By Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C
The year 2015 will be a pivotal milestone in the history (and future) of green and sustainable parking. At the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, June 29–July 2, IPI and the Green Parking Council (GPC, an affiliate of IPI) will present the first class of certified green garages. This, coupled with the newly-minted partnership between IPI, GPC, and the U.S. Green Building Council, will bring the idea of sustainability and parking to thousands of institutions, corporations, government entities, transit agencies, and others across the U.S. and beyond. This year will be one of the most transformative and impactful in the green parking era and will help set the stage for the future of the parking industry as a whole.
Far less notable this year is my transition to chair of the GPC’s marketing committee. I am excited to work with the GPC and our great committee to use our marketing skills and the many resources available today to showcase the exciting advancements being made in this segment of our industry. That said, I also want to take this opportunity to thank my predecessor, Carolyn Scharte, for the amazing job she has done leading the marketing committee through these past few transformative years of the GPC.
In addition to recognizing the pioneering companies and owners who will certify their parking facilities through the Green Garage Certification program, the GPC and its marketing committee will continue to promote the latest trends, technologies, and advancements in green parking through social media, blogs, webinars, and whatever new media may present itself in the near future (or even tomorrow). We are in the process of developing an ambitious marketing plan that will allow us to continue to keep those within and, as importantly, those outside of the parking industry informed while providing a forum for people to interact with each other and share their ideas.
One of the most important formats for sharing and communicating will be through social media. For a supposed “Millennial,” my relationship with social media to date has involved little more than the fact that I have a Facebook page that I occasionally update with complaints about fellow airline passengers, photos from wherever I happen to have traveled to that week, and articles about the greatness of Nebraska football. However, it is no secret that social media will continue to be one of, if not the single, most important formats for sharing information, and this will continue to increase as my generation moves into management and decision-making positions.
Social media and other online portals give us a forum to present new thoughts and showcase groundbreaking concepts and projects, while providing a faster and more convenient channel to communicate with each other and continue to learn together. That said, I invite you all to follow the GPC on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, subscribe to our blog, read our newsletter, and interact with us using these platforms so we can all continue to learn from each other. Tell us what you are working on; tell us what you think about the news and information we provide; challenge us; and take advantage of the amazing opportunities we have living in the 21st century to use technology and information sharing to move our industry forward.
This is going to be a great year for many reasons. I am excited to talk with all of you both in person and through these important mediums to continue to educate ourselves, learn from each other, and identify opportunities to continue to bring recognition to sustainable parking and the parking industry.
Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C, is director of corporate development for Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc., and a member of IPI’s Sustainability Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com or 484.342.0200.
TPP-2015-03-Marketing Green Parking in the Social Media Age