Safestore and Our Environment

Target   Perfomance 2020/21
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

Safestore’s net zero commitments

This commitment covers Scope 1 and 2 emissions plus Scope 3 emissions, which relate to ongoing operations (water, waste, electricity, transmission and distribution, and business travel). We aim to achieve this through a combination of consumption reduction initiatives as outlined later in this section such as phasing out of 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 (see below) already seek to maximise the use of recycled material and minimise waste whilst building to 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.

2020/21 highlights

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We have eliminated gas use in eleven of our UK stores. Our renewable energy supply for electricity is at 100% in UK owned stores. Our electricity usage like-for-like has decreased by 9% in the UK and by 6% in France.
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Emissions per sq ft have been reduced by 13%. Our water usage has been reduced
by 16.8% in the UK and by 6% in France.

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).

Our 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.

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”) 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.

Our 2020/21 new store, in Birmingham Middleway, scored 39 and was awarded a “performance beyond compliance” certificate which highlights the exceptional effort and commitment that our construction team makes in raising standards of our new store developments.

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
Sustainable drainage systems Included Across all new build stores
Solar photovoltaic Roof-mounted photovoltaic Where part of local planning
Considerate Constructors Scheme 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
Energy Performance Certificate 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 98% of all of our construction waste away from landfill. We aim to increase this to 99% by 2025.
Across our new store projects this year, we recycled or recovered 100% 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-use non-recyclable plastics at our construction sites in the form of material packaging. We continue to work with our partners and suppliers to cut its usage over the coming years and aim to remove all such products from our sites by 2030.

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.

Our Suppliers


Safestore is proud that our sourced merchandise packaging no longer contains single-use or non-biodegradable plastics. These changes have prevented a further 1.88 tonnes of plastic being sent to landfill or general waste this year.

The benefits of our merchandise packaging are:
  • Boxes are made from 100% recycled card and are 100% recyclable, which has saved the equivalent of 615 trees this year. We continue to uphold our ‘box for life promise’.
  • Bubble wrap is oxi-biodegradable and 100% recyclable. It is treated with raw materials which do not contain heavy metals.
  • Outer packaging for any of our products does not use single‑use plastic.
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 accredited by the International Register of Certificated Auditors (“IRCA”) which audit and inspect their factories. In addition, their processes are compliant with the Ethical Trading Initiative (“ETI”).


In 116 of our UK wholly owned stores, 100% of our electricity is from certified 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 thereafter.

The electricity for our UK owned portfolio is supplied by multiple renewable sources. The two largest contributors are Hook Valley Solar Farm in Somerset which produces 15.3 MW per annum and Kype Muir Wind Farm in Scotland which produces 104 MW per annum.

We have seen a 9% reduction in usage in the UK like-for-like (116 of 116 sites), and a reduction of 6% in usage in France like-for-like (26 of 26 sites) partially due to the installation of LED lighting.

Hook-Valley-Solar-Farm-low-res.jpg    Kype-Muir-Wind-Farm-low-res.jpg
Hook Valley Solar Farm Kype Muir Wind Farm

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Electricity (MWh) 12,158 11,063 (9%)

Like-for-Like usage (France)
  Last year This year % change
Electricity (MWh) 1,879 1,766 6%

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 advances in technology and any viable solutions for the future.

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”) Phase 2
Safestore UK remains 100% compliant following the ESOS assessment in 2019 and is working towards completing Phase 3 due in 2023.

Reducing the need for gas within Safestore
Within Safestore UK, heating accounts for nearly 28% of our total energy consumption, predominantly in the provision of heating and hot water for colleagues and customers. In 2021, we took the decision to phase out the use of gas in the UK stores through the installation of high output low energy electric heaters and conventional water heaters.

The smart electric heaters we install have a number of benefits, including open window awareness, up to six times the surface area of inefficient water radiators, and adaptive starting, with timed steady starts reducing consumption and demand on electricity.

As at the end of October 2021, we have eliminated gas in eleven stores, which is just under a quarter of our UK gas-using estate.
  • 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 carbon monoxide testing needed
  • protection against the potential increases in the cost of non-gas heating equipment linked to the upcoming ban on gas boilers in new homes in 2025
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES”)
Since 1 April 2018, landlords granting new tenancies of energy‑inefficient properties could be liable to hefty fines – up to £150,000 per occasion for commercial property landlords.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (MEES) prohibit landlords from letting a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) rating of below E unless an exemption applies. This only applies to our locations with lettable offices.

Since 1 April 2018, the prohibition has applied to the grant of new tenancies. From 1 April 2020, the prohibition applies for residential properties, and from 1 April 2023, for commercial properties. This will be extended to landlords continuing to let properties that fall below the required EPC rating. It is now unlawful for landlords to grant a new tenancy of commercial property with an EPC rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’ (the two lowest grades of energy efficiency). 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.

Safestore has identified 46 of its UK locations (stores which include lettable offices) where we would have the requirement to have a MEES energy performance survey conducted.

During 2020/21, 25 stores which had the above requirement were examined by external independent assessors and the average rating across those stores was 49B, well above the minimum threshold.


Gas is used in just 38% of our UK stores. We do not install gas in new build facilities and have removed gas usage in eleven UK stores in this period.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Gas (MWh) 3,508 3,649 4.0%

Like-for-Like usage (France)
  Last year This year % change
Gas (MWh) 64 36 (43.8%)

There was an increase in gas consumption of 4% for UK like-for-like (116 of 116 sites), which can be attributed to customers returning to use their offices following the Covid-19 restrictions, and a decrease of 43.8% for France like-for-like (26 of 26 sites).


Our water consumption volume is low, and we strive to further minimise it wherever possible through the installation of efficiency schemes.

There was a decrease in water consumption of 16.8% for UK like-for-like (116 of 116 sites) and a decrease of 6% for France like-for-like (26 of 26 sites).

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year Restated
last year*
This year % change
Water (m3) 37,661 43,241 35,963 (16.8%)

Like-for-Like usage (France)
  Last year This year % change
Water (m3) 4,773 4,486 (6.0%)

*Actual data has since become available where estimates were used previously.


Working with our waste business partner enables us to have better control over the processing and destination of our waste. An increase of 17.8% from the previous year was observed for UK waste going into landfill for 2021.

Landfill (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Waste (tonnes) 43.0 50.7 17.8%

Not all of our waste business partners disposal sites have the ability to divert waste to ‘Energy from Waste’ although this capability is increasing. Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year, our waste business partner in certain areas had to combine collections and the reduced separation of waste streams may have impacted the figures.

Battersea Park

Battersea ParkThis year we made changes to our Battersea Park store swapping our general waste (“GW”) skip on site for a dry mixed recycling (“DMR”) skip. We highlighted the changes to our customers and have had positive feedback and great customer support. We took the data from six months before and after, and reduced the GW by 28% (22 tonnes) in this store.

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 2020/21 reporting period.

We have 125 stores in the UK, 28 stores in France and 4 stores in Spain. During the 2020/21 reporting period we opened new stores in Birmingham Middleway and Paris Magenta; we also closed Birmingham Digbeth. 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 2021

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