We’re not suggesting you overcrowd your spa with plants or paint the walls green. We are talking about sustainable spa operations.
In our personal lives, we make choices every day that impact the environment. Whether we drive to work or take a bicycle; whether we use paper cups or reusable glasses; whether we turn off the lights in empty rooms or leave them running, we have the ability to effect change with our actions. The same is true in our professional ventures.
Sustainability, as a trend, is alluring to consumers. In the Forbes article, Consumers Demand Sustainable Products and Shopping Formats, the author discusses trends in the findings from a report completed by First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The reports reveals that”consumers across all generations—from Baby Boomers to Gen Z—are now willing to spend more for sustainable products.” Taking a deeper dive into the study, today 90% of Gen-X is willing to spend up to 10% more on sustainable products where it was only 58% two years ago.
This is where spa directors and controllers scratch their heads and ask themselves, “How can we do this better?” From every aspect of the business, from facility management, retail product offerings to guest service, there are ways to reduce the impact on the environment and bring positive contributions to the community.
Here are a few actions spas can take towards becoming a greener spa:
- Use Digital vs Paper Forms: Instead of printing wellness forms or terms and conditions for each client, digital intake forms. These can be completed by the guest in advance or they can fill it out on a tablet upon arrival. Not only will you reduce the amount of paper used each week, but you won’t have to file completed forms reducing the footprint needed for physical document storage.
- Mobile Spa System: Mobile devices can reduce paper consumption in other ways. Let staff view their schedules on a tablet or mobile phone instead of printing them out daily. This conserves paper, as well as providing the most up to date appointment information.
- Product Recommendations: Utilize your software to share product recommendations instead of writing on a paper card. When guests are checking out, front desk staff can refer to the notes and assist the guest in selecting their purchases.
- Email Receipts: Instead of using one or two sheets of paper for each client, they’ll receive a complete copy to their email address. In addition, using email for marketing and promotions can replace traditional snail mail efforts.
There are over 20,000 spas in the US alone. If each spa can reduce their paper use by one ream a week, the larger impact would reduce paper consumption by over 7 million reams each year. That is the equivalent of saving 438,000 trees.
These suggestions support incremental environmental improvements and spas can use them to drive their sustainability efforts. Additionally, spas have a lot of options to go green by adopting recycling and composting programs, installing solar power or following LEED standards for sustainable spa design and construction. These initiatives enable spa providers to use their energies for healing and renewal instead of environmental harm and waste.