Ranked as the most sustainable country in the world by the Country Sustainability Ranking, Sweden has made an example out of finding ways to be environmentally savvy in every avenue. With the firm stance that, “A sustainable and secure energy supply is best achieved by focusing on long-term energy efficiency,” Sweden has lived up to their ranking. Between 1990 and today, Sweden cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% while enjoying real economic growth of 59%. With complete sustainability in sight, Sweden has proven that, ‘Going Green,’ goes far beyond the vehicle in the parking sector. What can we learn from Sweden’s best practices?
Which criteria do you weigh when deciding on purchasing a parking product? Price? Durability? Customer Service? While all of these factors come into play, Sweden’s parking operations managers added another important factor; recyclability.
“This isn’t always something that city managers and officials think about when choosing a parking terminal, but in recent years, the value of recyclability has received more attention,” says Andreas Jansson, Managing Director of Cale America, part of the Cale Group, a Swedish parking solutions company, “In Sweden, you don’t see mounds of landfill like you do in the U.S. It’s something that has been grabbing the attention from surrounding nations.”
According to Cale’s hardware management in Sweden, the type of machine that Sweden uses was designed to be recycled, consisting of a significant amount of material that can be recycled easily without significant processing (91%) and is therefore considered to have the “highest recyclability.” The materials that go to processing are the circuit board, cable and electronics (8%) and these must go through a process before it can be recycled in a safe and environmental way. The plastic goes to energy recovery at a district heating plant. No material goes to a landfill.
Digital Receipt Solution
No more paper! Stockholm, Sweden was the first “launch” customer for the new Cale Web Terminal (CWT) Color Touch platform which supported digital receipts.
Sweden now saves paper and maintenance costs by allowing their customers to receive all of their parking terminal receipts via SMS, email, or mobile payment app.
According to Mats Lindberg, Account Manager for Cale Sweden, “Not only does this save an extraordinary amount of paper, but customers most often use the WaytoPark mobile payment app, which offers different ways to pay if you are delayed or stuck in a meeting when your time expires.” Lindberg reports that the service cost is down due to no longer needing to clear paper jams, but rather, they now focus on local trouble-shooting and preventative maintenance.
Using today’s latest technology, parking terminal errors can be reset by sending a ‘Terminal Reboot’ command through a Push Command feature. When an alert comes in that a machine needs service, techs now remain at their current location with their tablets, attempting to reboot the terminal remotely to bring it back online. According to Lindberg, “9 times out of 10, this is all the machine needs.”
“Energy savings for the Push Command feature are huge,” adds Lindberg, “Think about it. All that time stuck in traffic to even get to a terminal costs time for our techs, adding even more to traffic congestion and contributing to unnecessary Co2 emissions. These kind of service calls used to consume over 7 million tickets per year and now it’s ZERO.”
The Push Command feature comes as part of Cale’s new WebOffice Enterprise Smart Cities plan. “This was something that we had been needing for a while. A short-cut,” says Lindberg, “A plan that fits in with the sustainable goals we are trying to reach.”
Solar Charged Terminals
While solar-charged terminals aren’t the newest development in today’s parking industry, Stockholm points out just how beneficial the alternative energy source is in sustainability and savings. The obvious benefits remain; being a truly renewable resource harnessed all over the world while never running out.
Lindberg notes the additional value, “The main thing here is the lower cost and savings on installation. Before the solar meters, you would have to make it a big project; getting a crew, mapping out the construction, digging to get the power line to the meter and more. Now it’s a much simpler process. Just use the sun.”
In Stockholm, 83% of electricity production comes from alternative energy sources. “With the conversion to the solar-powered CWT touch meter, we were able to remove all the power line connections,” concludes Lindberg, “It’s a perfect fit to Sweden’s sustainability initiatives.”
Whether in Sweden or in the U.S., the power of ‘Going Green’ will always have a greater impact with joint effort.
Andreas Jansson notes, “You can see the efforts all over the Industry. Parkeon has partnered with BreezoMeter, an analytics company that will incorporate air quality sensors to Parkeon’s smart meters.”
These meters, otherwise known as, “Park & Breathe” smart meters, will use its sensors to give a powerful analysis of the air quality data in a city. The key aspect of this advancement is that it provides smart cities with the actionable information they need to make informed decisions to mitigate air pollution and increase the level of wellbeing for their citizens.
“Sustainability is one of the many reasons that Cale is joining with Parkeon,” concludes Jansson, “You look at what you can do better within your industry and the answer is simple, come together to create solutions for smart cities to stay ahead.”
Cale offers innovative and efficient parking and transit payment solutions to improve urban mobility for Smart Cities. From the start in 1955, Cale has developed into a world leading brand within the parking business, with a turnover close to a billion SEK. Cale has subsidiaries, distributors and customers all around the world. Cale specializes in customizing technology, may it be for parking terminals, mobile payment solutions, transaction handling or centralized software systems, and converts this into functionality, always with the highest possible focus on the parking operator as well as the driver.
You are welcome to visit our website, www.calegroup.se, to read more about our products and services, or feel free to contact us.