Since 1945, U-Haul has served as a sustainable, shared-use resource for do-it-yourself movers. The Company continues to make advancements that benefit customers as well as the environment. This Earth Day, April 22, let’s take a look at the progress U-Haul has made in the last year.
U-Haul constantly strives to reduce emissions, reduce waste sent to landfills, and create opportunities to increase energy efficiency. In the past year, U-Haul awarded 462 energy efficiency grants for projects including LED lighting fixture upgrades, new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and alternative fuel propane station installations.
U-Haul also continued to prioritize the rehabilitation of existing buildings over construction from the ground up. These adaptive reuse conversions, from old and often deteriorating properties to new self-move and self-storage facilities, preserve valuable natural resources and land normally required for new construction. This saves tons of waste from landfills.
Customers Pitch In
U-Haul customers did their part by reusing nearly one million cardboard boxes through our Take A Box, Leave A Box program. They also redistributed approximately 155,520 gently-used household items placed in U-Haul Re-Use Centers, which are located in self-storage facilities to promote community sharing.
Customer donations made during the check-out process funded the planting of 81,134 trees in the U.S. and 2,712 trees in Canada through U-Haul partnerships with The Conservation Fund and Tree Canada, respectively. Over their lifetime, these trees will trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, improve air quality and beautify communities across North America. U-Haul customer donations also supported two Parks with Purpose projects in Kansas City and Atlanta, and helped restore 150 acres of forest in northern Arizona through The Conservation Fund.
Honors and Awards
Sustainability efforts like these have not gone unnoticed. Last year, U-Haul received Tree Canada’s Eterne Award for exemplifying the very best in environmental stewardship.
The Company also earned the Salt River Project’s Champions of Energy Efficiency Award for energy conservation efforts, including converting or replacing all inefficient and outdated exterior lighting fixtures with LED applications throughout Arizona. On average, new LED light fixtures use 60 percent less energy.
U-Haul was among the Valley’s Healthiest Employers of 2017 (Phoenix Business Journal) for adopting strategies to cultivate a healthy workplace. Many health and wellness activities that are encouraged by U-Haul (bicycling to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, purchasing organic produce at Company-hosted farmers markets, and refilling a reusable water bottle at the FloWater stations) support the health of Team Members and the environment.
Healthy people and a healthy planet often go hand-in-hand.
Taking the Lead
In addition to sustainability initiatives and awards, U-Haul field teams led the way in environmental stewardship over the past year. Shannon Marvin, U-Haul Company of Western Oregon president, and her team recently received Green Business Awards for U-Haul Moving & Storage of Lake Oswego and U Haul Moving & Storage of Sherwood.
They were awarded at the highest level (gold) by Washington County for incorporating more than 40 sustainable practices. These include utilizing energy-efficient LED motion sensitive lighting; providing bicycle tire repair kits to encourage biking to work; utilizing reusable dishware; reusing office supplies; planting native and drought-tolerant landscaping; and educating employees in implementing sustainability efforts.
“We are honored to receive this award,” Marvin stated. “Being able to show that we strive to protect the environment is huge in our efforts to expand our locations into more communities, as well as our services at current locations.”
More Local Efforts
Sherrill Sciortino, U-Haul Company of Connecticut president, and her team were honored when the Plainville Chamber of Commerce named U-Haul Moving & Storage of Pinnacle Rock as its annual Beautification Award recipient. Will Cintas, who oversaw the store’s transformation upon purchase, led the way on the beautification venture. The project included rehabilitating a former General Electric building that had been vacant for seven years with environmentally thoughtful features; repurposing and recycling building materials instead of creating waste through demolition; and planting native landscaping that requires less water than its non-native counterparts.
Sustainability efforts, whether initiated by U-Haul International, its field teams or its customers, reaffirm that U-Haul is leading by example. Today, U-Haul would like to thank those who have contributed to making every day Earth Day.
To learn more about U-Haul sustainability programs, click here.