Since 1945, U-Haul has prided itself in being a sustainable, shared-use moving resource. Each year, we continue to make advancements that will benefit not just our customers or teammembers, but the environment as a whole. Between Earth Day of 2015 and Earth Day 2016, U-Haul has made a lot of successful environmental efforts.
LED Garage Lighting
Within U-Haul International, the lighting in the parking garage was replace with LED bulbs. Prior to the LED replacement, lighting was inconsistent and not aesthetically pleasing. The light had a yellow color to it and cast shadows throughout the garage. The most important reason why the bulbs needed to be replaced was because of their energy inefficiency. Now that the parking garage has LED lighting, there is better light quality and distribution. These bulbs have an outstanding product warranty and light -level control functionality which reduces maintenance needs, costs and makes things safer for our building management team. The new lighting also reduces energy consumption significantly. Wattage has been reduced by more than 17,000 watts to provide an estimated annual kWh savings of more than 250,000. This is expected to save us 3.7 million kWh in the long term.
Energy Management Program
In the past year, 701 energy projects have been completed. Through these, 13M kWh have been saved and 20 M lbs of CO2 have been avoided. How’s that for some awesome Earth Day news? Not only with this reduction in power and CO2 emissions benefit the environment, but these numerous products also make various processes easier and more cost effective. The majority of these energy management program projects in the past year have been in the LED lighting upgrades and efficient HVAC upgrades. We also retrofitted propane dispensers to efficiently fill alternative fuel vehicles. Some of our adaptive reuse buildings have had energy-efficient windows and roos installed. On the water conservation side, we’ve removed grass and planted water-efficient native landscaping where appropriate which requires significantly less water to maintain. In fact, every U-Haul center is designed with the earth in mind, reducing water consumption, reusing natural resources and recycling various materials.
Tree Planting Partnerships
Between Earth day 2016 and Earth Day 2016, U-Haul has contributed to 175,000 trees planted in 3 forests. These trees make up over 360 acres! We have also served 2 national wildlife refuges, created the new Lindsay Street Park in Atlanta and expanded the Vince City Park in Atlanta. Planting these trees helps to clean the air in reducing carbon emissions as well as add shade to public settings. Through our partnerships with The Conservation Fund and Tree Canada, we are excited to see the result of the trees that have been planted in the Eastern Neck and Santee National Wildlife Refuges as well as the Garcia River Forest in California. And who could forget our project protecting the emerald ash trees in the city of Peterborough, ON!
On a more general sense within the company quite a bit has happened to improve our environmental efforts. Nearly 1 M boxes have been reused in the Take a Box Leave A Box program and through online box sharing programs. It is estimated that 2.4M pounds of materials have been diverted from landfills thanks to our moving pads which are made of 100% recycled materials. 407,000 cubic feet of materials is estimated to have been diverted from landfills due to our Biodegradable Peanuts. It is also estimated that 140,000 items have been reused in our Storage Reuse Centers systemwide. Talk about a lot of savings! These stats don’t even include the savings that come from vehicle sharing such as our moving trucks or even UhaulCarShare!
At U-Haul, we strongly believe in the model of a zero-waste product so we try to repurpose materials as often as possible. Moving trucks are converted into other vehicles when it comes time to replace them. Ready-To-Go Boxes are rented over 400 times before they need to be recycled at which point they are recycled to become new Ready-To-Go-Boxes! Our U-Haul furniture pads are completely comprised of recycled materials such as old denim.We also adapt old building such as factories into U-Haul centers rather than using new resources and starting completely from scratch. Adaptive reused saves resources and reduced carbon emissions significantly.
Find out about other U-Haul products and programs that embrace the three R’s!