Today, many companies like to show their green credentials as part of demonstrating corporate social responsibility (CSR).
There are many ways to make a business location more environmentally friendly. These include recycling all reusable waste such as paper and glass, using biodegradable packaging, having staff bring in cups or mugs for tea or coffee instead of using disposable plastic cups, trying to reduce paper usage by avoiding printing non-essential documents and communicating as much as possible via email, remembering to turn off lights and computers when not in use and perhaps encouraging employees to carpool.
But there is another way to reduce energy use and carbon footprint that some companies may not have considered.
If your company needs to keep paper records of your customer information, which may be a legal requirement for organizations such as health authorities, residences, lawyers, accountants, and will writers, how and where is it stored?
Not all paper records can necessarily be converted to a digital version. It could consume hours of staff time that could be better focused on the day’s business activity. It may also not be practical to do so for older historical records that are only legally valid in their original form or do not conform to modern standard paper sizes.
However, it is worth considering the amount of space being used within the business premises because it is additional space that must be illuminated and perhaps also heated. Since companies are now required to record their energy use and emissions, energy use could be reduced by consolidating everything and storing it off-site in a centralized self-consumption facility.
The business file is not the only thing that can be stored centrally to reduce the carbon footprint.
We know of an e-business in Ipswich, UK, that sells all its products online and maintains its stock in a self storage facility. The owner says it reduces the space and therefore the energy the business uses as little as possible.
Similarly, a city children’s center has a vast collection of donated toys for both indoor and outdoor use. By storing the surplus in a self-storage unit they have been able to protect the outdoor play equipment in the winter, to prolong its life, and rotate the indoor play equipment to allow cleaning, repairs and ensure that there are regularly new toys to keep the children stimulated.
There are other advantages to centralizing storage. It will help clear the office and, if a self-storage unit is used, it is possible to install shelves or racks for stock or equipment, or filing systems so that items that the business needs to access quickly are easy to find.
ipswich self storage facilities themselves contribute to energy efficiency because most of them have heat or motion-sensitive lighting inside and for security outside.