Safestore and Our Environment

Target   Perfomance 2019/20
UK owned stores powered by 100% renewable electricity

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

Reduce carbon emissions by 50% of 2012/13 baseline by 2022 (2018 store portfolio)
  Complete 100% like-for-like

On track – 1.7% of total waste sent to landfill from UK like-for-like stores (2.9% in 2016/17)

On track – total emissions 47% below baseline despite portfolio growth, intensity 60% below

2019/20 highlights

27,000 lights replaced with LED leading to a 72.3% reduction in lighting maintenance. Our renewable energy supply for electricity is at 100% in UK owned stores. We have reduced waste diverted to landfill by 1.67% in the UK (like-for-like).
Our electricity usage has decreased
by 6% as a Group.
Emissions per sq ft have been reduced by 17%. Our water usage has been reduced
by 21% as a Group.

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 believe our business can make a meaningful contribution towards achieving SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action).

gateshead-low-res.jpgOur construction team follows sustainable construction principles and, wherever practicable, we use materials that have recycled content or are from sustainable sources.

We monitor the amount of waste and energy usage on every site and introduce efficiencies identified to 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 people, our customers, our communities, our investors and the environment.

Standards in construction

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (“BREEAM”).

BREEAM certification is a local planning requirement for some of our new stores. The methodology assesses 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.

One of our newest builds in Carshalton achieved a ‘Very Good’ rating which placed it in the second highest tier in the areas of land use and ecology, transport, waste, pollution, and energy efficiency.

Regardless of whether a site is BREEAM certified, we are committed to build to a minimum standard of BREEAM ‘Very Good’ on all of our new store developments.

Considerate Constructors Scheme

Construction sites, companies and suppliers voluntarily register with the Considerate Constructors Scheme (“CCS”) scheme and agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice, designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.

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

We register all of our new store developments with the CCS setting a target score of 36 points for both the shell construction and fitting out of the facility with our construction management partners.

Bronze-2020-low-res.jpgOur 2019/20 new stores scored very highly – with Bedford shortlisted for a CCS award and Carshalton winning a ‘Bronze Considerate Constructors Scheme 2020 National Site Award’. This fantastic achievement highlights the exceptional effort and commitment that our construction team made in raising standards of our new store developments.

Our four registered sites this year produced an average CCS score across the board of 40.25 points.

Safestore 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 2019/20 onwards are:
Best practice – internal/
external expectation
Safestore commitment Applicability
BREEAM Equivalent to “Very Good” Across all new build stores
BREEAM Very Good/Excellent Where part of local planning
SUDS Included Across all new build stores
Solar PV Roof-mounted PV Where part of local planning
CCS Score 36 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
EPC Rated C or higher Across 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% 3% 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%

Waste and recycling - construction

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

We are currently diverting 97% of all of our construction waste away from landfill, an improvement of 2% from 2016. We aim to increase this to 99% by 2025.

Across our new store projects this year, we recycled or recovered 99% of all soft and hard plastics. We continue to work with our suppliers to minimise plastic packaging arriving on site. We remain committed to ensuring that all plastics are sent for recycling.

We are still working on reducing the use of single non-recyclable plastics at our construction sites in the form of material packaging. We continue to work with our partners and suppliers to cut usage by 50% next year, rising to 75% in 2021/22 and a total ban in 2022/23.

Health and safety

Our health and safety record is excellent. We register all of our new store schemes with the CCS and we are constantly challenging our teams to exceed minimum standards. Safestore has a robust health and safety policy and we have very low incident levels compared with our peers. This year, the number of reportable incidents on our construction sites was zero.

Consultation process

We build our stores with our key stakeholders in mind. As part of the town planning process, we consult widely amongst the community and those most likely to be affected by any development.


During the Covid-19 lockdown period, we closed our active construction sites in Bedford and Sheffield. Following a period of six weeks and having conducted risk assessments with our partners, we were able to safely reopen Covid-secure sites with strict measures in place.

uc-build-low-res.jpgThese included:
  • social distancing across the site to reduce the number of people working in any one area
  • mandatory face coverings where social distancing was not possible
  • additional hand washing and sanitising facilities across the site
  • limiting of people in communal areas
  • additional signage across the site including entrance and exit procedures
  • distanced parking and unloading of material 
  • video conference site meetings
With these measures in place, we successfully completed the construction of the stores and both opened in June 2020.

