Benefits of green spas
By Beatrice (Vallant) Hochegger

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Spas can achieve tremendous benefits by putting principles and guidelines of being green into practice. This article features advantages of a green business policy that definitely should be taken into consideration when thinking about opening and/or operating a green spa.

The HRH Prince of Wales's Business & the Environment Program, which is developed and run by the University of Cambridge, lists the following business benefits that come along with sustainable development:
  • Eco Efficiency — Through the implementation of sustainable business practices, efficiency in operations will increase. Consequently, costs — water, for example — will decrease because of a better use and conservation of resources. Moreover, operating a spa in a sustainable way helps minimizing carbon risk and improves energy efficiency.
  • Market Advantage — Most sustainable spas offer new and innovative products and services and create a strong brand through these actions. Furthermore, consumer research findings prove that knowing that a business is aware of its impact on the nature and society makes consumers 58 percent more likely to buy their services or products.
  • Quality Management — Employees desire to work with spas that follow a sustainable and environmentally friendly business strategy. As a consequence, being green is an important factor for employee commitment and motivation.
Furthermore, the Green Spa Network, which aims to encourage spas in green business practices, makes the green spa industry more transparent, gives helpful tips to spa professionals and serves as an information exchange community, assigns the following benefits to green spas:
  • "Green spas are good business" — Although investment costs for some greening initiatives are high, they typically pay off and provide savings within one or two years. One good example would be investing in low-flow toilets and shower heads which will be costly at the beginning. However, this investment will provide savings in water use in the future.
  • "Green spas are naturally healthy" — Due to the fact that green spas eliminate toxins in their spa environment as well as in skin care products, they provide a much healthier experience than ordinary spas.
  • "Green spas are more relaxing" — Green spas offer a more relaxing and balanced experience by eliminating stressors of our modern life, like toxins, noise and pollution.
  • "Green spas put the body in harmony with nature" — Green spas are aligned with nature as well as with the human body. Consequently, body and nature are in harmony and therefore, guests feel stronger and healthier during and after a visit at a green spa.
  • "Green spa treatments are more effective" — Artificial and chemical products might cause damage to the skin, whereas treatments with natural products are gentler. In addition, they help to ensure long-lasting beauty and health.
Karin Niederer, an Austrian spa consultant, agrees with the statement of the Green Spa Network about benefits of green spas and highlights the most attractive values and advantages of sustainable businesses. She states that green spas:
  • Strengthen the innovation competence of a business
  • Create a good image and are a good marketing strategy
  • Motivate employees
  • Consolidate quality management and
  • Support reducing operative costs
As demonstrated within this article, experts all over the world identify and promote not only similar but also complementary benefits of green and sustainable business practices. This ultimately proves that green spas bring along numerous benefits, not only for the environment but also for their guests, employees and the business itself.

Beatrice (Vallant) Hochegger is a 24-year-old spa enthusiast from Austria. She recently graduated with a master of arts in business degree from IMC FH Krems, majoring in tourism and leisure management with a focus on spa management. She assisted in opening Deer Lake Lodge & Spa, an exclusive, green and sustainable destination health spa and wellness resort located in Montgomery, Texas, and wants to start a career within the American spa industry.