We want to improve the environmental performance of our own parking facilities, our fleet, and our offices.
Q-Park is a large consumer of electricity, both for lighting and operational equipment, and for charging electric cars. We have an energy-saving programme to raise awareness of our own energy consumption, and to take measures to reduce this as well as our CO2 footprint. We express this footprint in terms of the CO2 emissions per parking space in an owned or long-leased parking facility.
Multi-storey car parks can also make a contribution towards sustainability and are certainly a strategic component in municipalities’ efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in cities. The expansion of the e-mobility segment also plays a vital role in this respect. As the ‘garages of the future’, multi-storey car parks offer the basic infrastructure to support this trend.
Source: Parking facilities in Europe – a market with space for investors, Market tracker, Catella, 2016
Installing energy-saving lighting and optimising the lifts and ventilation control systems are the primary measures we take in our parking facilities. For our operating activities, we take other measures: for example selecting cleaner vehicles for our fleet, and when we need to travel, we try to use public transport more often. By making use of modern communications technology, we avoid unnecessary travel.
In Norway, we have started a pilot working with the Cale CWT P&D solar machine. It works with automatic number plate registration. Customers type in their number plate, which is then automatically whitelisted. A great saving is that no paper tickets are involved. Control fee attendants only need to type in or use the camera in their PDA to scan and check the number plates of parked cars. The whole process has been digitised and standardised. Savings are made on many fronts: fewer P&D machines are required, there's no need to replenish tickets, and tickets cannot get lost. Operational costs are lower and these machines require less maintenance. The perfect solution for control fees for on-street parking or off-street car parks without a barrier.
What we have achieved
The Q-Park energy-saving programme is demonstrating clear benefits – in financial terms as well as in our environmental impact. We want to procure our energy on a larger scale by means of a central purchasing policy. Furthermore, due to the application of LED lighting and dimming technology we are consuming fewer kWh ourselves. In the period 2013 to 2016, we saved EUR 1,529,340 through these measures.
Q-Park Holding collects its old mobile phones and gives them a second life by donating them to the Ronald McDonald foundation.
Together with Weelec, a socially responsible processor of electronic waste, we make sure that our broken ICT equipment (laptops, keyboards, etc.) is recycled in an environmentally friendly way. This also helps us to decrease our CO2 consumption.
CO2 footprint per parking space per type of structure
- Scope 1: the emissions arising within the organisation decreased from 3,393 tCO2 to 3,274 tCO2 as some petrol cars in our fleet were replaced with hybrid vehicles.
- Scope 2: the emissions outside the organisation decreased slightly from 28,385 tCO2 to 28,248 tCO2 due to lower electricity consumption in most countries. The installation of LEDs and light sensors has reduced our overall electricity consumption by 1,617,627 kWh compared to 2015.
- Scope 3: other emissions rose from 279 tCO2 to 366 tCO2. This is mainly due to the increasing number of flights for our large international proprietary ICT programme, the C2C project.
Our car fleet is slowly changing and becoming more sustainable as we replace petrol and diesel cars with hybrid and electric cars.
For example, the number of electric cars in the fleet rose to 57 (in 2015 we had 50), and in parking facilities in the Netherlands, Ireland and Finland we deployed more electric cars.
Our fleet is becoming more sustainable
We expect this trend to continue, especially in the Nordic countries where there are local tax benefits for electric and hybrid vehicles. The proportion of these cleaner cars has increased rapidly, and correspondingly the numbers of petrol cars in particular, have dropped accordingly.
The number of flights increased significantly, by 33 percent, as more regional meetings were held and the implementation of the C2C platform required more travelling.
Air purification in car parks
According to a study by researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), eliminating particulate matter (PM10) from underground car parks in the city centre of Eindhoven could result in local reductions in the concentration of these particles of up to 50 percent.
Under the supervision of Professor Bert Blocken, the Eindhoven researchers made a very detailed computational grid of the city centre of Eindhoven. This grid covered an area of 5.1 square kilometres and included 16 underground car parks. The researchers calculated the effect on the concentration of particulate matter in the city with 99 or 594 air purification systems to capture particulate matter in these car parks.
The placing of 99 air purification systems inside the car parks generally decreases particulate matter concentrations outside the car parks locally by up to 10 percent. But with the use of 594 air purification units, a substantially larger area – up to a kilometre from the underground car parks – is affected where at least 10 percent reduction in particulate matter is observed. In certain locations this reduction even peaked at 40 or 50 percent less. While the simulations have their limitations compared to practice (for example, the force and direction of the wind can be particularly influential) the researchers conclude that this approach is an effective way of improving the air quality in a city centre.
The idea to capture particulate matter in car parks comes from the environmental innovation company Environmental Nano Solution (ENS) Technology. ENS Technology devised the idea of capturing particulate matter in underground car parks. The company has developed an innovative technology that turns fine dust into coarse dust.
This is achieved by efficiently charging airborne fine dust particles and capturing them on a grounded collection plate. According to ENS director Lia van de Vorle: “Since the ventilation systems of the underground car parks are in contact with the streets and shopping zones above, these garages have a considerable influence on the air quality in the city centre. By eliminating particulate matter in these places and by ventilating clean air into the city, underground car parks act as cleansing lungs of the city.”
This research indicates that local removal in semi-enclosed parking facilities can be a very effective strategy towards improved outdoor air quality. Under this condition, the local removal strategy can be practically implemented in many cities worldwide, where the costs of the electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) could be covered by minor increases in parking ticket costs. This could, at least partly, make motorists part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
Source: “Reduction of outdoor particulate matter concentrations by local removal in semi-enclosed parking garages: A preliminary case study for Eindhoven city center”, B. Blocken, R. Vervoort and T. van Hooff, 2016