Social responsibility and sustainability are essential - not only ecologically, but also economically. Parking facility providers have many opportunities to make their businesses socially responsible while providing better services to their customers.
A Shift in Consumer Expectations
Climate change and a growing awareness of social problems are increasingly influencing our decisions. Indeed, it’s not just individuals but also companies that are expected to act in an ecologically and socially responsible manner. Companies ‘green’ efforts are usually subsumed under the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
CSR Trends Across Industries
CSR is still growing in importance. The renowned Forbes magazine, for example, reports that CSR is more relevant than ever. Research confirms this, as documented, for example, in a study published in the Open Journal of Business and Management. The effect is most visible in the food industry. Consider, for example, the growing number of regional organic brands and related commercials that inform us about sustainable business practices. But the growing demand for plausible CSR strategies affects all business sectors and models – car park operators included.
The Link Between CSR and Parking Facilities
Why is that? The main reason is that social responsibility is a mindset that permeates all areas of life. If customers are increasingly looking to their food and energy providers to meet sustainable and social requirements, they tend to do the same when searching for a parking service. The trend towards parking facilities as mobility hubs for last-mile parking and park-and-ride is also partly an effect of the increasing need for sustainability and socially responsible behavior.
SKIDATA is constantly developing new digital solutions that replace paper tickets and with them the corresponding paper and plastic waste. What’s more, upgrading parking facilities to mobility hubs for urban and mixed mobility also helps to reduce CO2 emissions and improve one’s carbon footprint. AI-supported navigation for connected cars allows motorists to directly head to available parking spaces in garages, without having to hunt for a space. This saves on congestion on the streets and supports the vision of a healthy environment. Offering EV-Charging is a further factor that helps to build the parking operator’s build brand image as an ecologically minded service provider.
Opportunities for Parking Operators Through CSR
CSR can be a challenge for parking operators, but with this challenge comes a huge opportunity, because ecological and economic goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In fact, targeted CSR strategies can increase customer satisfaction and improve service at the same time. That’s because customers’ demands for social responsibility are opening up new ways for car park operators to position their brand identity while offering added value to their customers.
How to set up your parking garage in an ecologically sound way
There are numerous ways to meet the rising demand for CSR strategies with high credibility. They include measures like switching from paper tickets to electronic access permissions via license plate recognition to eliminate paper waste. Or a seamless integration of EV-charging stations into the parking facility infrastructure to meet the rising demand for sustainable e-mobility. However, responsibility must not only be perceived but also communicated, for example with modern marketing methods directly at the entry lane.
The Future of Sustainable Parking Facilities
In summary: The requirement of the public for more sustainability also affects car park operators. This can be a challenge but above all an opportunity. That’s because the parking facility of the future will serve as a mobility hub with a wide range of services for its customers. And those who are able to implement these services sustainably will be able to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
SKIDATA's Commitment to CSR
At SKIDATA we are of course aware that CSR is a popular buzzword. And without proper action behind it, CSR will indeed remain nothing more than an empty phrase. That’s why SKIDATA is taking action to continuously improve internal CSR measures. Moreover, SKIDATA is actively involved as a member in the following organizations: Energy Efficiency Act, Environmental Services Salzburg, and RESPACT – Austrian business council for sustainable development. SKIDATA also joined ecovadis, a tech-based platform for sustainability rankings, back in 2021.
SKIDATA is an international leader in the field of access solutions and their management. Almost 10,000 SKIDATA installations worldwide in ski resorts, stadiums, airports, shopping malls, cities, spa & wellness facilities, trade fairs and amusement parks provide secure and reliable access and entry control for people and vehicles. SKIDATA places great value in providing solutions that are intuitive, easy to use, and secure. The integrated concepts of SKIDATA solutions help clients optimize performance and maximize profits. SKIDATA Group (www.skidata.com) belongs to the publicly traded Swiss Kudelski Group (www.nagra.com), a leading provider of digital security solutions.