Few would deny that environmental sustainability is one of the most important issues of our time, and with an ever-increasing sense of awareness, more consumers opting for “greener” spa options. However, are we all just jumping on the green bandwagon?
With the proliferation of eco-branded wellness businesses, and companies slapping on a eco claim to ride the green wave, consumers are more confused then ever with what “green” really means. Some common questions to note:
- What is an eco-spa and is it different from a natural spa?
- Is there a trusted authority that regulates what business meet the guidelines of being green?
- Is it contradictory to be a green spa and luxurious at the same time? Does such a dynamic exist?
- Does a green spa need to be carbon neutral, or just recycle?
- Are non-eco spas environmentally friendly?
- Shouldn’t all spas, regardless of whether they are “eco-spas”, actively engage in protecting the environment?
The reality is that there is no single policy document on what it means to be an eco-spa. Titanic Spa is among those who have taken the initiative to provide a clear summary of an eco-spa on their homepage – but is this enough? Part of the problem is that an “eco/not eco” classification is simply too binary. When it comes to responsibility for the environment, things are not black and white; being “eco” is an ongoing and sometimes customized process, which involves continual improvement. Spas (and hotels) should voluntarily breakdown their eco credentials across eight key areas and present them clearly as a table so that consumers can make an informed decision like this:
What is your spa doing in these areas?
- Water usage
- Lighting, Insulation & Power Usage
- Products & Suppliers used
- Construction & Furnishings
- Waste disposal
- Staff Training
The key is that this is not a check-list. A spa does not just say “yes” or “no”, it says what it is doing or not doing and providing that information to consumers so that they can make an informed decision.
What are your thoughts on businesses, some deserving, some not, simply slapping on the “green” label for marketing purposes?