PayByPhone UK

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from PayByPhone UK is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

UK CEO Jonny Combe
PayByPhone helps millions of
consumers easily, securely and
safely pay for parking
Global mobile parking payments provider PayByPhone is
a highly functional, intuitive cashless payment app that
can identify nearby parking areas swiftly and effortlessly,
allowing payment for parking sessions with the touch of a
smartphone button. As UK businesses focus more intensely
on green agendas, UK CEO Jonny Combe explains how this
impacts leadership, and why credible environmental stewardship
must form a key part of business strategy and growth.
Today, corporate responsibility and transparency are paramount. Stakeholders –
whether employees, customers, investors, shareholders or communities – no longer
want to just hear all the right words; they want action. Most CEOs and managing
directors are fully aware of the importance of sustainability and of introducing
effective environmentally friendly initiatives, but how many are genuinely
incorporating this into their strategy and, indeed, into their business models?
When I joined PayByPhone in November 2018, my priority was to ensure that any
growth was driven by a business strategy firmly underpinned by green thinking.
Consumers want to support companies that are actively building a sustainable
future. So, businesses that want to succeed and, crucially, want to continue
to thrive, must adapt to this and develop a genuine, thoughtful and authentic
business ethos where caring for the environment is central to everything they do.
Fighting climate change
In 2019, the British government declared an environmental and climate change
emergency and has committed to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
»UK CEO: Jonny Combe
»Based in Hatfield, Herts in
»Services: PayByPhone is
one of the fastest growing
mobile payment companies in
»No. of employees in UK: 40
»Processes more than 125
million transactions a year
»Wholly-owned subsidiary of
Volkswagen Financial Services
PayByPhone UK
Highlighting best practice
If we’re going to achieve this, businesses
need to play their part, a truly
meaningful one, to reduce their carbon
footprint and to create a sustainable way
to work. They not only need to embody
green thinking by transforming the way
they operate but they must also ensure
their services or products minimise their
impact on the environment.
Only by taking a proactive approach
to becoming environmentally friendly
can companies make a real difference
that will effect positive change. It can’t
be a reaction to a headline-hitting
environmental crisis, or an initiative
purely to make profits. It must be built
on real moral integrity.
Balancing business growth
with environmental
Expansion is key to exponential
business growth, but we must balance
this with prioritising our environmental
impact in everything we do, while
credibly contributing to a sustainable
society. Although most businesses
know this and understand what it
means, many are failing by promising
but not delivering.
A general rule of thumb for business
leaders is to practise what you
preach, which becomes particularly
important when developing a strategy
that prioritises the environment.
At PayByPhone, we set out to get
our own house in order first, by
assessing our carbon footprint via a
rigorous assessment process with an
internationally recognised organisation.
This ensured that we achieved
Carbon Neutral status in the UK and
enabled us to develop a long-term
environmental agenda that would
support our growth plans and, more
importantly, benefit the environment.
Technology a key driver
Technology is changing how businesses
operate on a daily basis, and the
potential it offers to help us create a
more sustainable future is huge. It lies
at the core of PayByPhone’s services
and we’ve been able to utilise this in an
innovative way to help our local authority
clients meet their environmental goals.
Our multi-award-winning
for Trees
initiative is the first carbon
footprint reduction programme of
its kind in the UK. The programme
supports our local authority clients in
reaching their environmental goals by
incentivising them to scrap their parking
Meters for Trees
is the
first carbon footprint
reduction initiative of its
kind in the UK
Only by taking
a proactive
approach can
make a real
»PayByPhone is one of the fastest-growing mobile payments
companies in the world.
»Jonny Combe is the CEO of PayByPhone UK and he, along with his
management team, is responsible for its rapid growth and surge of
contract wins in the UK.
»Employee numbers at the company’s UK headquarters in Hatfield
doubled in 2019.
»Showing clear commitment to the environment, PayByPhone UK
became Carbon Neutral certified in spring 2019, and Carbon
Neutral Plus in 2020.
»PayByPhone UK’s carbon footprint reduction programme
Meters for Trees
is a cornerstone of the company’s plan to place
environmental sustainability at the top of its business agenda.
»PayByPhone UK won six environmental awards in 2019 for its
Meters for Trees
machines in favour of PayByPhone’s
cashless parking payment technology.
For councils who sign up to the
programme, PayByPhone commits to
offset roughly one tonne of carbon
dioxide for every ten parking machines
that exist in a council’s borough through
the Portel-Pará REDD project, a Verified
Carbon Standard audited project that
combats deforestation in the Amazon,
and donate one tree to the council.
Meters for Trees
drives positive
and sustainable change. Cashless
parking payments improve air quality
by removing the need for parking
enforcement vehicles to collect cash
from parking machines, clocking up
miles and emitting not only harmful
exhaust fumes but also tyre and brake
particles that affect air quality.
At a time when the need to combat
deforestation has never been
more urgent, our initiative offers a
straightforward way for UK councils to
get involved. Through
Meters for Trees
they can reduce their carbon emissions
and play their part in creating a more
environmentally sustainable future.
Environmental success
The Royal Borough of Kensington
and Chelsea was the first UK local
authority to sign up to
Meters for
. Since implementing the
programme, the council has already
removed 700 parking machines,
which equates to 70 tonnes of carbon
dioxide being offset in the Portel-Pará
REDD project in the Amazon. Locally,
the removal of the parking machines
has eliminated theft and vandalism
on parking machines, which was
costing the council approximately
£120,000 per year. In addition, the
borough has cleaner air, because
there is no need for cash collection
and machine maintenance vehicles
that were previously driving 23,000
miles every year belching out harmful
Other boroughs to implement the
Meters for Trees
programme since its
launch include the London Borough
of Ealing, the London Borough of
Lewisham and Brighton & Hove
City Council. Organisations can
no longer simply pay lip service to
the environment. Environmental
sustainability creates value for
stakeholders who don’t just want
strong financial performance;
stakeholders demand socially
responsible and ethically minded
The environment is a mainstay of
PayByPhone’s business approach.
And while not all the environmental
problems facing us can be solved
overnight, there are steps that every
business can take to reduce their
carbon footprint – doing something
is certainly better than doing nothing
at all. No matter how successful
or large PayByPhone becomes, our
commitment to the environment
will remain, as will our desire to
support our clients on their own
No matter how
successful or
becomes, our
commitment to
the environment
will remain
Jonny Combe (L),
PayByPhone UK CEO,
and Anthony Cashel (R),
Marketing Director, collect
environmental awards

This article was sponsored by PayByPhone UK. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy