Self Storage Blog

Travelling to work with Big Yellow

As part of Big Yellow Self Storage’s ongoing CSR efforts, we’ve been working with the HR and Operations team to raise awareness of the social and environmental impacts of our business. After our company policy was distributed to all stores in 2008 and presented during the annual 2009 Spring Conference, all employee inductions now include an introduction to our CSR objectives.

One of the interactive aspects of this policy is the recent Employee Work Travel project, which took the shape of an Intranet-based survey in Autumn 2008. It covered a variety of questions to help build a profile of the distance people travelled to and from work, how much business travel was carried out during working hours and the different modes of transport use.

Employee response came back at a very impressive 85%, indicating that prior education had been successful, as well as an existing level of interest and concern for the environment.

The estimated total carbon footprint of employee travel has been increasing year on year due to the development of new stores, as well a growing employee numbers. In 2007, 191 employees produced 422 tonnes of CO2, whereas in 2009, 230 produced 524 tonnes.

As this forms one of largest contributions to Big Yellow Self Storage’s overall carbon footprint, this was an area we wanted tackle in earnest. Once the findings from the employee feedback have been reviewed in more detail by the CSR Committee, the company will be able to develop new strategies to achieve this.

This could include making greener travel easier or more appealing by installing showers or secure cycle racks in more stores, encouraging the use of public transport. Additionally, steps like providing employees with water bottles could vastly reduce this carbon output, as purchasing bottled water en route is one of the biggest contributors to unnecessary waste.

Travel plans are already implemented where traffic congestion in inner city or urban environments are an issue and transport plans can offer information on modes of transport other than the car. But now Big Yellow Self Storage wants to broaden the scope of this to produce a reduction of carbon output for employee work travel for 2010.