Making Your Gym or Studio Greener Can Boost Your Business
As Greta Thunberg graces the cover of Time as its person of the year, she is but one face in the green movement. Increasingly consumers are looking to spend their money with companies that are seen as conducting business with a caring for the environment.
In a global survey by Nielson, a whopping 81% of respondents said that they feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment. This desire for corporate social responsibility spanned gender lines and generations. Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X, are the most supportive, but their older counterparts aren’t far behind, the survey reported. And, while North America trailed most other regions in the study, still 69% of respondents said that it is very important for them that companies they do business with care about the environment.
Over the last year, 25% of businesses have increased their commitment to green policies and products, including some of the world’s largest companies. And with three-quarters of Millennials willing to pay more for sustainable products, it’s simply good business. Previously, the costs of going green have held some gyms and studios back. However, it could be a winning strategy, with consumers willing to pay more for the eco-friendly option. This could be a prime time to make both small and large changes to help position your fitness club or studio as environmentally friendly.
Here are some ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into your gym or studio that can make a difference in the world and your business.
While many people recycle at home, it isn’t always easy to do it when out in businesses. Make it as easy as possible for members to recycle.
- Set up recycling bins with clear instructions.
- Have several receptacles around the floor and in classes for cans, glass bottles, plastics, and paper.
- Make recycling a part of your new member induction as well as employee training — and don’t forget your marketing as well.
Efficient Lighting (Lighting retrofits save 20% to 30% off conventional lighting.)
You want and need your facility to be well lit for both functional and aesthetic reasons. However, making some small changes can allow you to do both while gaining a reputation as being more environmentally friendly and perhaps saving some money in the long run as well.
- Install LED lamps
- Install skylights
Even if you don’t have a pool or hot tub, odds are your club or studio uses a lot of water. There are a few things you can do to significantly reduce the amount of water being used and wasted daily.
- Install low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets (or aerators). These can save 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
- Install waterless urinals in the men’s locker room and bathrooms.
- Simply install signs reminding members to turn water off when shaving and brushing their teeth.
- Adopt greywater recycling systems.
A few simple changes can cut your costs, clean your air, and show members that you care about the environment at the same time.
- Regularly maintain current HVAC system.
- Add fans to supplement or reduce AC loads.
- Install programmable thermostats.
- Place timers on saunas.
Use Recycled or Organic Products
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It has grown from a marketing tagline to a movement. By shopping for products that incorporate these elements, you’ll show your members and prospects that you care about the state of the planet.
- Select mats, barbells, and other equipment from recycled products.
- If you have nutrition services, source your ingredients from local and organic farmers or companies that use renewable and sustainable products.
- Buy recycled paper towels if you are still using them
Choose Eco-friendly and Natural Cleaning Products
Choosing eco-friendly and natural cleaning supplies that provide the same level of cleanliness –or more—than many of the harsh chemicals that are typically found.
- Avoid Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) such as phosphorus, ammonia, and nitrogen.
- Look for products that use natural ingredients such as white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, peroxide, baking soda, essential oils, lemons, and more.
Efficient Exercise Equipment
Choose energy-efficient cardio equipment that either uses lower amounts of electricity or are self-powered if possible.
Whether you make small changes or larger ones to make your fitness club or studio more ecofriendly, the ROI from the changes can go a long way in making your business more attractive to members who are looking to frequent socially conscious gyms and studios.