A carbon footprint is the impact a business or individual has on the environment.
It relates to how much greenhouse gas is produced in order to sustain your business.
Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change: the gradual warming of the planet due to increased infrared radiation.
For businesses, carbon footprints can mean the energy used to power premises, the number of flights taken each year by a CEO or VP, and even how many plastic cups the office water cooler uses.
Gyms can reduce their carbon footprint by implementing Eco-friendly business practices that contribute to fewer greenhouse.
Why Gyms Should Become More Eco-Friendly
Sustainable business practice doesn’t necessarily mean making big or expensive changes, and it can actually save your gym money.
The PR for positive environmentalism shouldn’t be underestimated, either. Both Millennials and Gen Z have shown that they’re happy to pay more and support businesses that take an active (and genuine) role in combating the current climate emergency.
And besides, we all live on the same planet.
It’s the right thing to do; the fact that it’s the right thing to do for your business, too, is a nice incentive and a bonus.
Anyone unconvinced about the idea of gym’s reducing their carbon footprint should pay attention to 3-things we’re expecting to see more of in 2020:
- 1. The rise of green fitness
- 2. Gym’s adding Energym’s clean-energy generating devices to their existing equipment
- 3. More eco-gyms opening in the UK.
6 Ways for Gyms to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint
Ban Single-Use Plastic
One of the biggest single-use plastic culprits is bottled drinking water.
We all know how important hydration is before, during and after exercise, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to devastate marine life and threaten the beauty of our seas and oceans.
As a business owner, there are lots of things you can do to encourage clients to use re-usable bottles.
You could follow the example of 1-Rebel who announced in 2018 that it would be eliminating single-use plastic from its gyms and introducing re-usable stainless-steel containers, biodegradable cups and straws as well as recyclable kitbags.
According to the Metro, Rebel1 decided to introduce a ban on single-use plastic after it realised that it went through 37,000 units annually.
Providing filtered water for free can help encourage people to bring in re-usable bottles. It’s also a good merchandising opportunity and a way to advertise your brand.
Tagging onto this idea of reducing plastic, gym owners should make sure that clients have the option to recycle rubbish rather than have it all go to landfill. Having separate receptacles for plastic, paper and even food (if you have a café or food outlet on your premises) or clothing can encourage people to make better decisions.
What happens to food is particularly important because most people don’t realise that food waste is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.
Going paperless isn’t just about being more eco-friendly; it can also save you a lot of time. It’s far easier to find documents digitally using a search function than it is by hand turning pages in folders and binders.
You’ll save space in your office, too.
Digital records can be accessed in seconds and they only take space on a hard drive rather than on shelves.
You’ll reduce spending on ink and toner, too, as well as on buying reams of printer paper.
Human-Generated Energy for Your Gym
It takes a lot of energy to run a gym: the equipment, the lights, the showers and changing rooms, etc. It can be difficult to imagine how to cut back on electricity and still be an efficient business.
You can obviously look at changing your tariff and that can help you to save some additional pounds. You might also encourage staff members to turn off unused equipment during off-peak hours, keep TVs off overnight or install energy-saving equipment.
And that’s all going to help.
But it might not be enough to provide the kind of savings worth getting excited about.
One exciting new development in the fitness world is using human power as a renewable and clean energy source.
Energym has developed retro-fitted devices that convert existing gym equipment into clean energy generators.
It means the man who’s been using the static bike for the last 45 minutes could generate enough electricity to help power your gym. Stick entire classes on these bikes and provide energy for a day. Whatever’s left over goes into the National Grid.
It’s a phenomenal opportunity to reduce your gyms carbon footprint and save you money on your energy bills.
Switch to LED
LED lights are a really easy way to reduce your energy bills.
LEDs are able to do this because they use less electricity than other types of bulb. They cost more initially, but within a few months you can expect to have recouped that cost.
LEDs also last much longer than other types of lighting so once they’re in you don’t need to worry about replacing them for a long time.
Lighting in gyms is vital not only for client experience but for safety, too, and it’s always going to be a big expenditure – switching to LEDs will help reduce your energy bills, your carbon footprint and it’ll brighten up your gym floor.
Save on Water
Reducing water consumption is as much about money saving as it is saving the environment.
One of the first things to do is to check your water usage as each bill comes in. Sudden spikes can indicate a leak or an issue that needs to be sorted to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to.
Installing water-saving equipment will help reduce your water bills and despite the initial up-front cost could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Using efficient flush toilets or waterless urinals in the toilets and changing rooms can make a big difference especially if you’re in an older property. Fitting any showers and faucets with low-flow restrictors will help, too.
These are some really easy ways for a gym to reduce its carbon footprint.
This list highlights, too, that what’s good for the environment can often be good for your business and for its image.
All it takes is a little thought, some planning and the occasional up-front cost.