IPMI LAUNCHED THE ACCREDITED PARKING ORGANIZATION (APO) program with a focus on excellence in our industry. The APO program recognizes parking, transportation, and mobility organizations at the top of their game—these organizations can be recognized at one of two levels (Accredited and Accredited with Distinction). In identifying excellence and establishing criteria, IPMI created 14 categories that represent critical operational areas, including but limited to:

  • Governance and Organization.
  • Financial Budgeting and Management.
  • Customer Service; Asset Maintenance.
  • Safety, Security, and Risk Management.
  • Sustainability and Access Management (Transporta­tion Demand Management [TDM]).

The Sustainability (and Access Management) sec­tions contain three required items. Applicants must demonstrate 25 required items in total, which establish a baseline for success. These criteria are often broadly defined and may be achieved through a variety of means (and accompanying documentation).

Realistic Goals
The good news: It’s relatively simple to document because the APO program was designed for every organization, allowing tremendous flexibility in how to provide information. Although many of the criteria touch on the triple bottom line, these required ele­ments must be achieved:

  • Demonstrates a strategic commitment to environ­mental sustainability. (Sustainability Criteria 10.1).
  • Demonstrates implementation of sustainable prac­tices that showcase a direct reduction in energy or resource use. (Sustainability Criteria 10.2).
  • Demonstrates a commitment to reducing or distribut­ing travel demand. (Access Management Criteria 11.1)
  • Documentation for achievement of Criteria 10.1, or strategic commitment to environmental sustainability, could include:
  • A sustainability master plan or annual report for the organization demonstrating strategic objectives, benchmarking, and outcomes.
  • A section of the organization’s website that show­cases goals, strategies, and programming to de­crease the reliance on the single-occupant vehicle and diversify transportation modes and alternatives.

The really good news: Either of these items could potentially document all three of the required criteria!


10.1 Required: Demonstrates a strategic commitment to environmental sustainability.

10.2 Required: Demonstrates implementation of sustainable practices that showcase a direct reduction in energy or resource use.

10.3 Provides incentives to promote use of low-emitting and fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles.

10.4 Demonstrates use of alternative-fuel fleet vehicles.

10.5 Provides payment system in parking facilities to reduce idling upon exiting.

10.6 Recycles or repurposes materials and equipment.

10.7 Uses energy-efficient lighting systems and/or controls in parking facilities.

10.8 Uses energy-efficient, environmentally favorable heating ventilation and air conditioning systems and/or controls in facilities requiring ventilation, or facilities designed without mechanical ventilation.

10.9 Uses halon-free fire-suppression systems.

10.10 Demonstrates planning for continued sustainability gains.

Accredited with Distinction Criteria

10.11 Achieved Parksmart Certification, LEED Certification, Green Globes rating, or equivalent certification for at least one parking facility.

10.12 Posts policies regarding sustainability in prominent public space.

10.13 Manager(s) directly responsible for day-to-day parking operations has earned and maintained a qualified environmental sustainability credential.

10.14 Implemented external wayfinding system to reduce time spent searching for a parking space.

10.15 Implemented internal wayfinding system within parking facility or facilities to reduce time drivers spend locating a space.

10.16 Installed and maintains electric vehicle charging stations.

10.17 Provides tire inflation stations or mobile tire inflation services.

10.18 Implemented water-reduction technologies/strategies.

10.19 Roofing system designed to reduce heat-island effect and/or provide stormwater mitigation.

10.20 Generates renewable energy on site, and/or purchases renewable energy credits.

10.21 Provides proactive parking facility maintenance plan.

10.22 Uses permeable materials in at least in one surface parking facility.

Earning APO
To become accredited, an organization must meet at least 80 percent of the remaining criteria (in addition to the 25 required items). Refer to the summary chart for a snapshot of the criteria as they relate to sustainability. Those familiar with LEED and/or Parksmart will notice that the criteria may seem similar—they are designed to be mutually reinforcing and recognize the same objectives as identified in the IPMI Sustain­ability Framework. APO is a comprehensive accreditation (not just a sustainability one), yet the program acknowledges the value and importance of sustainability (and TDM) initiatives in a comprehen­sive approach to excellence.

IPMI will recognize our newest APOs on stage in San Antonio, Texas, at the 2020 IPMI Conference & Expo, and there’s plenty of time to complete the process before the February 1, 2020, deadline.

Want to find out more? Visit parking-mobility/apo or reach out to us at

Read the article here.

RACHEL YOKA, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, is IPMI’s vice president of program development. She can be reached at