What does the environmental permit and COBRACE mean in terms of parking?

Vélo et trottinette garées en ville

The Brussels Code on Air, Climate and Energy Management (COBRACE), which came into force on 2 May 2013, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2025 compared to 1990 and to control energy consumption.

In terms of parking, this means reducing the number of car parking spaces in office buildings and providing bicycle parking in order to reduce commuting by car and to change urban mobility.

What is an environmental permit?

The environmental permit is an authorisation to operate an activity that includes one or more classified installations, i.e. installations that are likely to have an impact on the environment or the neighbourhood. It applies in Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region. The aim is to control activities and limit the impact on the environment or public safety. These conditions are either specific to an installation or general to a sector of activity.

When is an environmental permit required?

Establishments are categorised into 3 classes to assess their potential impact on the environment, humans and animals:

  • Class 1: significant impact
  • Class 2: medium impact
  • Class 3: low impact

Classes 1 and 2 are required to obtain an environmental permit to develop their activities.

Class 3 can simply make an environmental declaration (the operator declares to the administrative authority his intention to develop an activity with a low impact on the environment, humans and animals).

What does COBRACE say about parking?

COBRACE determines a maximum number of parking spaces for each extension or renewal of an environmental permit based on:

  • the floor area of the offices in m²
  • The public transport accessibility zone (see the Brussels map below)
Carte montrant les zones de mobilité à Bruxelles liées au COBRACE

Zone A = 1 car space per 200 m² of office space

Zone B = 1 car space per 100 m² office space

Zone C = 1 car space per 60 m² of office space

What are your obligations as a company?

To find out how many places you have available and what the penalties are for not complying with the COBRACE rules, you can fill in this calculation sheet from the Environnement.brussels website:

Who is affected by COBRACE?

This initiative concerns all off-street office buildings in the Brussels-Capital Region. However, there are exceptions:

  • Housing
  • shops
  • Craft, industrial, logistics, storage or material service production activities
  • Public car parks
  • Public interest or public service facilities
  • Taxis
  • Hotel establishments

In addition, parking spaces rented by offices in a nearby building are also affected even if that building is not subject to COBRACE.

It is always the end use of the space that determines whether it is subject to COBRACE or not.

And what about the bicycle spaces…

What does the environmental permit say ?

The environmental permit also requires the provision of bicycle parking depending on the surface area of the offices. For example, there must be at least one bicycle space per 200m² of office space and 2m² of space per bicycle.

How does eDock help you promote soft mobility?

COBRACE therefore aims to promote micromobility. Thanks to eDock, you can adopt the smart parking for electric bikes and scooters.

This way you fulfil the COBRACE requirement and the environmental permit with a connected parking space of 4 to 8 spaces, the size of a car parking space.

And you allow your employees to secure their bikes or scooters and charge them. This way, they can work with peace of mind and they won’t have to worry about how to park or charge their bike at work.

We secure, We charge, You park!

Une station eDock installée pour le permis d'environnement