Category Archives: Member News

News about Green Spa Network Members

Member Highlight: Chase Polan, KYPRIS

Chase Polan
Founder, CEO
KYPRIS Beauty
GSN Member Since 2013


Why are you a GSN Member?
I am a GSN member because I believe that education is the best way to encourage positive action. Maya Angelou was right: When you know better, you do better.

Share a recent accomplishment, personally or professionally, in greening or sustainability.
Our KYPRIS x Ojai Valley Inn and Spa collaboration is a really proud moment. Our two teams created an East-West ritual weaving in local botanical treasures and healing practices, therapeutic touch, and engaging information for their guests. This is something that I look at and appreciate in that the KYPRIS team and I have been working towards this kind of collaboration for a very long time. It’s an absolute honor to get to work with the Ojai team. They’re such a special and lovely group of souls.

Why does your spa prioritize social and/or environmental sustainability?
KYPRIS creates offerings for an ecstatic experience of your Beauty and being. If you accept the Truth that each of us is Nature, then the only way to create wellness-enhancing products or experiences is to do so with a respect for our home and the beings who inhabit it. To grow a rose bush, we start with rose seeds or clippings. To create Beauty, we begin with reverence for the Earth and Her inhabitants.

Where do you go to connect to nature?
Inward. Almost daily, I meditate to connect and listen to my Nature.
There are too many favorite physical places to mention. A warm water beach on the southern Atlantic when the sun is still out but the sky is deciding whether to rain. Walking among walnut trees heavy with fruit and the ground dank with sulphur in the Appalachians. The old growth forests of the Puget Sound. The rocky cerulean beaches of the Mediterranean. The green patches and billowing trees of London’s Hyde Park. The Cloisters at the top of New York City.

What is your favorite GSN resource? 
The people. GSN has the most amazing people.

How do you recharge?
Digital Detox. I turn it all off. In fact, I’m trying to make an even more concerted effort to create boundaries around my screen time during the week.

Six Senses Launches Earth Lab

BANGKOK – August 18, 2017 – Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has taken its leading position in sustainability one step further with the launch of Earth Lab. From Vietnam to Portugal, Seychelles to Thailand, Six Senses is dedicated to focusing on sustainability engagement and education at each resort’s Earth Lab.

Earth Lab is a place where every Six Senses property showcases their sustainability efforts to reduce consumption, produce locally, and support communities and ecosystems. Guests are invited to visit Earth Lab to reconnect with the natural world and learn some simple life-hacks that will allow them to make a difference. The venue was named Earth to celebrate our home and source of all life, and Lab for laboratory, experimentation, innovation, and exploration.

Producing materials on site reduces transportation-related impacts, especially for products that must otherwise travel long distances to our locations. Six Senses has adopted a philosophy of Zero Waste, meaning, there is no waste and all materials must have a new purpose – Earth Lab embraces this concept by upcycling materials into new products. Work happening around the property or off-site is also communicated in Earth Lab, for example marine conservation work, forest restoration and community development. This is a place where we display all our impacts, including resort consumption data for water, energy, and waste and start a conversation about the ways we manage resort impacts – and how guests can participate with Six Senses in reaching our sustainability goals.

Earth Lab topics and activities include:

• Water bottled on site eliminating the transportation impacts and use of plastic water bottles
• Alternatives to plastic straws including paper, bamboo, and lemongrass
• Natural insecticides distilled from plants and used as an organic alternative to chemical sprays
• Biologically active cleaning solutions are grown in batches and used to replace chemical cleaners
• Free range chickens produce organic eggs
• Goats process landscaping waste and produce milk
• Food waste is composted and used to fuel our extensive organic gardens
• Fruits and vegetables harvested from organic gardens provide fresh and healthy meals for guests
• Bees kept for honey and to pollinate local crops
• Glass (where recycling is not available) is crushed and upcycled into flower pots, paving stones and light fixtures
• Renewable energy is produced from solar and biomass
• Plants are harvested and oils freshly extracted for spa treatments
• Seeds are harvested, kept in a seed bank and made available for guests to take and grow organic at home
• DIY videos are produced and shared online; guests can join workshops
• Local community members are invited to learn and share traditional knowledge

“We are delighted to launch Earth Lab,” said Bernhard Bohnenberger, president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. Each facility represents the seriousness we place on sustainability and the importance of working locally and with nearby communities to tread lightly on the environment and respect Mother Nature. We track metrics on all Earth Lab activities undertaken and are keen to provide that data to our guests. A visit to Six Senses would not be complete without visiting Earth Lab. It’s a one-stop, fun place to learn, grow and explore our unique approach to developing and sustaining our people, our planet and wisely balancing profit.”

The Earth Lab logo has a rich story behind its design. The hexagons represent nature’s bee hive pattern and represent Earth Lab’s commitment to producing natural products. The design also evokes feelings of scientific discovery, which we aim to inspire in our hosts, guests, and community members through educational programing.

 

 

About
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas operates 11 resorts and 31 spas in 20 countries under the brand names Six Senses, Evason and Six Senses Spas.

Six Senses resorts are set in locations of incredible natural beauty that will stop you in your tracks, and an uncompromising level of service that will stay with you long after you’ve left. Each property has a distinctive personality, but shares a commitment to community, sustainability, wellness and design. This award-winning approach extends to new openings, including the urban concept premiering in New York in 2019.

Six Senses Spas incorporate local healing traditions with holistic rejuvenation treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists and visiting practitioners. They constantly explore and rethink the typical spa model to offer pioneering wellness, not only in all resort spas, but also in standalone spas in prestigious hotels and premier class lounges.

Evason properties continue the philosophy to protect their natural environments and cultures. Family friendly, these properties also provide a strong value focus, while offering a vast array of personal guest experiences.

How to be “Best for the World”

 

 

 

Similar to the Green Spa Network, the non-profit organization, B Lab® believes that companies can be the best for people and planet. To realize this vision, B Lab® is creating a community of Certified B Corps that meet their rigorous standards for verified social and environmental performance, legal accountability, and public transparency. Currently, there are more than 2,100 Certified B Corps in 50 countries and 130 industries.

GSN spoke with several members who have become Certified B Corps about their experience and why it’s important to be “best for the world.”

Lauren Padawar, President and Founder of Alaska Glacial Mud Co. (Certified since August 2014)
“The B Corp logo helps us recognize and highlight what’s most important to our company. And as a consumer, I love finding the B Corp label on new products!”

Shannon Kyllo, Communications Specialist for Goddess Garden (Certified since September 2015)
“Being a B Corp changes the way you think about doing business. It’s a culture shift, and it’s proving you can do the right thing while still being profitable. That means we’ll continue to improve and hopefully, encourage and empower others to do the same.”

Vida Karamooz, PhD, CEO of Blue Beautifly (Certified since August 2016)
“The assessment process may seem daunting at first. However, upon starting the process, we relied heavily on the support, knowledge, and encouragement of the B Corp staff who provided us with valuable insight and advice along the way. Plus, the scoring nature of the qualification process has a certain competitive element that served as a motivator along the way.”

Atilla Koronczay, General Manager of Eminence Organic Skin Care, a GSN Platinum Sponsor
(Certified since September 2016)
“On behalf of over 300 team-members at Eminence Organic Skin Care, we are grateful and humbled to be a Certified B Corporation. The spa industry is dedicated to bettering people’s lives… having a B Corp Certification takes that one step further to dedicate your business to bettering the world.”

 

What motivated you to become a Certified B Corp?

Lauren: The B Corp logo helps us recognize and highlight what’s most important to our company. The values of sustainability, low/no-impact resource extraction, philanthropy and social & environmental responsibility have been the ethos of the Alaska Glacial Mud Co. brand since we founded in 2006. It was a natural match for us and it is our hope that people find us through B Corp and that our badge of honor helps new customers find other B Corps.

Shannon: We had many industry friends tell us we should consider the B Corp certification for our company. After looking into what it was all about, we agreed that it would be a great certification to get. The whole idea of including people and the planet as equal priorities to profit fit how we wanted to operate Goddess Garden. Like a lot of small high-growth companies, we put it off for a long time because we were busy running our company. Finally, when the CU MBA students offered to help us with starting our survey, we made the commitment to complete the certification. We are very glad we did.

Vida: We sought to obtain the B Corp certification as a way to showcase our genuine brand, wholesome ingredients, transparent operations, and absolute commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices.

 

Was there anything surprising you learned about your business during the B Corp™ review process?

