Feature: Green Spaces

HX Car Park Management talks prioritising sustainable ANPR in the car park

You would be forgiven for thinking that car parks, facilities which largely exist to enable and encourage people to drive, spend very little time considering the environmental impact, but HX Car Park Management Ltd (HX) has been working hard behind the scenes to improve sustainability practices across its business and with its clients.

“Our curiosity and drive to develop eco-friendly and sustainable parking solutions has grown considerably over recent years,” says Susan Meadwell, Head of Sustainability at HX. “We now understand that sustainability is a permanent task and we are fully committed to the continuous development of our services and processes to limit the negative impacts that HX has on climate change and to protect the environment.”

In 2018, HX introduced Solar, Wind and Hybrid Eco-ANPR systems to help its clients achieve their own green business goals, working together to establish and provide efficient, eco-friendly systems to suit their parking management needs. In 2021, HX’s goal is to look at its installation processes in order to maximise on reducing the clients’ site carbon footprint even further.

As the industry leader in delivering Solar, Wind and Hybrid Eco-ANPR systems, Meadwell says the parking management company is investing significantly in research and development to ensure its Eco-ANPR products utilise the most efficient technology and continue to provide 100% uptime reliability for clients, whilst significantly reducing carbon emissions released on site.

Last year HX launched its online Sustainability Calculator which provides their existing and future clients with instant figures via an easy-to-use tool to calculate the carbon cost and financial savings they can make by switching to HX’s Eco-ANPR.

With a sustainability focus at the forefront if its business strategy, HX aims to achieve ‘True Change’ as a sustainable company by both researching and establishing the most effective initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, conserve water, and improve consumption and waste management behaviour. “’Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is our 2021 mantra,” says Meadwell.

Meadwell was appointed as Head of Sustainability to solidify HX’s sustainable practice and take its plans to the next level.  Her twenty-plus years’ experience in Sustainable Development and First Class (Hons) degree in Environmental Science are driving the parking management firm’s ambition to prioritise the environment throughout all areas of its business.

“One of our key goals is to positively influence the Parking Industry to prioritise environmental challenges and embrace a shift in the sector,” says Meadwell. “ Our approach is through tangible engagement, responsible procurement, encouragement and transparency throughout.”

She recognises the need to reduce the risk of an irreversible tipping point in global warming, which is why HX are embracing transformational change across all its operations – something which she says has been a big team effort: “Our employees are fully engaged in idea-generation and strategy definition to align our core beliefs, behaviours’ and strengthen our effectiveness in tackling climate change.”

The company’s Environmental Management System (EMS) and Sustainability Policy is set to achieve true impact by going beyond monitoring, reporting compliance, and reputational requirements, with the parking management company properly taking responsibility for its fair share of the global effort to address the climate emergency.

“We have based our Policy Framework on the United Nations Sustainable 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” tells Meadwell. “The Agenda was adopted in 2015 by all the United Nations member states and is a global call for action in balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: Economic; Social; Environmental, and it sets out 17 goals in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.”

HX carried out an internal assessment which identified that it aligns to 13 of the UN’s goals, and Meadwell says they are now evaluating which of those it can contribute to in the most meaningful way – at the top of the list: educating its staff  to empower them to become involved with sustainability initiatives

“We have a program of environmental education that will be used to stimulate conversation within the team to ensure we all have an understanding of the wider issues,” Meadwell continues. “This allows us to relate our understanding to the individual components of the business in a straight forward way.  It also ensures we have 100% buy in and commitment from our employee.”

One of HX’s first employee-led projects is its sponsorship of the Rethink Food Futures Programme which aims to educate families to make better food choices, reduce food waste and remove hunger as a barrier to learning.

The programme provides schools with a weekly delivery of food and pupil workshops on growing and cooking, as well as an aeroponic tower so that fresh vegetables can be grown on site under UV lights contributing to STEM education.

There is a lot of talk amongst businesses about becoming ‘Net Zero’ – the status of achieving carbon neutrality. Meadwell points out that whilst tackling its carbon footprint is essential the HX Sustainability Strategy & Policy, will be a much broader approach that forms a key part of the HX Business Strategy.

“As a priority we will be exploring the options for sequestering carbon from the environment alongside carbon offsetting,” she explains. “We aim to diversify our approach using the best available research to maximise our long-term effectiveness.

One initiative the parking management company has committed to is for every new ANPR contract it signs, HX will plant one indigenous tree species via the National Forest Company, a charity and Non-Profit institution sponsored by Defra. 

Since its establishment in 1995, the National Forest Company has planted 8.9 million trees in the Midlands increasing Forest cover from 6% to 20%, and have created more than 2,250ha of non-woodland habitats to improve biodiversity.

This story was first published in Retail Destination Fortnightly.

share on:

Leave a Response