The "green spa" philosophy is a way for spa owners to show how they care for their clients and the planet at the same time. However, with many spas never having ventured into the green moment, it can be tricky to know where to start and what to expect. That's why we sat down with Noel Asmar, president and CEO of Noel Asmar Group, to discuss what spa owners can expect when they make the switch to greening their spa space.
Skin Inc. (SI): What is a common misconception with sustainability?
Noel Asmar (NA): Sustainability itself is complicated and presents a different meaning for many. The easiest way to understand sustainability is to refer to its definition in the Webster Dictionary.
Definition of sustainable
1: capable of being sustained
2a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged sustainable techniques sustainable agriculture
b: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods sustainable society1
SI: How can a spa begin to transition into more green beauty or sustainable practices?
NA: The United Nations has developed 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) that we can all use to guide us in our mission to be more sustainable in our businesses and at home. A spa may choose 1 to 3 of the SDGs which will guide sourcing, operations, HR, etc. Taking small measurable steps is easier for your whole team to support and exciting for your guests to understand.
SI: What concerns may a spa owner run into in becoming more sustainable?
NA: Sustainability is a mindset–a lifestyle shift in thinking that influences the decisions we make and how we lead. The first challenge is to demonstrate to your team that you are committed, and to ensure their buy in, as we need the entire team on board to be effective. Mind shift is the biggest challenge.
SI: How can spa professionals educate their clients on green beauty and sustainability?
NA: Green beauty and sustainability is at the top of the mind for many consumers, and the more you can educate them through treatments, email communications, seminars, etc., the better they will understand. The key is to ensure your staff are well trained and feel comfortable speaking about what you are doing. Clients really appreciate tips and tricks they can use at home between treatments.
SI: What is your top tip or piece of advice for spa professionals looking to go green in their spa?
NA: Set clear measurable goals, and start slow. It helps to refer to the United Nations SDG’s and pick two to three for your first year. One tip, we recommend recycling and composting