TPP-2016-06-Certified Green Garage Goes Global As ParksmartBy John Schmid

It was 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 2015 when I walked back into my holiday house party and made a toast: “to the green parking garage going global.” I then signed the document package the attorneys had sent over, and a new era began. This was an important moment in time for the parking industry, as the Green Parking Council (GPC) and the International Parking Institute (IPI) partnered with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the parent of the LEED certification standard. The USGBC is active in more than 150 countries with 72,000+ projects worldwide. With more than 12,200 USGBC members, Green Garage Certification now has a truly global impact.

Just five years ago, the USGBC excluded parking garages from certification under LEED. The GPC, made up of volunteers, stepped in and created industry-driven, sustainable standards for the built-garage environment. The Certified Green Garage is now rebranded by the USGBC as the Parksmart certification. These world-class standards, leveraging the global power of the USGBC’s platform, are now poised to evolve and expand on the global level. Over time, the resulting high-performance, sustainable garages of the future have the opportunity to affect our industry and our environment, far beyond our lifetimes.

I have deep gratitude for the multitude of professionals who helped bring the GPC to life. Working hand in hand and collaboratively, the GPC and IPI faithful shared our unique set of knowledge to make the world a better place. Without question, IPI is well-positioned to become the worldwide global certification education provider for Parksmart, the new Certified Green Garage. The IPI now possesses a powerful international entry-key into desirable expansion markets, including China, India, and Japan. Partnering with local USGBC field offices, IPI can now provide world-class education in these global mega-city marketplaces.

Mahesh Ramanujan, president and CEO of the USGBC, has expressed great interest in partnering with IPI on education and certification with a global-centric mindset. He believes that “directly and individually engaging global communities to embrace leveraging certification standards as a tool, that these tools applied globally can greatly improve our world.”

It is a new time with great opportunities ahead to collaborate with the USGBC to advance the IPI mission of international impact through and for sustainable transportation worldwide.

John Schmid is president of Propark and a member of IPI’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

TPP-2016-06-Certified Green Garage Goes Global As Parksmart