Energy Efficiency Measures
At Life Storage, we are constantly identifying new, cost-effective opportunities to reduce our environmental impacts. We work to reduce the environmental impact of our portfolio through:
- We believe that sustainable construction and design are integral to a resilient portfolio of properties. In accordance with this belief, all facilities in the Life Storage portfolio must meet a rigorous set of internally developed energy efficiency guidelines.
- We have instituted policies and procedures that support our goal to minimize our environmental impact while simultaneously promoting responsible operating practices.
- We plan to reduce our energy consumption by 10% over the next 5 years.
We integrate sustainability into the day-to-day operations of all Life Storage facilities. Highlights include:
- Regular assessment of our portfolio's vulnerability to climate change-related risks:
- Only two of our wholly owned stores are below sea level, representing less than 0.5% of our portfolio
- Availability of lower-environmental impact packing materials:
- Boxes made from approximately 45% recycled content, certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- *Estimation from third-party vendors
- Significant reduction of the use of paper documents, such as customer leases, communications and contractor proposals, and employee processes, through more efficient technology platforms:
- Average per-store paper consumption decreased 38% from 2018 to 2019
- Despite nearly 21% growth in the number of stores, our gross paper expense shrank by over 27%
- *Calculation based on estimated data from third-party vendors
- Extensive, cloud-based 99-point check of all utility bills to identify damaged and underperforming HVAC units, assess the integrity and energy performance of our exterior building shell, and other leaks or energy wastes
- Evaluation of vendors & suppliers considers sustainable practices and product offerings
Life Storage is a silver member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC®). The USGBC® developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. LEED provides the framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. This membership offers educational courses for our operations and construction management staff to keep them informed on the latest green building practices. Currently, 25% of the Expansion and Development team are LEED accredited.
Climate Change Awareness
Life Storage takes seriously the risk of climate change. That is why we are committed to monitoring and mitigating the risks to our assets, as well as to reducing our emissions. Life Storage is in the process of adopting the guidance of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), weighing climate change risks across four key areas:
Ultimate oversight for sustainability and climate-related topics lies with the Board of Directors. Our Environmental, Social and Governance Committee, which is led by our Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Investor Relations and reports to our Chief Executive Officer, is in charge of assessing and addressing climate-related business risks and opportunities.
We closely monitor the impact of our portfolio and energy efficiency. Further, we continuously invest in renewable energy and track our clean energy generation. One of the primary 2020 goals of our Environmental, Social and Governance Committee is to establish internal standards by which to assess climate-related risks and opportunities.
The primary risk we face from climate change is physical risk from extreme weather. We do evaluate the business opportunity from renewable energy incentives and the falling price of renewables to install renewable energy at our facilities. As we use minimal energy and water, direct or indirect regulatory and resource availability issues are not significant concerns for current or future operations.
- Risk Management
At an enterprise level, risks including those related to climate and other environmental and resource-related risks (e.g. energy, climate, water, infrastructure) are within the scope of the relevant environmental and construction teams. These risks include those related to the physical, economic, and business continuity impacts that could arise as a result of climate change. As discussed in our Environmental section, we have taken a number of steps to minimize our energy and water usage, as well as consider physical risks in our construction process.