We’ve had a wonderful year of teamwork among our facilities management team, storage facility managers and solar power partner! In 2012, we moved forward with implementing some major projects to improve our commitment to corporate responsibility. And I’m happy to say that we saved a lot of energy by adding more solar power and tackling other energy-efficiency projects. Looking to the future, we’re exploring additional ways to be more sustainable, such as rainwater harvesting and providing more hybrid cars for our district managers.
Here are the highlights of our year in sustainability:
- Reduced our carbon footprint by adding solar power to more storage facilities, bringing the total number of our storage properties with solar power to more than 100, with a reduction in our electricity usage of up to 90 percent at some sites
- Switched to LED lighting for our signs and other exterior lighting at our retrofitted properties, an update that helps us achieve up to a 66 percent reduction in kilowatt consumption compared to halide fixtures
- Continued retrofitting properties to save energy, including updating interior lighting to replace T12 magnetic ballast lights in hallways with T8 lights, which use about 28 percent less energy and shine more brightly
- Updated to more efficient motion sensors to keep lights from staying on long after a customer has left
- Made use of de-lamping to remove unnecessary lighting fixtures while still providing safe lighting levels
- Implemented daylight harvesting at some facilities during roof replacement along with automated sensors that help us save energy while still having plenty of light on cloudy days
- Performed energy audits to check the building envelope and made any needed repairs to insulation, windows, doors or other building components
- Started a new e-waste drop-off program at 48 participating locations in California so that area residents can leave computer monitors and other e-waste for recycling by GREENspot DROPoff
- Began testing a hybrid car program for six of our district managers in New York City, downtown Boston, downtown Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey and Washington, DC
For sustainability down the road, we’re working on these projects:
- Conducting evaluations to see if rainwater harvesting is a good solution for water conservation at our properties that use the most water for landscaping maintenance
- Continuing to evaluate the best locations for adding more solar power to our storage facilities
- Evaluating our hybrid car program for expansion possibilities
- Moving forward with energy-efficiency retrofits, including updating lighting and motion sensors, as well as making use of daylight harvesting and de-lamping
It’s easy to see that we’ve been busy, but we’ve also been selective in how we implement our sustainability projects. That’s why I’m pleased to report that our sustainability projects have been “green” in every sense of the word. With careful planning, we’ve been able to implement our solar power projects and other sustainability measures in a way that’s not only environmentally responsible, but also financially responsible, with a good return on investment (ROI). And I believe that 2013, we’ll make even more energy-saving progress for our ~900 properties!
Did you implement any sustainability projects in 2012? Are you considering any upgrades for improved energy efficiency at your home or business in 2013?