On Dec 01 2022 / by Cassie Daley

Reaching your sustainability goals with effective parking management

As we learn more about environmental developments and climate change, it's become more and more evident that real estate is a sector with skin in the game. The housing and property markets are continually affected by issues like rising sea levels and climate change-related weather events like wildfires and freak hurricanes. Plus, real estate investors have begun putting more money into "green assets."

Real estate actually contributes 40% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. So, it's crucial that real estate moves in the direction of sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Making decisions to better the planet will not only help save real estate, but it will also help create a healthier, safer, cleaner and more equitable planet for everyone. Ultimately, there's not really any downside to adopting greener systems and habits.

Among the greenest in the game is JLL. Taking a look at JLL's sustainability accomplishments, they've got a lot to show for taking on environmentally-friendly initiatives. In 2021, this company was able to avert 65,301 metric tons of CO2 by advising renewable energy projects for new development projects that they participated in. They also secured 389 sustainable building certificates for clients that year. And they even received CDP Climate A List recognition for leadership and action that year.

When we were at CREtech last month, we got to see some of the top real estate firms in the game; it turns out that many of them are taking steps in the direction of sustainability. We even attended a talk there called "Top Real Estate Companies Embracing Sustainability," which included Tishman Speyer Properties, Boston Properties, LaSalle Investment Management, Ivanhoé Cambridge and ALM Global.

One of our main takeaways from this talk is that technology can be a great tool in the world of sustainability.

In that same vein, Parkable's CEO, Toby Littin, says, "It seems like there are new developments in sustainability every day. I've personally learned a lot from the conversations I've been having lately with property companies and transportation managers. There are new solutions coming out every day to make real estate a more environmentally friendly field, especially when it comes to offsetting greenhouse gas emissions."

In this area, transportation managers have an interesting challenge. They are trying to make the transportation of the work commute more sustainable. Innovations in that area are making this job a little bit more manageable, though. Parkable is one of those technological innovations.

Parkable and sustainability

At first glance, Parkable may not scream sustainability. After all, it's a tool that facilitates driving, and cars release a lot of CO2. But, in our world, many people drive to work and aren't willing or able to find a new way to commute. Moreover, public transportation isn't always available, reliable, or accessible. And how many people really live within walking or biking distance of their jobs?

Parkable is here to bring the practice of driving into a greener future. The world isn't going to get rid of cars overnight, so it's time to promote sustainable alternatives to the current ways we use them.

Well, how can parking management even promote sustainability? Well, our parking management system includes tools for meeting environmental goals when it comes to building owners, property managers and transportation managers (as well as individual drivers).

Making parking more efficient and allowing drivers to book spaces ahead of time cuts the time that drivers spend idling or circling the parking area. Their cars don't need to be running for longer than it takes to get from Point A to Point B, limiting unnecessary emissions. And that's just a basic perk of the Parkable system.

In our software, we also have a tool for allotting certain areas of car parks to different types of vehicles. For instance, carpooling vehicles can be allotted their own section of spaces, maybe in a more advantageous area, to encourage staff to drive to work together. Additionally, Parkable has a function for designating EV spaces so that if your parking lot has EV chargers, you can promote them. Making your parking area more EV-friendly makes it easier for people with electric vehicles to bring them to work and makes the world itself a little easier to get around by using them. We have tools for monitoring the EV charging bays and even enabling EV bike parking.

Finally, Parkable's reservation system is great for those who both drive to work and use public transportation. By knowing whether or not there's parking available, workers will be able to opt-in to public transportation when that's easier for them, rather than driving when there aren't even any spaces available.

Speaking with our clients, we're always looking to see what we're doing well and how we should move forward with our technology.

Nick Grieve, the general manager of BNZ, explains his Parkable experience: "Our parks weren't being used efficiently, but we didn't want to completely remove parking options for staff. Parkable makes staff parking efficient, a better experience for our team, and we've stopped leasing an entire separate car park."

The future of Parkable's dedication to sustainability

Parkable is always looking to improve, especially when it comes to our climate initiatives. As we grow and begin to find different partners, we have a few projects in mind. For instance, we look forward to helping our customers more in areas like:

  • Carpooling
  • Growing and adapting our Scope 3 emissions reporting system
  • Providing a multimodal platform with a comprehensive list of commuting options

And that's all just the beginning.

As we look to the future, we have a lot of ideas about where we can go from here! Toby says, "Despite the reduced reliance on cars, we're nowhere near a zero parking world, but the trend is undoubtedly moving toward less and less parking, more EV charging areas, and carpooling services. I'm excited to see the possibility of our cities becoming more populated with autonomous vehicles that can be developed for much safer conditions for riders and pedestrians."

Creating a more sustainable commute

On top of using an efficient, effective parking management system, there are, of course, other ways for transportation managers to lower the carbon footprint of car commuting. We've actually gathered a few tips for adopting this sustainable approach.

  1. Encourage more sustainable ways of commuting, like ridesharing among staff, through incentivisation.
  2. Implement EV charging at your property.
  3. Provide accessible tools for public transportation options.
  4. Encourage staff to actually reserve their parking spaces ahead of time using the management syste.
  5. Establish a hybrid workspace where not everyone is in-office on the same days.
  6. Encourage those who can walk or bike to work to do so when possible through incentivisation (i.e., free breakfast once a week for those who do)
  7. Purchase carbon offset credits for your property or organisation based on how many workers regularly drive their commute.
  8. Encourage staff to bring lunch and coffee, or provide those things on behalf of your company to reduce the number of times workers need to drive around during the workday.
  9. Remind workers to reduce unnecessary idling when they can.
  10. Provide a list of eco-friendly motor oils and car cleaning products that are good for vehicle upkeep, and distribute this among staff.

Advancing sustainability through parking may not seem like a huge step by way of progress. But when it comes to the fight against climate change, it's all of the smaller steps that end up creating the biggest differences. Parkable has many benefits, and sustainability is definitely at the top of the list. When choosing which adjustments to make in order to better adapt to a more green-conscious world, we've got a lot to offer.

Solve your parking problems

If you have workplace parking spots and want to...

  • Improve employee parking experiences
  • Reduce car park admin
  • Make better use of your space
  • Align your parking with a flexible working culture
  • Implement hardware solutions

...feel free to get in touch!