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Public Storage Energy Efficiency 2013


According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, “Energy represents the single largest operating expense for commercial buildings, with about 30% of building energy used inefficiently or unnecessarily.”
We believe all large companies need to take action to achieve the deep reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scientists say are necessary to avoid the most harmful impacts of climate change on society.  
Managing and reporting sustainability performance, including improving energy efficiency, will make our company more responsive to a global business environment characterized by heightened public expectations, volatile energy prices, and changing regulations.
Our company has approximately 2,350 properties, including self-storage locations and commercial and industrial real estate, representing over 168 million net rentable square feet. Public Storage considers itself “among the largest landlords in the world.” This vast property footprint exposes our company to significant energy costs.
Regulations increasingly call for improved energy efficiency in buildings. At least 46 state and local governments already require or encourage the use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, which emphasizes energy efficiency. Our company must be well positioned to respond to existing and forthcoming regulations.
Fortunately, the real estate industry can invest profitably in energy efficiency. McKinsey& Company finds that “only a small share of the commercial sector’s energy productivity potential is currently being captured.”  A Deutsche Bank report states that $279 billion “invested across the residential, commercial and institutional market segments...could yield more than $1 trillion of energy savings over 10 years”.  This investment would reduce total U.S. electricity spending by 30%, and U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10%.
Many companies have already benefited from their investments in energy efficiency. Between 2000 and 2006, Trizec (now Brookfield Properties Corporation) invested $20 million in efficiency upgrades with average payback time of less than 2.2 years and a 16% reduction in energy costs. 
Unlike many of its direct peers, Public Storage does not disclose information investors need to evaluate its energy management. U-Haul publicly discloses information about programs to address energy use through efficiency programs. CubeSmart reports it has begun identifying energy efficiency measures that can be taken at its corporate and storage sites. 
Taking advantage of the abundant opportunities to boost energy efficiency can contribute to our company’s competitiveness and our role as a corporate citizen.

Shareholders request that Public Storage set targets to reduce energy use (and associated GHG emissions) in the future and periodically report to shareholders (at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information) on the company’s progress toward reaching the targets.

Supporting Statement

In addition, the company is encouraged to consider setting targets to produce and/or source renewable energy. Renewable energy enables companies to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions and can help to reduce operating costs, diversify energy supply, and hedge against market volatility in traditional fuel markets.