Atilla: One of the most surprising things we learned during the B Corp review process is that the larger a company is, the more difficult it is to meet the many requirements for certification. For example, one category of evaluation looks at how much waste is produced by the company. Because the B Corp certification requirement is based solely on the tonnage of waste produced, a small company would meet this criterion simply by the fact they produce a very low volume – without even needing to recycle. A large company, on the other hand, has a much more difficult challenge, needing to recycle every single possible item to meet the extremely low waste tonnage criterion. Thankfully, at Eminence Organics, we had the practices already in place to recycle paper, plastic, containers, glass, bottles, cardboard – and even compost all organic matter. This is one area, where, as a large company, we exceeded the certification requirement. We were also surprised (and proud!) to learn that Eminence Organic Skin Care is the largest B Corp in the health/personal care category in British Columbia.

Shannon: While we knew we were doing a lot of things right, we wanted to make sure we were really doing the best things for people and the planet. We were already doing a lot of the things B Corp recognizes, but the process got us to narrow our focus and simplify what we are doing, so we are able to have a larger impact on the things that are really important to us. Our mission is to create products that make it easy to respect and protect Mother Earth and her inhabitants. B Corp wants people to focus on people, planet and profits. Everything aligns, and being a B Corp taught us keep our mission at the forefront of every decision we make.

Vida: Not necessarily surprising, but we learned a lot. First of all, we learned the importance of documentation and tracking. Much of our practices, such as water conservation, energy efficiency, and waste reduction, were just the way we operated the business. Secondly, we learned the importance of setting goals so that we can measure our success over time and improve the results of our initiatives. Finally, we learned that by joining the B Corp community, we have access to a group of likeminded enterprises who are eager to share their ideas with others.

Lauren: We learned that it is almost unheard of to donate 10% of profits under a philanthropic company program. Our biggest positive impact is helping fund local organizations that educate, defend and preserve wild salmon habitat and the more successful our business is, the more we can pass onto those organizations.

How has your business evolved or benefitted since becoming a Certified B Corp?

Lauren: As a business owner, I have become even more aware of conserving resources and the carbon footprint of all products. We’re doing everything we can to improve. There hasn’t been a way to measure a financial benefit, just the integrity of our goals.

Shannon: Yes; aside from getting us to focus on the things that make the biggest impact, being a B Corp has introduced us to other companies who are also using their business as a force for good. It’s encouraging and uplifting to see so many companies striving to make a difference. We’ve also partnered with other B Corps for multiple marketing events. It’s nice to be part of this larger family of companies that look out for each other and help each other out.

Vida: Joining the B Corp Community has resulted in two key benefits. First, Idea Generation. By participating in local B Corp sponsored events, we have gained valuable lessons, advice, and ideas on how we can transform our company in a manner that benefits our financial performance while benefitting our employees, customers, and the entire value chain of our activities. Second, Staff Motivation. Operating with the triple bottom line (Financial, Social, and Environmental) mindset has had an energizing impact on our staff.

Attila: The B Corp certification allowed us to gain greater self-awareness of our business practices. Many of our initiatives, like Forests for the Future, and business practices, such as equal pay regardless of gender, have always been natural and instinctive. The fact that such aspects contributed to our B Corp certification provided the proof that we are truly a “conscious business.” From a corporate leadership perspective, we’re now a part of the network of Certified B Corps and attend local networking events and leadership development conferences to learn about all the ways that Certified B Corps are using business as a force for good. This inspires us to continue to grow and improve upon our best business practices.

 

Would you say being a Certified B Corp increases your ability to cause positive change?

Shannon: We think it does. The process makes us think about everything we do as a company in B Corp terms. We partner with other local B Corps. We work to be more green at the office with our ink, paper and supplies. We turn off lights. We recycle. It’s at the forefront of our minds when we make packaging decisions. When we wanted to hire video production, we had several great options, but the local company won us over because we now think like a B Corp. For us, it’s not simply a certification. It a way of thinking and acting as a responsible company—in our community and on our planet.

Vida: Absolutely. An integral component of obtaining the B Corp certification is the mandate to amend our company’s Article of Incorporation to assert our commitment to the environment and communities in which we operate. This legally binding commitment has provided the underpinning to ensure that we assess the social and environmental implications of our decisions thoroughly. Furthermore, we hope that our joining the B Corp community influences others (e.g., our vendors, resellers, and, competitors) to consider becoming B Corp certified, thereby creating a multiplicative effect.

