The Sustainable Spa Association has begun working with Co2balance, which operates an extensive portfolio of climate protection projects that deliver benefits to communities throughout Africa.
Co2balance was founded in 2003 by a group of entrepreneurs who recognised the potential of market-based mechanisms – such as carbon offsetting – to tackle climate change and promote sustainable development in marginalised communities across the developing world. The company develops ethical carbon finance projects and provides a range of carbon management and impact reporting services that can be tailored towards its client’s needs.
The company has also created its own CarbonZero standard for certifying companies, services, or products that have an entirely neutral carbon footprint, which can be achieved through offsetting, using Co2balance’s internationally-approved carbon credits. It has established a diverse client base – including the likes of Toshiba, Canon Medical, Vita and United Purpose.
The collaboration will also result in the Sustainable Spa Association working together with Co2balance’s partner companies, such as carbon rebalancing expert Gaia Together. Gaia Together delivers projects across the globe to support carbon offsetting and environmental business objectives – with the aim of minimising the environmental impact of everyday business activities.
Working together, Gaia Together and the Sustainable Spa Association will provide a new service which can calculate the carbon impact of spa products, treatments and services. The calculations include aspects such as the impact value of the distance and method of travel a customer takes to the spa, type of treatment and the products used. The process will deliver an impact value in tonnes, which can then be offset via the purchasing of carbon credits to the same value.
Lucy Brialey, SAA co-founder says: “The calculator can be used by operators and suppliers alike and we have also developed a way for spa operators and suppliers to be able to offer this option at point of sale with the customer if they wish to contribute in this way.”
There are a number of ways that SSA members will benefit from the new partnership.
Gaia Together’s teams offer insight, expertise and inspiration with a passion to support the common drive to provide a sustainable business model with carbon management and impact reporting services that can be tailored towards our client’s needs. It will also support the Sustainable Spa Association in providing environmental best practice and guidance to support its spa members. In addition to offering carbon neutral products, Gaia Together is able to provide additional services to support the offsetting of unavoidable carbon
emissions that are created as part of day-to-day business.
This includes carbon audits to assess the impact of a businesses/organisation and
the opportunity to offset this and undertake a more environmentally conscious
approach to everyday activities.
According to Sustainable Spa Association co-founder, Lucy Brialey, the work with Gaia Together will be one of many benefits resulting from the Co2balance collaboration.
SSA co-founder Lucy Brialey says: “The partnership with Gaia Together and Co2balance is of great importance to us as an association. We are particularly aligned with its approach on carbon reduction, which addresses reducing Co2 emissions in ways which support socio-economic conditions for target communities, making quantifiable contributions to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“This is a holistic approach to sustainability rather than climate change only.
“We have chosen to work with Co2balance because of the attention to detail the team there can offer the wellness and spa sector, by creating a calculator which is sector specific and relevant globally. All projects are Gold Standard and VCS accredited.”
While we are on the topic of carbon reduction, here are four top tips for spa businesses to begin cutting down their carbon footprint:
1. Switch stuff off
It’s always useful to keep in mind a simple truth – the cheapest form of energy is the energy you do not use. Work with staff members to come up with a plan and strategy where everyone works towards switching off appliances, lights, heaters and other electrical devices whenever they are not needed.
2. The three Rs
Set a “reduce, reuse, recycle” policy across every facet of your spa business. These three ‘R’ words – reducing the amount of waste, reusing items as much as you can and recycling wherever possible – are an important part of sustainable operations and make a huge difference in your carbon footprint. Whether it’s things you need in the front office or in the customer areas, everything has a carbon footprint.
3. Use less water
Let’s face it, water is essential to spas – the original meaning of “salus per aquam” means its in the DNA of spa operations. This doesn’t, however, mean you can’t save some! Work together with all staff members to identify the areas in which water saving measures can be implemented and come up with a clear plan and strategy.
4. Review equipment and products
Are you sure your equipment, machines and products across all areas are as sustainable as possible? Appliances are becoming more efficient by the year, so regularly review your stock – especially those which are in action on a daily basis.