A year in review from the SSA board: “Planning for strength and longevity is the focus because we know we need it more than ever.”

We’re not sure whether it’s just us here at the Sustainable Spa Association (SSA), but it feels like this year has flown by extremely quickly. And what a year it has been. 

The pandemic has, of course, shaped much of 2021, but it has been great to see how the global wellness sector has reacted to the challenges. This was evidenced most recently in the way the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond Covid report predicts that the sector will grow by 9.9 per cent annually and reach US$7trn by 2025. 

The pandemic has also had a significant effect on how people perceive and approach environmental sustainability in our sector. Not least as personal and business vulnerability over the past two years has deepened the need for long-term strategy planning (personally through wellness and in business through sustainability) for strength and longevity – because we know we need them more than ever.

Businesses have realised that having a structured approach to sustainability can support business growth and trust throughout teams, individuals and guests – and as a result increase profitability.

From an SSA point of view, our members have achieved some amazing feats during 2021 – from winning sustainability awards to completing multi-million redevelopments with environmental design at the heart of them. 

As an association, we have also enjoyed amazing support from those who supply the wellness industry with their products and services. Our brand partners are supporting sustainable growth more than ever, as they too have become proponents – and what more, often pioneers – of a structured approach to sustainability. 

As we approach the end of 2021, it is also important to look ahead to 2022 – and what an exciting year it promises to be! For example, in January we will launch our new impact assessment tool. The new version will provide us with even more accurate insight into the results we are achieving – and how our members are performing and improving. 

The launch is part of our strategy to provide our members individual and bespoke support whenever we can. The reason for this strategy is simple: not all spas need the same support and not all sustainability needs are the same – for many reasons. Global geographical location, the nature of the facility and its surroundings, the size of the business and the access to existing sustainable resources are all key factors when it comes to deciding which tailored support we can offer. 

So as we gradually prepare for the end of year festivities, the SSA board wants to wish all members, brand partners and other stakeholders a great holiday period – and a happy New Year. We can’t wait to keep working with you all during 2022!