Attila: The distinction as a Certified B Corp absolutely increases Eminence Organics’ ability to create positive change. This is the largest, nonprofit, third-party certification for responsible businesses – obtaining a B Corp certification is well trusted and increasingly well known. We’re also able to branch out and share our initiatives into new industries through the network of Certified B Corps. For example, a technology company could be inspired to start their own tree planting initiative “for every app developed” because they heard about Eminence Organics’ Forests for the Future initiative. When Certified B Corps work together and share best practices, the motto to ‘use business as a force for good’ becomes a very real and actionable task.

 

All Photos from B Lab®

GSN Announces 10th Anniversary Congress

The Green Spa Network (GSN) announces the location and theme for its 10th Anniversary Congress, the only spa industry event dedicated to sustainability education and inspiration. With the theme of “Inspire Action and Create Community through Storytelling,” the 10th Anniversary Congress with take place at the award-winning Carmel Valley Ranch, March 11-14, 2018.

Storytelling has fostered human interaction since the invention of language. Whether it’s through extraordinary experiences being shared by guests, employees sharing the benefits of treatments and products, or the décor and menu of a spa communicating how they support wellbeing, storytelling is a major part of the spa experience. Write your story at the 10th Anniversary Congress, and discover the most effective ways to inspire action and engage with your community by telling your story.

A unique gathering in the spa industry, GSN’s Congress creates an environment for professional and personal exploration through quality education, collaborative sessions, and networking. Facilitated at resorts that prioritize and incorporate the natural environment, Congress presents an unparalleled opportunity to discover sustainable solutions for your business, evoke your purpose, forge relationships with a nurturing community, and be inspired by nature to support our mission of “Vital People. Vital Planet.”

Convening at Carmel Valley Ranch, located in the sunny foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Congress will offer attendees a multitude of adventures and excursions to experience this beautiful part of the planet we are committed to supporting. As a camp-inspired resort, Carmel Valley Ranch encourages a playful connection to nature and each other.

“You will be inspired to live your best life, recapture your youthful joy, and align your vision to surpass everyone’s expectations, especially your own!” promises Tracie Wertz, GSN Board Member and Congress Chair. “The 10th Anniversary Congress will be more magical than we have come to expect and I would tell anyone interested in elevating their personal and professional story to join us in Carmel Valley to explore the limitless possibilities and vibrate at a higher level in collaboration with spa industry and global sustainability leaders.”

The three-day GSN Congress event is designed to be an interactive experience providing attendees with the inspiration and supportive community necessary for taking action to support sustainable businesses, people, and planet. To find out more visit http://greenspanetwork.org/green-spa-network-congress/. Registration and Early-Bird prices will open July 15, 2017.

About Green Spa Network:
GSN is a non-profit trade association serving the spa industry in support of action for a sustainable future. Their mission is to promote the vital connections between personal wellbeing, economic sustainability and the health of our planet. Through networking, education, and best practices developed with a membership of the nation’s most innovative green spas, GSN is a resource for vital people building a vital planet. www.greenspanetwork.org

Contact: Jessica Gilden | Business Manager | 800-275-3045 | jessica@greenspanetwork.org

Member Highlight: Claremont Hotel & Spa

Stacey Parks
Director of Spa Operations,
Claremont Club & Spa
GSN Member Since 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Why are you a GSN Member?
I identify with the GSN mission, the resources available, and the opportunities for networking and sharing best practices with like-minded Spa professionals.

Share a recent accomplishment, personally or professionally, in greening or sustainability.
We are so proud of our Spa Services Manager, Lauren Fong, who chaired the hotel’s Sustainability Committee for three years, and had a tremendous impact.  She wrote and received two $5000 grants to service John Garber Park, a small wild lands behind our property. Funds have been used to provide community workshops, create new collateral, and purchase new signage for the park.

Why does your spa prioritize social and/or environmental sustainability?
As stewards of a healthy body and mind, we naturally consider ourselves stewards of a healthy planet.  This includes all aspects of sustainability, from the product houses we choose to work with, to our paper use and recycling program, to educating our colleagues and guests about the ways they can support environmental sustainability through responsible use of resources.

What is your favorite way to connect with your community?
As an urban resort property, we have the advantage of a large proportion of our guests visiting from the local community, as well as our private Club membership.  We are able to nurture these relationships with our regular guests to be a trusted source of information about sustainability in health and wellness.

