With sustainability an increasingly hot topic in the business world, there’s an increased focus on the ways that organisations can reduce the environmental impact on the planet when they carry out certain operations.
Here are a selection of tips that can help save you money and minimise the business’ carbon footprint in the long-term, no matter the sector you operate in.
1. Go paperless
When considered as a whole, businesses typically use a lot of paper, which may or may not be necessary when you weigh up the usage. Wherever possible, switching to post-consumer waste (PCW) paper products, or skipping out on paper entirely may be a good idea.
There is an easy three-step process to help you cut down your paper use.
- Firstly, ask yourself if you really need physical copies of the print-outs and documents. If they’re not essential, keep those files digital.
- Secondly, check whether you can recycle the paper you’re using – if not, there are a variety of business available that offer that service.
- And finally, try to only use recycled paper in the first place, minimising your overall impact on the environment.
There are steps you can take in the background to reaffirm eco-friendly processes, such as removing paper trays from the team’s desks – this will help people get out of the habit of printing documents to share with colleagues. Additionally, it is a good idea to place PCW into circulation. PCW paper is made entirely from recycled paper, uses 45% less energy and creates only half the waste of the traditional papermaking process.
If your car park issues paper tickets or permits, then it’s switching to a virtual permit system. This digital approach uses ANPR camera technology and completely removes the physical use of paper and improves your car park’s green credentials.
2. Switch to CFL or LED lights
If you have an indoor parking facility, then it’s worth swapping your current lighting with compact-fluorescent or LED lights. Although they both have a higher purchase price than standard incandescent bulbs, they last much longer and use less energy. These kinds of lights can replace the standard bulbs in most fixtures, provide the site with a far purer source of light and can save your business a surprisingly large amount of money in the long run.
Solar-powered sensor lights could be a great eco-friendly addition. This is a method that has been successfully used on car parks and is particularly effective because it uses natural resources and is only being used when absolutely required.
3. Look into automation
Hand-in-hand with the paperless route mentioned above, the automation of certain processes can have a powerful, positive effect on the business and the environment. Take, for instance, the use of ANPR in your car park. This technology delivers plenty of benefits in terms of time saved and customer experience, but how can its inherent automation help with regards to the environment?
Because ANPR employs image manipulation techniques to detect who enters and exits a car park, it creates a bank of metadata that contains the number plates of all vehicles using your facility. Therefore, it does away with the need for physical ticketing. This complete reduction of consumable wastage means there’s no energy spent on creating the paper for them, no litter to be created or collected and no ticket jams. A barrier-free parking solution can also help reduce the parking backlog if your building tends to experience queues during the 5pm dash – this not only reduces congestion on both your site and surrounding areas but, as a result, lowers associated car pollution.
Furthermore, solar-powered payment kiosks can complement ANPR technology without incurring greater energy consumption.
And for businesses looking to tighten the purse strings, newly automated processes enabled by ANPR means freeing up time for busy internal teams who no longer have to worry about traditionally manual tasks such as pressing the barrier button.
4. Invest in reusable or sustainable assets
If your company has a procurement policy, consider including a new, greener approach and embrace aspects such as reducing waste, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, conserving energy and water, and using renewable energy sources.
By sourcing goods and services produced in a sustainable way, it ensures you’re only using things that are non-toxic, recyclable or made from renewable materials. If your company has a procurement policy, then consider amending it to include this new, greener approach to include information on reducing waste, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, conserving energy and water, and using renewable energy sources.
In terms of specifics, and with regards to renewable energy sources, it might be worth investigating how your parking facility can be powered by alternative methods. If you have a manned parking kiosk, for example, then consider investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy in order to power it. Though the move to these green power sources can be costly at the initial stages, the long-term savings you’ll make as a result can be well worth it, and they help the Earth too!
5. Get smarter with your energy use
Small changes in your office and/or car park can have a positive effect on your bottom line if you know where to look. In terms of car park design, re-evaluate whether lighting is necessary or at least whether it can be reduced – if your facility doesn’t need brightening up all day then optimising usage could ease the impact on both the environment and your bank balance.
ParkingEye is the market-leading provider of ANPR on private land. Looking to improve your business site’s performance? Head over to our car park management solutions page for more information, and get in touch with us today!