How to be more environmentally friendly is a challenge facing all businesses these days, not just us in the storage industry. Below, Daniel Beer of The Store Room, whos Manchester self storage site were the winners of the Storage.co.uk Environmental Awareness Award, explains what his company has been doing to try and keep things green.
The Store Room is a self storage company based in the North West of England, and as a relatively well established but still growing business, over the past few years we have become more and more aware that reducing our impact on the environment was going to be increasingly important in the future. So what did we do? Well, firstly we took a really good look at where we were using the most energy at our sites and how we could reduce this without affecting the service and security we offer our customers.
The first and most obvious area to be looked at was the lighting at our storage sites. With sites of up to 90,000 square feet in size, making sure that the sites are well lit can be a high energy-use proposition. This is where we made use of technology and fitted all lights in our storage areas with sensor activators, which meant that the lights would only come on when they were needed. The amount of energy that making this simple change can save is incredible. As well as looking at our internal lighting, we examined how we were using our external floodlights and signage lighting at our Manchester storage site as well, and by making a few simple adjustments to the timings on these, we were able to save more than a few kilowatts
At all of our locations we sell a large amount of packaging and especially storage boxes. In this area as well we have made a concerted effort to go green and today at The Store Room the boxes we sell all come from at least 75% recycled materials. These boxes are exactly the same in terms of strength and quality as our previous white boxes but are so much better for the environment (plus they can be used over and over again).
Cutting down on paper
On the administrative side, over the last year we have switched to an almost exclusively paperless billing system at our self storage sites all we had to do was make sure we asked all our customers if they had an email address. Simple as that! This has the added advantage of saving time as well as paper.
By following the simple steps described above we have been able to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, saving time, money and most importantly the planet! I would also recommend speaking to someone like the Carbon Trust, who can provide a wealth of free advice and resources.