The way forward to 2020 and beyond
While there is a general post-Brexit slump in sentiment towards the UK, investors continue to see value in real estate across many parts of Europe. However, return expectations are being scaled down, and the importance of active asset management as a means to access income is being talked up1. We are therefore cautiously optimistic about the economic outlook. The mood is volatile, particularly on the stock markets, but also in society in general. This is due to the many uncertainties that dominate the news, such as geopolitical tensions, the low inflation in the Eurozone, the refugee crisis, and the fear of terrorism. However, as unemployment continues to fall and the economy recovers, mobility will continue to increase, bringing motorists to our parking facilities.
After three years with good results, we have demonstrated that our financial policy is effective. The formation of the regions is complete, and the initial signals from the new collaboration model are positive. If we continue to share successes with each other and show that the model we have created works in practice, this will give our plans a welcome boost.
Q-Park is always looking at ways to improve the customer experience. In addition to the practical collaboration models, we will be conducting a widely supported and internationally comparative customer satisfaction survey and aligning this to the latest developments and strategic choices. Being consistent with national customer satisfaction survey requirements is vital, as is making use of the information to forge valuable and specific improvement plans. We also invest in new technology and provide our customers quick and easy access.
Meeting motorists expectations
We will continue to lead the parking industry by being at the forefront of development, adopting and embracing technology. We will be better equipped to implement the digital and payment solutions that customers require, and this will place us in a better position to participate in Smart City and Smart Mobility concepts.
Fulfilling business partners' needs
Our ambition is that landlords will increasingly turn to us as their knowledge partner to help them keep up with technical developments and provide economies of scale for investments. And the benefits for partners at destinations such as theatres, restaurants, and hotels will include more integrated customer interactions and parking service provision in one seamless flow with their services. We will also continue to focus on e-charging in certain regions were demand is growing.
It goes without saying that we keep a close eye on developments that influence the car parking market such as the need for accessible inner-cities, the growth of online sales, as well as autonomous vehicles and car sharing concepts. Together with various experts, shareholders and senior management we will continue to explore these developments and apply the relevant insights.
In this report we document our progress against the four-year milestones we communicated for 2016. In order to meet our 2020 commitments, we have adjusted our targets. We will report our progress towards these milestones each year in our CSR report. We have also started to review our sustainability strategy based on our stakeholder dialogue, the new materiality analysis.
In 2017 we will set our focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also known as the Global Goals, SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These will be further implemented in our organisation and we will implement appropriate performance indicators (PIs) and place these in the context of the framework for integrated reporting (including relevant information from our Annual Report) as published by the IIRC.
Our non-financial data assurance and processes are still not as highly automated as those for the financial information. We want to improve this so that we can report as efficiently and reliably as possible and monitor the improvement projects.
Parking in 2030
The car - in whatever form - is not going to disappear. “The advantages of having your own car are often overlooked: people really like being in their own space, in their own car, listening to their favourite radio station. Even in traffic jams,” says Meindert Schut.
Another advantage of the car is that it offers a door-to-door solution: “It is and always will be really convenient to be dropped off at your own front door. And if that car then parks itself, that’s great. Then your parking problem will be solved too.”
According to Mr Schut autonomous cars and self-parking cars can do a lot already: “The technology is moving very fast. There are already some cars which can manoeuvre into and out of parking spaces without a motorist.
So, it won’t be long before they can drive away themselves and park themselves. I can see that happening.” And the parking space they use doesn’t need to be at a parking location out-of-town: “That would mean adapting all kinds of facilities. I think there are enough options in city centres, for instance underground parking facilities, there’s enough space. And if cars can park themselves, they’ll probably park more neatly in ordered rows which, in turn, creates more space.”
Source: National Automobile Show and Eyeopeners on Dutch news radio station BNR, M.Schut, 2016
- Emerging Trends in Real Estate: Europe 2017, PWC 2017