Staff from Extra Space Storage Inc., a self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) and third-party management company, planted 25 trees last month and donated $25,000 to the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) as part of a new collaboration to further engage in sustainability initiatives. A hundred employees from the company’s headquarters in Salt Lake City volunteered to plant the trees at Constitution Park on Sept. 18. Specialists from the nonprofit TreeUtah assisted in choosing trees best suitable for the climate, according to a press release.
“This volunteer effort is an important step in protecting the environment, which our foundation can’t do alone. We’re thrilled that partners like Extra Space Storage are committed to coming together to drive change,” said Dan Lambe, president of ADF. “With our network and ability to plant trees on public and private lands, the Arbor Day Foundation is uniquely positioned to organize these types of movements by rallying organizations and leaders around the world to join us.”
The collaboration comes on the heels of Extra Space ranking 10th in the “Solar Means Business Report” on the “Top 25 Corporate Users by Number of Solar Installations” listing by the Solar Energy Industries Association. The REIT was also named as the highest-rated self-storage company in the United States by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, an investor-driven organization that assesses the sustainability performance of real asset sector portfolios and assets.
“Our team at Extra Space Storage is committed to making a difference in our communities through sustainability efforts like this tree-planting event and our solar program,” said Extra Space CEO Joe Margolis. “We think it’s important to give employees opportunities to volunteer in efforts they are passionate about. We’re pleased to have partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation and TreeUtah for this event, and we’re glad to see our solar efforts across the country being recognized.”
During the planting, Margolis shared statistics regarding the company’s sustainability initiatives. Over the past five years, the REIT has installed solar panels at 411 facilities, updated lighting at 351 facilities, added electric car-charging stations at multiple locations, updated equipment to include more energy-efficient HVAC and other systems, and maintained conservative indoor temperatures at its locations, including its headquarters, the release stated.
Additional green initiatives include paperless rental agreements, efficient plumbing devices, improved irrigations systems and landscaping, and employee water-filling stations and recycle bins. Extra Space also has a leadership committee focused on discovering new, innovative ways to improve its eco-friendly programs, the release stated.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Extra Space owns or operates 1,752 self-storage properties nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The company’s properties comprise approximately 1.2 million units and 134 million square feet of rentable space.
Founded in 1972, ADF is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Since its inception, it has aided in the planting of more than 300 million trees worldwide.