Our Suppliers


Safestore is proud that our sourced merchandise packaging no longer contains single-use or non-biodegradable plastics. These changes have prevented 1.5 tonnes of plastic being sent to landfill or general waste.
The benefits of our merchandise packaging are:
  • Void fill is made from potato starch and cellulose fibres and is 100% biodegradable, compostable (EN13432) and independently proven to offer better all-round protection than a polystyrene equivalent.
  • Boxes are made from 100% recycled card and are 100% recyclable, which has saved the equivalent of 508 trees this year. We continue to uphold our ‘box for life promise’.
  • Cord has been changed from a nylon-based product to a sisal rope. Sisal rope is a hard natural fibre, sunlight resistant and biodegradable.
  • Bubble wrap is oxi-biodegradable and 100% recyclable. It is treated with raw materials which do not contain heavy metals.
  • Single-use plastic outer packaging has been removed from our moving blankets, bubble wrap and padlocks.
We continue to work closely with our suppliers to help minimise our carbon footprint by reducing delivery mileage with products delivered from local depots.


Our uniform supplier processes are compliant with the Ethical Trading Initiative (“ETI”) and on the International Register of Certificated Auditors (“IRCA”) which audit and inspect their factories.


We continue to reduce our carbon footprint, implementing changes we believe will have a lasting impact. In 117 of our UK wholly owned stores, 100% of our electricity is from renewable energy sources. This equates to a 5,218 tonne CO2 reduction in our overall carbon footprint since 2018. We are delighted to say that we are now contracted to the supply of renewable energy until 2023 and committed to continuing beyond 2023.

The electricity for our UK owned portfolio is supplied by three different wind farms and three solar farms as of summer 2020. The largest contributors to our energy are New Rides Farm based in Kent which has four turbines producing 9.4 MW per annum and Burton Solar Farm based near Stratford upon Avon producing 4.6 MW per annum.

We have now been using renewable energy for two years and we are proud of the Certificate of Cleaner Power issued to us by British Power and Gas. We have seen a 19% reduction in usage in the UK like-for-like, partially due to the installation of LED lighting.

Safestore is proud to show a continued year-on-year reduction demonstrating our commitment as set out in our SDG sustainability targets.

We continue to monitor technology and any viable solutions for the future.
Burton Solar Farm    New Rides Wind Farm
Burton Solar Farm New Rides Wind Farm

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”) Phase 2
We remain 100% compliant following the ESOS assessment in 2019 and are working towards completing Phase 3 due in 2023.

Lighting our stores
In 2018 Safestore began installing over 27,000 LED lights across our UK stores. The project was completed during 2019 and has been a major contributing factor in the reduction of CO2 emissions. For the year ended 2018/19 the reduction was 458 tonnes. For the year ended 2019/20 the reduction has been further improved following an annual cycle of the change.

The new Safestore branded luminaires have an operating range of 10–90%, meaning that each light remains illuminated at 10% until individually activated by movement. This luminaire has been adopted as the default fitting in all our new builds, extensions and renovations across the Group.

The additional benefits include a carbon reduction equivalent to the removal of over 900 diesel cars from the road and a 72.3% reduction in average lighting maintenance spend over the course of the financial year. The 62% fewer contractor visits to our stores further reduced our carbon footprint.

Aside from the significant environmental benefits, the project’s return on investment has exceeded the expectations of the initial business case.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Electricity (MWh) 15,048.8 12,224.4 (19%)


Gas is used in just 38% of our UK stores. We do not install gas in new-build facilities and continue to look for opportunities to reduce our consumption, removing gas wherever possible.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Gas (MWh) 3,912.0 3,507.3 (11%)


Relatively little water is used in our stores and we strive to further minimise consumption wherever possible through the installation of efficiency schemes.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Water (m3) 54,596 37,661 (31%)


Working with our new waste business partner, Biffa, has enabled better control over the processing and destination of our waste.

Like-for-Like landfill waste (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Waste (tonnes) 44 43 (2%)

PFJ-Badge-2020-low-res.jpgActions from waste efficiency surveys were implemented in 2019/20, including optimised journeys and collections for all stores and increased recycling capacity.

This has resulted in a greater proportion of waste being diverted to recycling or energy from waste (“EfW”), and less than 1.75% of overall waste going to landfill in the UK.

Once again we supported the ’Plastic Free July’ campaign in order to raise and maintain colleague awareness of plastic pollution in support of SDG 14 (Life below water).

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. This report contains our GHG disclosure for the 2019/20 reporting period.

We have 125 stores in the UK, 28 stores in France and four stores in Spain. During the 2019/20 reporting period we have purchased Fort Box Self Storage with two stores in Chelsea and St John’s Wood, and OhMyBox! in Spain with four stores located in Barcelona. In addition, we opened three new stores in Carshalton, Gateshead and Sheffield. This report contains the following environmental data for all our stores which were operational during the reporting period: GHG emissions, electricity consumption, electricity transmission and distribution, gas consumption, water consumption, waste generation, and business travel.

Mandatory greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions report 2020

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