1 April 2020 and has applied to commercial properties from 1 April 2018. Since 1 April 2023, landlords cannot continue to let properties that fall below an EPC rating of ‘E’.  It is currently unlawful for landlords to grant a new tenancy of or continue to let commercial property with an EPC rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’. This applies to both new leases and renewals (unless an exemption applies, and the landlord has registered that exemption). MEES does not apply to lettings of six months or less, or to lettings of 99 years or more. From April 2027, the Government is proposing to change the minimum standard to a ‘C’ rating as an interim step followed by a minimum standard of ‘B’ from 1 April 2030. This has been consulted on but not yet confirmed by legislation.

Safestore identified 38 locations (storage centres which include lettable offices and/or non self storage space) where we would have the requirement to have a MEES energy performance survey conducted.

Since 2021/22, these stores have been surveyed by external independent assessors and the findings are that the majority are already compliant with the Government’s proposed 2027 requirements of a ‘C’ rating. Just seven properties were identified as needing improvements to meet the 2027 standard, and we are confident that this can be achieved with modest capital investment. The readiness of the portfolio for the 2027 standard is a consequence of the work undertaken to date in the form of LED lighting upgrades, window and insulation enhancements, and the recent drive to install high efficiency electric heating.


We are proud to sell Safestore branded merchandise across the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. Our branded boxes are made from 100% recycled materials and are fully recyclable. We continue to offer our ‘box for life promise’, ensuring the boxes can be recycled in a responsible way.
The use of fully recycled paper across this range, including boxes, has resulted in the equivalent of 590 trees saved from being felled this year3.
We are committed to ensuring our merchandise packaging contains no single-use or non-biodegradable plastics.
Working with our supplier we endeavour to minimise the carbon footprint of deliveries with items dispatched from local depots and distribution centres, including one in Venlo, the Netherlands, for European distribution to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain.
In France, we have updated our range of products to increase the number of recycled materials, whilst ensuring that items are fully recyclable.


Our uniform supplier processes are accredited by the International Register of Certificated Auditors (“IRCA”) which audits and inspects their factories. In addition, their processes are compliant with the Ethical Trading Initiative (“ETI”).


Waste management

Operational waste

In line with our objectives to ensure minimal waste to landfill in the UK, we are pleased to confirm that since May 2022, all of our operational waste in the UK has been diverted from landfill.
Alongside ensuring zero waste to landfill in the UK, we have issued small in-store containers to help our sites segregate waste streams, allowing us to responsibly dispose of all items and increase our recycling.
We actively monitor waste with controls in place to reduce the volume disposed of at our sites. For example, in France and the UK access to containers is restricted to prevent third party access. In Belgium, we are also able to report zero waste to landfill and up to 75% recycling.
We continue to review the scale and impact of operational waste across the Group, and we are working to minimise the footprint of our disposal of operational waste.

Like-for-Like landfill waste (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Waste (tonnes) 43 0 (100)%

As our new supplier can support us in maximising diversion from landfill, we expect to achieve zero operational waste to landfill from next year in the UK with options for other territories under review.

New store development – construction waste and recycling

We carefully monitor our new store construction waste and ensure we separate waste for recycling where possible.

In the UK, we diverted 100% of our construction waste away from landfill at our new store build in Morden. Across Europe, we aim to meet the target of 98% within the next 24 months.

Across all our new store developments in the UK and across Europe, we are committed to recycling or recovering 100% of all soft and hard plastics. We continue to work with our suppliers to minimise plastic packaging arriving onsite and to cut its usage over the coming years. We aim to remove all such products from our sites by 2030.

Water conservation and management


Our stores consume low volumes of water, and we strive to minimise our consumption wherever possible through the installation of efficiency schemes such as flow rate restrictors, aerators, and push button taps.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Water (cubic metres) 41,570 31,857 (23.4)%

Last year’s usage included volumes associated with a significant leak of c.6,429m3. On a two-year basis versus 2020/21, usage has reduced by approximately 11% which better reflects efficiency initiatives and a return to more ‘normal’ patterns of water usage post pandemic.

Proactive maintenance and reactive responses also mean that the likelihood and impact of events such as leaks, and associated waste are mitigated wherever possible.

Across many of our UK stores, we partner with Refill, a campaign to promote the use of reusable bottles and containers for drinking water. As a result, Safestore has helped to contribute to saving an estimated 100 million bottles4 from entering our community waste streams.


1REGO certificate for UK received by Sustainable Energy First (“SEF”).
2Listed maximum capacity of PV cells currently installed at existing sites by contractors.
3ECOPAC Corporate Social Responsibility Statement for Sept 2022 to August 2023.
4100 million single-use bottles are estimated to have been saved from entering our waste stream because of the campaign (

Sustainable construction and sourcing

Safe, sustainable construction

Safestore is committed to ensuring our buildings are constructed responsibly and their ongoing operation has a minimal impact on local communities and the environment. This is how we can make a meaningful contribution towards achieving SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action).

  • All our construction teams in the UK and across Europe follow sustainable construction principles and, wherever practicable, use materials that have recycled content or are from sustainable sources.
  • Where feasible, concrete from existing buildings on site is demolished, then crushed on site and re-used in the new development.
  • We monitor the waste and energy usage on every site and introduce efficiencies identified into future building projects.
  • We design our stores to provide a safe, secure home for our customers’ possessions and we build them with consideration given to our colleagues, our customers, our communities, our investors, and the environment.
  • Over 50% of our new store openings in 2023 were conversions of existing buildings.
  • From the start of 2024, all our new store developments will have roof-mounted photovoltaic cell systems installed (where structurally/practically feasible), and electric vehicle charging points will be provided in the car park for customer and colleague use.
  • All new store developments provide bicycle parking for both our customers and colleagues.