Share one way your spa makes a difference in your community.
In addition to assisting Garber Park with funding, we work with them ongoing to remove invasive plants and to keep trails clear, which serves our community as well as our hotel guests who are excited about the hiking opportunities near the hotel.  Our guests also have the use of our Kids’ Club, where children are able to participate in gardening and composting projects to learn more about where their food comes from.  Community outreach is important to us, and we have participated in volunteer opportunities for coastal clean-up and boxing food at the Alameda County Food Bank.  Our Sustainability Committee incentivizes colleagues to participate by earning credits that they can collect and trade for rewards.

Where do you go to connect to nature?
We have a beautiful trail system very close to the hotel in Tilden Park, and in Redwood Park, which makes it convenient to regularly connect with nature even with a busy schedule. I am particularly drawn to the water, though, and find hiking or biking near the San Francisco Bay, in the Marin Headlands, or along the Pacific coast to be the ultimate way to reset.

How do you recharge? 
I find it important to disconnect from technology, and when I feel that need, I typically retreat to a remote hot springs where there is no cell phone coverage or WiFi available.  I sometimes have to put myself in a position of not having a choice in order to truly disconnect from technology and reconnect with myself, and it certainly makes a difference energetically when those around you are not buried in their phones. I always return from these retreats more grounded, with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation.

GSN Remains Committed to Our Vital Planet

The Green Spa Network (GSN) was founded on the mission of connecting our personal wellbeing to the vitality of our planet. Given the growing evidence for the impact our actions have on the environment and the global impact of climate change, GSN’s vision of creating a more sustainable future is more relevant than ever.

We approach sustainability in a broad manner, with the intention to encourage increased awareness and actions in response to the global imperative for earth friendly living. Our goal is to encourage actionable decisions that positively impact people and planet. While our individual efforts may seem small in the larger picture, there cannot be global change without individual action. We are all a part of the collective solution.

GSN is committed to providing its members and the broader spa industry with education, resources, and community gatherings to show what action can be taken to support our vision of a vital planet and vital people.

As a GSN member you understand the need to take care of the environment that gives so freely to us. You demonstrate your commitment by continuously seeking out solutions and taking action to support a vital planet and vital people.

Today, we recognize the need to remain vigilant in our efforts and invite individuals and businesses to re-affirm their commitment by signing ‘The Pledge for a Greener Future’. This action signifies your desire to seek out solutions and take action for a sustainable future that everyone can enjoy.

Help us create global change and Sign ‘The Pledge for a Greener Future‘ Today.

 

GSN Pledge for a Greener Future

As a member of GSN and the spa and wellness community, we are committed to promoting the vital connections between personal well-being, economic sustainability and the health of our planet.  We recognize that consciously and continuously managing our environmental and social relationships is key to our success.

We understand that greening principles, products and technologies are continually evolving.  We intend to respond to these developments and apply "best practices" that have a positive impact for our employees, customers and our local and global community.

Our goals are to:
- Provide and promote products, services and business practices that do not harm people, planet or prosperity.
- Engage in and inspire actions that result in a positive impact for personal and planetary vitality.
- Share our efforts with our local and global communities to raise their awareness of the connections between personal and planetary vitality.

To accomplish this, we will:
- Apply conservation practices to our use of water, energy and other resources.
- Adopt responsible reuse, recycling, and waste management and disposal practices.
- Reduce the use and promotion of products that contain hazardous substances.
- Source materials and supplies from companies that conduct their operations in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
- Make these objectives an integral part of our business planning and decision making
- Commit to continual improvement and revision based on evolving sustainable values and practices and our ability to implement better solutions.

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How to Go Plastic-Free with Spa Ojai

 

In April, iconic Southern California escape Ojai Valley Inn & Spa announced it will become free of single-use plastic items throughout Spa Ojai, its award-winning 30,000 square foot spa. The innovative movement replaces traditional spa amenities with eco-friendly, reusable versions and establishes a new benchmark in the luxury spa space.

Stemming from the realization that in 2016 Spa Ojai guests discarded 24,000 plastic snack cups and 107,120 plastic water cups after each use, Spa Director Kate Morrison sourced alternatives that both eliminate waste and support the complete luxury spa experience. Read the full press release here.

