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What is a Sustainable Spa?

By Charne le Roux, GreenSpa.Africa

A Spa, like any business, is a collective effort by an individual or team of people to achieve sever-al goals, not least of which is to generate an income by which to sustain the proprietor and em-ployees. It is most often also a passion for the product that leads to the creation of the business in the first place, with much less emphasis on financial gain.
The Spa is fortunate in this respect, in that the product it produces has an eternal lifespan which will forever be in demand – Wellness. This is especially true where the Spa team has a passion for wellness, that of the guests as well as themselves, the environment, the community and ulti-mately all life.
Significantly, it is a collaboration of several factors that will define the extent of wellness a Spa can offer, especially where the Spa team collectively lead lives of wellness according to Sustainability principles. In this way, a client might begin to receive the permeating benefits of holistic wellness within the Spa even before any treatment has begun.
The Sustainable Spa, through the wellness experience that it offers, conducts a holistic business, having regard for the environment and also the community in which it operates. The underlying philosophy is that personal wellness connects with and is interdependent on earth- and community wellness.
Let’s unpack the essential 9 qualities of a Sustainable Spa:

  1. Sustainable Spas are committed to reduce harmful practices and exposure to harmful substances and are open to learning, adopting and implementing new environmentally friendly strategies and techniques.
  2. Sustainable Spas strive to conserve natural resources and operate in environments that promote health and wellbeing. For example, a Sustainable Spa building will create a healthier and consequently more productive environment to work and provide therapy in. The subsequent benefits are transferred to the experience of the Spa guest, adding wellness value to the therapies themselves.
  3. Sustainable Spas adopt energy conservation practices and incorporate fixtures and fittings that comply with such practices. The conservation of energy translates into a reduction in car-bon emissions and an overall smaller carbon footprint for the Spa.
  4. Sustainable Spas have water conservation practices and fixtures in place to reduce their consumption of potable water and to maximize their use of available water resources through eg rain catchment and grey water recycling.
  5. Sustainable Spas are committed to using products which can be re-used or recycled, follow recycling practices and actively promote waste reduction.
  6. Sustainable Spas incorporate natural or organic skin care products in their therapies and encourage their guests to apply this thinking in their personal health regimes at home.
  7. Sustainable Spas promote the wellbeing of their employees and communities by empowering employees with new skills, by allowing employees to participate in decision making processes, by participating in community projects and by contracting with their local communities for the delivery of products and services wherever possible.
  8. Sustainable Spas also share their concern for the planet’s wellbeing with guests and set ongoing examples of Green living and Green thinking.
  9. Sustainable Spas always have their Sustainability Policies that incorporate their sustainability principles available for guests to study