Safestore and Our Environment

Target   Perfomance 2020/21
UK owned stores powered by renewable electricity
UK store waste to landfill by 50% by 2025 vs 2016/17 level
construction waste diversion from
landfill to 98%
Carbon emissions by 50% of 2012/13 baseline by 2022 (2018 store portfolio)
  100% - Completed

1.7 - On track – we have achieved 100% diversion from
landfill for UK operational waste since May 2022

98.5% On track – 98.5% diversion of construction waste from landfill
54% On track – total emissions 54% below baselinedespite 50% portfolio growth; intensity 70% below

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”) through which we seek to understand and manage the potential risks (and opportunities) to our business associated from 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 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 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.

2021/2022 highlights


All electricity used in UK owned stores is renewable and backed by REGO certification

Waste disposal

reduction of our year-on-year UK operational waste production

Gas use removed

UK stores now have gas use removed, reducing overall usage year-on-year by 37%

Landfill Operational Waste

of our UK operational waste has been diverted from landfill since May 2022

Hybrid Cars

plug-in hybrid electric cars have been purchased to replace one diesel and two petrol vehicles this year

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).
  • Our construction teams in the UK and across Europe follow sustainable construction principles and, wherever practicable, we use materials that have recycled content or are from sustainable sources.
  • 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 people, our customers, our communities, our investors, and the environment.
  • 50% of our last twelve new store openings have been conversions of existing buildings. Our Bow store, which opened in December 2021, was also a converted building and our new store in Wigan will also be a conversion.

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.

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 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 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 B 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%

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 are already diverting 98.5% of our construction waste away from landfill, ahead of our target of 2025. Across Europe, in Holland and Spain, we aim to meet and exceed legislative targets.

Across our new store projects this year, 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 on site and to cut its usage over the coming years. We aim to remove all such products from our sites by 2030.

Considerate Constructors Scheme

In the UK 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. The main areas of concern fall into three categories: the public, the workforce, and the environment.

We register all our new UK 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 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 standards of our new store developments.

Construction 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 colleagues 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.

Safe, sustainable operations


Our 100% recycled and recyclable boxes are available across the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. We continue to offer our ‘box for life promise’, ensuring our boxes can be recycled in a responsible way.

The use of fully recycled papers across our range, including boxes, has resulted in the equivalent of 624 trees being saved from felling this year.

In addition, Safestore is committed to ensuring our merchandise packaging contains no single-use or non-biodegradable plastics.

Working with our suppliers we endeavour to minimise the carbon footprint of deliveries with items despatched from local depots and distribution centres, including one in the Netherlands for European distribution.


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”).


We continue to make progress towards our environmental targets through efficiency initiatives and transitions to renewable electricity across the portfolio.

We are contracted to the supply of REGO certified renewable energy in the UK until the end of next year and committed to continuing thereafter.

The electricity for our UK owned portfolio is supplied by multiple renewable sources. The two largest contributors are Kilbraur Wind Farm and Cullisse Wind Farm which are both located in Scotland.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Electricity (MWh) 11,063 11,943 8%

We have seen an incremental increase in electricity usage as our heating solutions are changed from gas to high efficiency electric solutions. Following the removal of coronavirus restrictions, we reinstated the use of electric hand dryers in our stores. We continue to monitor advances in technology and any viable solutions for the future to reduce our electricity usage.

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.

During September 2022, 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 also plan to install this at our Liverpool facility, which also features a storage centre co-located with a business centre.


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

At the end of October 2022, we eliminated gas usage in 27 stores. We will work towards our 2030 target by removing gas in at least an additional five stores per year as laid out in 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 from the inevitable material price rises with the upcoming ban on gas boilers in new homes in 2025
 This has resulted in a year-on-year reduction in total gas usage in the UK by 37%.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Gas (MWh) 3,649 2,300 (37%)


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

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Water (cubic metres) 35,963 41,570 15.6%

Whilst we have registered an increase in water consumption on a like-for-like basis, this can be attributed to a leak on the incoming water supply pipe at our Winchester site. Safestore carried out urgent remedial works once this was established; the leak was responsible for c.6,429m3 of the above ‘usage’. Without this leak, Safestore would have seen an overall reduction in water usage.

Operational waste

We changed our waste service partner in mid-April 2022 following a review of our waste production and a subsequent tender exercise in the UK. With our new supplier, we have implemented scheduled services ensuring 100% diversion from landfill for all operational waste, resulting in:
  • overall reduction in total waste of 21.6% year-on-year 278.72 tonnes
  • full year average of 96.59% diversion from landfill with 100% achieved since the start of May 2022
We will continue to review the scale and impact of operational waste in the UK and other territories, working to minimise the footprint of Safestore’s operational waste disposal.

Like-for-Like usage (UK)
  Last year This year % change
Waste to landfill (tonnes) 43 37 14.0%

As our new supplier is able to 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.

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.

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.

The prohibition has applied to new tenancies for residential properties since 1 April 2020 and will apply to commercial properties from 1 April 2023. This will be extended to landlords continuing to let properties that fall below the required EPC rating. It is currently unlawful for landlords to grant a new tenancy of 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 minimum standard will rise to a ‘C’ rating as an interim step to a minimum standard of ‘B’ from 1 April 2030.

Safestore identified 38 locations (storage centres which include lettable offices) 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 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.

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 2021/22 reporting period.

We have 130 stores in the UK, 29 stores in France, 9 stores in the Netherlands, 6 stores in Belgium, and 5 stores in Spain. During the 2021/22 reporting period we acquired a store in Christchurch (UK), opened a new store in Bow (London, UK). We also acquired 15 stores located across the Netherlands and Belgium in April.

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 2022

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