 

The Green Spa Network takes a deeper dive with Spa Director, Kate Morrison on implementing a plastic-free initiative and she offers some advice for those who may want to reduce their own plastic consumption.

What inspired you to make Spa Ojai ‘single use plastic-free’?

Last year a massage therapist on our team introduced me to an online video from PlasticPollutionCollation.org titled “Open Your Eyes” about the detrimental impact single-use plastic is having on our planet.  The video prompted us to take an honest look around our spa, assessing our daily plastic consumption. We discovered that in 2016 we issued 34,120 bottles of water to our guests. We used 24,000 plastic snack cups and 107,120 water cups. Other single-use items included disposable hair combs, plastic-wrapped towelettes, wrapped razors, plastic bathing suit bags, and plastic mouthwash cups; each item literally used once and thrown away.  Shocked by the excessive waste being produced, we were inspired to make a plan for change.

In honor of the Earth Day 2017, Spa Ojai formally launched our single-use plastic free commitment. We have sourced alternative, reusable materials to eliminate waste, yet provide guests with the amenities and accessories necessary to support a complete luxury spa experience. The “green” initiatives throughout Spa Ojai are stamped with our signature oak leaf symbol, which was lovingly hand-drawn by our lead artist at the spa’s artist cottage. This symbol helps guide our guests through our innovative amenity program, continuously reminding them that by visiting Spa Ojai, they have participated in a conservation movement to better our environment.

What processes or actions are you using to facilitate your efforts throughout the property?

  • Water Cups: We used over 100,000 plastic water cups in 2016. Under the new initiative, all plastic water cups have been replaced with stainless steel 10 oz water cups from Klean Kanteen. Each cup has a spa-centric word etched into it to help guests identify their cup during their spa visit. We encourage guests to reuse their cup throughout their spa day and return it to the spa front desk at the conclusion of their experience. Each water station has a clean: “freshly prepared” or dirty “recently used” tray for cups. The used cups will be collected by spa housekeeping and stored in industrial cleaning bins in the spa housekeeping area. When full, the spa housekeeping team will take them to the Spa Café to run the 30-second cycle.
  • Snack Cups: Small stainless steel snack cups replaced the plastic ones we have been using.
  • Water Bottles: OVIS bottled water will be available by request only at the Spa, Gym and MB Studio. It should be provided without hesitation when requested. Reusable water bottles can be purchased at the Spa Boutique.
  • Plastic Bags: Rather than offering guests a plastic bag for their wet suit, we will now offer a bathing suit drying service. Spa Front Desk associates or Housekeeping will take the wet suit from the guest, dry it in the 30-second dryer, fold it neatly and put it into a cloth bag before returning it to the guest.
  • Razors and Shower Caps: Unwrapped razors and shower caps are available for guest use. Signage will be placed at each razor/shower cap station informing guests that these “fresh amenities” are clean and theirs to take home for reuse.
  • Oshibouri Towlettes: Plastic wrapped towelettes have been replaced with lavender-infused chilled washcloths at the gym.
  • Mouthwash Cups: A paper alternative will now be displayed for guests.
  • Hair Combs: High quality hair tools such as brushes and combs are available for guest use and will be cleaned and sanitized after each use and presented as “freshly prepared” or “recently used” at the vanity stations.

How are you engaging your employees in reducing plastic usage?

At our 2016 December departmental meeting, I gifted each Spa associate will a logoed Swell reusable water bottle. This gift accompanied a formal announcement that we would launch our Plastic-Free initiative on Earth Day 2017 and enabled our associates to begin participation in the movement immediately. Since the idea was formulated, associate engagement is thriving. It’s reignited a sense of pride and enthusiasm at work. Our team appreciates that the idea came from a line associate and that the team collectively worked to develop the new processes and source the alternatives that brought the idea to fruition.

Were there any obstacles you faced when implementing this initiative?

The first challenge we needed to overcome was the initial cost to launch our new plastic-free program. Several replacement items, equipment and tools, signage, training of staff, etc. were factored into the total cost of getting the idea off the ground. However, the fundamental concept behind this idea is sustainability. Now that the initial costs have been invested, our monthly operating expenses are lower and will eventually deliver a return.