Energy Performance Certificates (“EPC”) of new buildings and conversions

Energy Performance Certificates in the UK and their equivalent in European countries set out the energy efficiency of a property using a traffic light system of A–G, with A being the most efficient. Our 2023 target was that 80% of new store developments in the UK and across Europe (excluding France, where certification of self storage buildings is not conducted) would achieve a minimum EPC rating of ’B’. We are pleased to report all ten relevant new developments completed and opened in 2023 achieved this rating, exceeding the set target. For further details of energy ratings of 2023 openings including the basis of reporting and independent limited assurance, see the Sustainability section of our website.


Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (“BREEAM”) in the UK, Holland and Spain, and Haute Qualité Environnementale (“HQE”) in France

BREEAM/HQE certification is a local planning requirement for some of our new stores in the UK and across Europe. The methodology assesses the impact and opportunity for enhancing the environmental aspects of design and construction.

The certification includes a review of new store energy, sustainable building materials, water efficiency, waste recycling and ecology. The review also includes social aspects of the building life, including resource management, health, wellbeing, modes of transport and pollution reduction.

Regardless of whether a site is BREEAM certified, we strive to build to a minimum standard of BREEAM ‘Very Good’ on all our new store developments across the UK and Holland.

During 2023, both our Morden and Ellesmere Port stores achieved a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.


Safestore construction standards

We have a long-standing commitment to providing both a long term sustainable investment and a pleasant and safe environment for our customers and colleagues.

Our stores are built or converted to achieve similarly high standards; however, the configuration of an individual store may vary.

Safestore commitments from 2023/24 onwards are:

Best practice – internal/
external expectation
Safestore commitment Applicability
BREEAM Equivalent to “Very Good” Across all new build stores
BREEAM Very Good Where part of local planning
Sustainable drainage systems Included Across all new build stores
Solar photovoltaic Roof-mounted photovoltaic PV cell systems on all new own build developments
Considerate Constructors Scheme Score 40 or higher All new stores
Ecology Protect existing and improve biodiversity Across all new build stores
Energy Efficient LED lighting with built-in motion sensors Across all existing and new stores
Security Operate safe and secure facility Across all existing and new stores
Energy Performance Certificate (or equivalent) Rated B or higher All new stores

Construction material: recycled content

Typically, the construction of one of our stores may include the following:

Building material % of build cost % recycled content
Steel (main frame) 4 – 5% Minimum 56%
Concrete 3 – 4% 29% – 37%
Cladding (walls and roof) 7 – 9% 50% but Kingspan target improvement using recycled bottles by 2030
Particle board (mezzanine floors) 2% 85%
Brick and block walls 3 – 5% 9% – 55%
Glazing 2% Glass 25%, aluminium frames 60%
Hardcore (piling mat) 1% 100%

Considerate Constructors Scheme ("CCS") (UK only)

In the UK, construction sites, companies, and suppliers voluntarily register with the CCS and agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice, which is designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.

The scheme’s remit is any area of construction activity that may have a direct or indirect impact on the image of the industry. The main areas of concern fall into three categories: the public, the workforce, and the environment.

We register all new UK-built store developments with the CCS setting a target score of 40 points for both the shell construction and fitting out of the facility with our construction management partners.

Our new store in Morden scored an average of 42 out of 45 over the course of its two visits, putting it in the top bracket of scoring. The inspector highlighted all areas of the inspections as ’Excellent’, which highlights the exceptional effort and commitment that our construction team makes in raising the standards of our new store developments.

Construction health and safety

Our health and safety record is excellent. Across all markets, we aim to exceed minimum standards. Safestore has a robust health and safety policy, and we have very low incident levels compared with our peers. During 2023, the number of reportable incidents on our construction sites was zero.

Consultation process

As part of any local planning process, we consult widely amongst the community and those most likely to be affected by any development.


Deloitte LLP have provided independent limited assurance in accordance with the International Standard for Assurance Engagements 3000 (ISAE 3000) and Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements (ISAE 3410) issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (“IAASB”) over the selected metrics identified with a ∆. Deloitte’s full unqualified assurance opinion, which includes details of the selected metrics assured, can be found in the Sustainability section of the Group website.

Mandatory greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions reporting (wholly owned stores only)

This report was undertaken in accordance with the mandatory greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions reporting requirements outlined under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 (the ”2013 Regulations”) and the Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 (the ”2018 Regulations”). This requires Safestore Holdings plc (“Safestore”) to produce a Streamlined Energy and Carbon Report as per Environmental Reporting Guidelines (March 2019). This report contains our GHG disclosure for the 2022/23 reporting period.
We have 132 stores in the UK, 29 stores in France, 11 stores in the Netherlands, 6 stores in Belgium and 10 stores in Spain. During the 2022/23 reporting period we opened stores in Morden and Wigan (UK). We also opened 6 stores located across Spain.
This report contains the following environmental data for all our stores which were operational at the beginning of the financial year: GHG emissions, electricity consumption, electricity transmission and distribution, gas consumption, water consumption, waste generation and business travel.

Mandatory greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions report 2023

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