10 Easy Ways Parking Facilities Can Benefit from Going Green
Sustainability and going green are always hot topics, even more than ever this year. Parking facilities can be leaders in supporting sustainability, as cars and trucks are among the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions in the USA. There are many ways to improve the sustainability of your parking facility. Any endeavor from the list below will benefit the environment and your business.
If your facility offers a
shuttle service, consider switching
to an EV shuttle.
1- Create and Support Alternative-fuel Vehicle Spaces. It is no secret the automotive industry is going electric. Bloomberg forecasts an 80 percent jump in EV sales this year due to improved battery technology, lower costs, a commitment to charging infrastructure, and more choice of vehicles and charging speeds. The recently signed infrastructure bill aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to half of their 2005 levels and transitioning to electric vehicles plays a big part in that plan. Offering EV charging stations at your parking facility will attract sustainability-conscious consumers already driving EVs—especially among millennial and younger buyers. Additionally, drivers considering EVs will be more likely to switch when they see easier and increased access to reliable charging stations. EV spaces can be offered as an amenity to any customer, or provided at an additional charge, adding to your revenue stream.
2- Utilize and Market the Use of Alternative Fuel Shuttles. If your facility offers a shuttle service, consider switching to an EV shuttle. You will ensure cleaner air around your facility. Plus, the savings on using an EV shuttle (versus gasoline or diesel) are substantial.
3- Achieve Third-party Green Certifications like Park Smart and LEED. LEED certification proves you are serious about using environmentally responsible building practices, enhancing your reputation as a leader in sustainability. Green certifications have incentives that can offset the costs of sustainable building design and construction, a definite bonus.
4- Install LED Lighting. LED lights last longer than fluorescents, and they consume drastically less energy. Installed on timers or motion sensors, they use even less energy. Timed lights also help compensate for surge utility pricing at peak times.
5- Offer a Wayfinding App to Minimize Driver Circling to Find a Parking Space. Satisfaction will skyrocket as customers reduce time and frustration finding a parking spot via your app. In addition, customers will be grateful when the app remembers where their car is located, saving them time, frustration, and possibly, embarrassment (who hasn’t lost their car in a parking garage?). This option reduces CO2 emissions along with frustration. Also, you can attract new EV drivers to your parking facility if you offer EV charging stations that drivers can locate with your app.
6- Minimize Exhaust Fan Costs by Ensuring that CO2 Sensors are Operating Efficiently. Exhaust fans ensure that a parking garage has clean, fresh air. CO2 sensors operating at peak efficiency do not necessarily need to run 24 hours a day. Save energy and electricity costs by checking your CO2 sensors.
7- Install and Use Solar Panels. If your parking facility lacks a rooftop, consider creative solutions, such as providing covered parking spaces, to generate clean energy. The solar electricity generated can be used to power the building, exterior lights, or even EV charging units installed under the solar panels. Other options for solar energy that do not require a rooftop include community solar projects. If your parking facility does have a roof, solar panel installation is easy, and the power they generate can be put to effective use within your facility. Selling the extra power you generate to your utility company will also lower your energy costs.
8- Encourage Biking by Promoting Bike Parking. If your facility is in an area where bicycle commuting is an option, offer designated parking areas close to the building entrance to entice more clients to commute via bike. Also, encourage and offer electric scooter and cycle rental programs onsite to reduce ICE vehicle emissions.
9- Offer and Market Tire Inflation Devices. Properly inflated tires increase fuel mileage. During the colder winter months, tire pressure tends to drop. Many people can recall finding a deflated tire at the worst possible time. Providing customers easy access to a tire filling station will pump up customer satisfaction and add revenue to your business. Signage alerting customers to the tire filling station and the benefits of topping off tires for better fuel efficiency can increase usage among drivers.
10- Accommodate Carshare and Rideshare Programs. Services such as Uber and Lyft are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in urban areas. As more people, particularly younger customers, use ridesharing services, parking facilities that fail to adapt will risk a decline in business. Designated EV charging stations for rideshare EVs will likewise attract rideshare patrons.
Parking facilities are in a prime position to benefit from going green. The recent infrastructure bill highlights the urgency for everyone to take a more proactive approach to save our environment. Corporations, particularly parking facilities, need to be partners in supporting individual sustainability efforts by making them easier for everyone. Coming together in the common goal of saving our planet can be our legacy to future generations.
Paul Vosper is CEO of JuiceBar. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.