Recently, we have noticed that the 10oz. stainless steel cup supply is depleting at a faster rate than we anticipated. To graciously ensure that our guests don’t leave with the cups, we now have them available for purchase at our Spa Boutique. We offer a paper cup alternative at Fitness Center, Mind Body Studio and Spa Lobby for a “to go” option.

What advice would you give to others who want to reduce their
plastic consumption?

The benefits outweigh the initial investment!  Guest feedback with this initiative has been positive from the point of conception. Fueled by passion from the associates, we highlight this initiative as part of a guest’s wellness experience. We’ve seen the strongest reaction from our return guests who acknowledge the change and have verbally thanked us for providing them with an alternative to plastic.

Another benefit has been in the networking and partnerships we’ve developed with the Plastic Pollution Coalition and Kleen Kanteen. Additionally, it has strengthened our relationship with many existing vendor partners who have cross-collaborated within social media to highlight our collective passion for green initiatives.

Finally, we are benefiting from the cost reductions associated with single-use plastic (although the motivation for this innovation was not financial). For example, the cost of our stainless steel water cups is forecasted to meet the cost of one-year of the plastic alternative. However, the stainless steel cups can be reused again and again, delivering a positive return on investment.

“The greatest measure of success for us, however, is that our business will eliminate hundreds of thousands of single-use plastic items this year and for years to come.” – Kate Morrison, Spa Director, Spa Ojai


Has your company implemented a sustainability initiative? Tell us about it here or email us at kate@greenspanetwork.org.   We’d love to share your efforts with our community and increase the positive impact we can have for a Vital Planet and Vital People.

Green Education at Local Day Spa

“For me the Green Spa Network has always been about what we can do collectively to create change.” – Cici Coffee,
Founding Board Member of GSN and Founder & CEO of Natural Body Spa & Shop.

 

Natural Body has been at the forefront of that change, establishing the first spa in the United States constructed and designed in accordance with Platinum LEED specifications, the highest level of certification, in 2009.

In a presentation this past March, Cici took attendees at the Annual GSN Buyers Conference through her journey of environmental stewardship, at a time when “green” resources weren’t as readily available as today. Discover how she successfully applied her passion and dedication in the video recording on our Facebook page here.

Following the event, held at Georgia’s Callaway Gardens, Cici hosted attendees at the Natural Body LEED-certified Brookhaven spa for treatments, plus an in-depth look at the countless steps that were taken to ensure the facility functioned at the highest level of environmental efficiency.

During construction of the Broohaven location, efforts were made to incorporate regional building materials into its design, including service room floors utilizing 50% post-industrial materials, and flooring created from wood reclaimed from a 100-year-old Georgia barn. “The idea is that old can still look beautiful and new,” said Cici. She then pointed out several “old, yet new” items in the lobby, including a repurposed medical cabinet that now features spa products, and a display case from an early Natural Body location opened 19 years ago, that was brought out of storage.

“Reducing our impact on the earth is always at the forefront of our thoughts when designing a new spa location,” said Cici Coffee in the 2009 Press Release, “We are very proud to be affiliated with such a revolutionary program that creates awareness around the importance of being environmentally responsible and allows us to continue to set standards in the green spa industry.”

A signature element of the LEED program is education or as Cici says, “our ability to tell the story,” of the sustainable measures taken in a project. Natural Body took their guest education a step further, earning them an ‘Innovation and Design’ credit. Throughout the spa, you’ll find “Green Education Outreach” signs detailing the LEED points achieved by Natural body, along with tips for “what you can do”.

The signs were curated by Peter Plishka, GSN Board Member and Director of Communications for Natural Body, and created by a student intern from Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition to the Outreach signs, Natural Body has a large print-out in the lobby detailing their full LEED Certification report and a presentation that plays in the waiting room for clients to follow the process.

There are a total of 15 educational signs posted throughout the Brookhaven spa, each featuring local resources and tips for guests to join Natural Body in their sustainability initiatives. One example is the ‘Energy and Atmosphere’ credit that was achieved by installing climate controls in five different areas of the spa, to closely regulate temperatures based on the type of treatments being done within that area, while the “what you can do” encourages guests to turn off lights in vacant rooms and setting thermostats at 3 degrees cooler in the winter and 3 degrees warmer in the summer.

 

These unique signs are just one example of how Natural Body Spa & Shop is leading the way in environmental and social responsibility. Discover more of their efforts on their website or if you’re in Atlanta make sure to stop in and explore for yourself!

