As a partner of the cities, we consider that a positive impact on society and the environment is an integral part of our mission. As such, we are increasing initiatives to become a full-fledged contributor in the life of the cities in which we are established.
In order to reduce our carbon footprint, we have analysed the entire Interparking value chain wherever we carry on our activities. This assessment has led to very concrete actions to reduce our electricity consumption (LED technology, digitally piloted ventilation), recycle as much waste as possible, use renewable energies, etc. Other energy-saving projects are also underway: wider use of video conferences to reduce our travel and switching part of the car fleet to low-emission and electrical vehicles.
Nevertheless, as with many other businesses, we can approach total carbon neutrality as best we can but it is difficult to achieve. That is why Interparking is participating in a carbon-offset project by supporting several CO2 reduction projects in Africa.
Interparking is actively involved in a reforestation project: we ask our clients to make a donation to offset their CO2 emissions. For each euro donated, two mangroves are planted in the Bouche du Roy region. Interparking also promises to double the amount of donations collected. On the website www.interparking-co2neutral.com, clients are asked to share their donations to offset their emissions. Using a simulation tool, they can see the direct environmental impact of their contribution.
In 2017, 6 412 tons of CO2 were offset by the projects we support.(wanrou.org)
This approach is recognized by the "CO2 neutral" certification in all 9 countries where we are present.
Charging stations and Eco Parking
The popularity of electric cars requires the provision of adapted infrastructure. Each year, we install new charging stations associated with reserved spaces for electric vehicles. 536 charging stations are now available for our customers. In the Netherlands, via our “Eco Parking” program, drivers of low-emission vehicles can even benefit from a reduced parking pricing.
We have also had our efforts recognised with the “CO2 neutral” certification. In 2015, our business operations in Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain were all honoured with this certification which means Interparking is now certified as “CO2-neutral” in 9 countries.
First "green loan"
In October 2018, Interparking took out a loan the cost of which depends on criteria linked to the firm's environmental performance. This is a first in Belgium. Specifically, BNP Paribas Fortis granted Interparking an €80 million loan to finance its expansion. The interest rate is calculated based on two specific environmental indicators: firstly, a reduction in the carbon footprint per full-time equivalent (FTE); and secondly, a reduction in the energy consumption of the car parks. Interparking will therefore be able to claim a discount of around 10% on the cost of the loan if the carbon footprint per full-time equivalent and the electricity consumption per parking space decrease by 30% and 20% respectively.
Breath of fresh air in the city
Air quality is an extremely important issue. Interparking takes the subject very seriously, the objective being to purify the air in its car parks. A first notable initiative was launched in April 2019, with the commissioning of a particle reduction system at the Beffroi car park in Namur, Belgium. Developed in collaboration with Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, this system uses the positive ionization process to capture the fine particles present in the ambient air. What is the result? The ambient air is cleared of 50 to 70% of particles, 40% of fine particles and 20% of ultrafine particles suspended in the car park.
It was the first installation of this type for the Interparking Group, and the first to be rolled out in Belgium. Since then, the system has been deployed in Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Cannes, Nice, Nîmes, and Fontainebleau.
Interparking plays an active role in finding employment for people who have been out of the labour market for a long time. This programme targets young people, the over-50s and people with reduced mobility or mild mental impairment. Along the same lines, our own "Parking School" has been launched. This school works as a training center in all the trades within the industry. In Belgium, 5 273 hours of training were delivered in 2017.
We support, via dedicated donations, the Samusocial, a humanitarian emergency service whose purpose is to provide care and medical ambulatory aid and nursing to homeless people and people in social distress. Indeed, several electric vehicles as well as their charging stations have been bought thanks to the financing of Interparking. These vehicles are used during marauding to provide emergency assistance to homeless people in Brussels and accompany them towards street exit solutions.
The Nativitas Foundation that helps people in precarious or isolated situations also benefits from our support. Our donations allow the development and renovation of housing facilities where the homeless are accommodated for a limited period.
We also support the Samilia Foundation, which fights against human trafficking, as well as the doctors and researchers from the Jules Bordet Institute, an autonomous hospital dedicated entirely to cancer diseases. In Austria, our subsidiary Contipark also funds research programs to treat multiple sclerosis.
The association "50s@work", the food banks, which fight daily against hunger and food waste and the Missing Children Association, the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children, are also part of the projects we support.
In the area of culture, Interparking is a long-standing partner of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth classical music competition; the Palais des Beaux-Arts and the Klarafestival in Brussels; the Concertgebouw of Bruges; the Festival van Vlaanderen and the Lichtfestival in Ghent. In Romania, Interparking is one of the partners of the George Enescu Festival, which celebrates classical music.
Art & Museums
We also give our support to the Musée d'Ixelles, the Wiels Center for Contemporary Art, the flower carpet, and the Quartier des Arts, a non-profit organization, which protects the quality of the environment in the center of Brussels.
In Germany, our subsidiary Contipark has been a partner since 2012 of the NGO "Sports Against Violence", which organizes a 6-day race every year to educate young Berliners about the problem of urban violence. In Austria, Contipark supports the Salzburg Volleyball Club. In France, Interparking sponsors the Cannes women's handball club and the Cély women's golf team. Interparking France is also partner of the marathon des Alpes. In Belgium, this is the Antwerp Giants basketball team that we support.
Patronage also sometimes takes a more surprising turn. For example, Interparking sponsors a mandrill at the Antwerp Zoo and a snow leopard at the Salzburg Zoo.