 


Have you implemented a unique social or environmentally-friendly initiative at your spa? Let us know about it via this quick online survey. We’d love to celebrate your efforts!

Mandarin Oriental and GSN Team Up for Sustainable Progress

The Spas At Mandarin Oriental Join The Green Spa Network To Foster Greater Sustainability Initiatives Worldwide

Hong Kong, 21 April 2017 – The Spas at Mandarin Oriental have partnered with the Green Spa Network (GSN), a non-profit association dedicated to the idea that ‘vital people can make a vital planet possible’. GSN’s efforts over the past 10 years have brought key spa and wellness industry players together to make a difference for sustainability.

One of GSN’s primary achievements has been the creation of a “Sustainability Assessment Tool,” an important resource that has allowed their individual member spas to evaluate and better organize more effective greening efforts. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is partnering with the Green Spa Network to create a “Group Sustainability Assessment,” which adapts their tool for use in global, multi-property hotel brands.

“Mandarin Oriental is the first global hotel brand to enlist all of its properties into the Green Spa Network, and the first brand to implement the Group Sustainability Assessment,” said Jeremy McCarthy, Mandarin Oriental’s Group Director of Spa. “The insights that will be revealed will help us to fulfill our goal to act responsibly for a sustainable future and bring a special focus to the contribution from our Spa division to Mandarin Oriental’s own goals for sustainability and corporate responsibility. We are delighted to embrace this initiative, to ensure that our Group’s spas are advancing sustainability in our industry and in our communities,” he added.

The Group Sustainability Assessment will also be made available to other hotel brands within the industry, and Mandarin Oriental will be working with GSN to encourage greater awareness and adoption of the assessment and to unite with other global brands to create positive change towards a more sustainable future for the spa industry.

ABOUT MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL GROUP
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences. Having grown from its Asian roots into a global brand, the Group now operates 29 hotels and eight residences in 19 countries and territories, with each property reflecting the Group’s oriental heritage and unique sense of place. Mandarin Oriental has a strong pipeline of hotels and residences under development, with the next hotel opening planned in Doha. Mandarin Oriental is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.

Giving Back to the Stewards of the Earth

Laurel Whole Plant Organics celebrates our farmers, the stewards of our Earth,
with their 2017 Earth Day Initiative.

 

This Earth Day, Laurel Shaffer, owner and formulator of Laurel Whole Plant Organics (WPO), wanted to honor the hard-working farmers that make her products by donating to two local non-profits who support the local agriculture community. On April 22nd, Laurel WPO will donate 100% of their sales to a local biodynamic agriculture teaching program and the Green String Institute.

Laurel WPO takes purity and efficacy to a new level by using the highest quality, artisan ingredients. A 100% organic, raw, unrefined, whole plant line, Laurel sources directly from organic and biodynamic farms, handcrafting each product with love, integrity and unparalleled purity.

Laurel and Eric Pasch, Managing Partner at Laurel WPO, chose the two initiatives due to their strong relationship with and support of the farms that provide them with high quality ingredients. “Farming high quality organic and biodynamic herbs is not a sustainable farming practice, so anything we can do to support our farmers so they are able to provide us with these amazing botanicals for the long term is something we’re committed to doing,” says Eric.

One of the Biodynamic farms that grows herbs and flowers, and produces hydrosols and essential oils, specifically for Laurel WPO is located in Northern California. The farm also operates a non-profit teaching center that focuses on the practices of Biodynamic agriculture as a path for healing the earth and ourselves. Laurel and Eric chose the teaching center to support education of future farmers and sustainable farming practices.

The second non-profit to benefit from Laurel WPO’s Earth Day sales is the Green String Institute. Their mission is to educate a new generation of farmers on how to respect the earth and respond to the needs of their environment as they raise food that brings health to local populations. Operating on 140 acres in the rolling hills of Petaluma, California, the Green String Farm has opened their doors and fields, allowing the Institute to host an internship program on a highly diversified natural process farm. The Institutes goal is to show students how to improve the biology of the lands that they steward while growing healthy food.

“Artisan beauty ingredients aside, there is no future for us without farming.  Seeing new generations of eager young farmers is incredibly inspiring.  I see them as guardians of their land, and therefore stewards of our Earth.  On Earth Day, there is no one I’d rather support”. – Laurel Shaffer