Sustainability can be difficult for businesses to achieve, especially when they’re already established but regardless of how you or your CEO feels about climate change, sustainability is only going to become more important to your clients and employees. Which is why it should become more important to your business too.
People are now as likely to make buying decisions with their conscience as they are with a credit card. Your potential future employees are also more likely to look for companies that create value in the world rather than looking at job title or salary alone. Gyms are no exception to this.
There are 10 million gym members in the UK and more than 3,000 gyms all trying to attract and retain paying members. It’s a competitive market, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic closed gyms and fitness centres during extended national lockdowns.
Sustainability may be the furthest thing from your mind as your gym recovers from COVID-19, but if there’s one thing that has come into focus is how even successful local businesses are vulnerable to global events, and what greater global event is there than climate change? So, sustainability isn’t just about protecting the planet but also about protecting the future of businesses, including yours.
And putting sustainable gym equipment in your gym doesn’t have to be a philanthropic exercise. As we mentioned earlier, people are looking to adopt eco-friendlier lives and gyms aligning their businesses with the values of a target audience will have an advantage over those that don’t. We’re already beginning to see grants and subsidies for companies looking to adapt to greener systems and processes ahead of the UK Government’s 2050 carbon net-zero plan. And sustainability is often about becoming more efficient. For example, becoming more energy or time efficient which will often save your business money. Sustainability should, therefore, be seen as an investment which is can be an easier way to sell eco-friendliness to whoever holds the purse strings in your organisation. It’s why we wanted to share a few ideas about why we think sustainable gym equipment belongs in your gym.
Why Sustainable Gym Equipment Belongs in Your Gym
Some gym owners hear the word sustainable and think vegan protein shakes, indoor plants and yoga. Eco-friendlier doesn’t mean swapping your spit-and-sawdust lifting gym for a commune. Sustainability often just means adapting current systems or processes to become more efficient and kinder to the planet.
Turn on human power
Adding electricity-generating indoor bikes to your gym is one way of offsetting your electricity bills. Whenever someone uses a stationary bike, they have the potential to generate clean power. Unfortunately, most indoor cycling bikes don’t have the ability to capture and convert human power into useable electricity and it goes to waste. What makes this worse is that gyms rarely own the buildings they operate from. Instead, it’s the commercial landlords who make the decisions about how eco-friendly a premises is or not. Gym owners can’t just decide one day to put solar panels on the roof and even if they did, what if three years later they decided to move? Sustainable gym equipment can be installed directly onto the gym floor. It’s why Energym has designed and developed the RE:GEN. It’s an indoor cycling bike that turns the power of a workout into clean energy transferring it to a central battery unit that can then be used to help power the premises. Gyms regularly running instructor-led indoor cycling classes will find this particularly useful. Find out more about the RE:GEN studio and talk to our sales team for more information.
Attract New Members
Around 75% of Millennials and Gen-Zs are willing to pay more money for sustainable products or services. Sustainability is a big marketing buzzword right now, providing a focal point for campaigns and events designed to attract and retain members. This can then be supported by eco-initiatives inside the gym like banning single-use plastic water bottles or using water-saving devices in the showers and changing rooms. One word of warning, however. It’s easy to get carried away with your marketing claims but don’t ramp up your green credentials if you can’t back them up. Eco-marketing that’s exaggerated, faked or unsubstantiated is called green washing and it will harm your brand in the long run. It’s much better to be honest even if you’re only making small steps initially.
Sustainable and socially responsible companies have happier employees, according to research. People like working for companies that care about more than just generating profit. Whilst there’s nothing at all wrong with building a brand that creates wealth, companies should also think about what they can put back into society, and, once again, this goes beyond just philanthropy. Employee wellbeing may seem ridiculous to some but it’s been shown to make employees happier and more productive. Don’t underestimate the power of aligning your business with significant social and environmental issues.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Sustainability is important in its own right too. We’re running out of time to keep global temperatures below two degrees and it’s important that everyone plays their part, including businesses and industries. Sustainable gym equipment can help reduce the carbon footprint of your business, helping to ensure that you’re staying on the right side of future net-zero legislation too. As we mentioned earlier, there are several local grants offering help with lowering carbon usage to help support decarbonisation. Businesses can also either pay or get funding for a carbon audit in which an external company will come to assess the carbon usage of your business, giving you a business-wide view of your emissions and advice on how to reduce them.
Let there be LED light
And it doesn’t need to be fitness equipment because your gym is made up of more than just stationary bikes, weights or treadmills. You can introduce sustainability across your gym. Sustainability and efficiency are closely related, and one easy way of reducing your electricity bills is to replace your current lights with LEDs. According to one website, LEDs are up to 80% more efficient than fluorescent lighting, converting 95% of energy into light. LEDs also draw less power for the same brightness as other lighting types and they’re likely to last up to 6-times longer. Whilst LEDs cost more per individual unit, over the course of their lifetime it’s far more cost-efficient and therefore it represents a significant business saving in places like gyms where lighting must be left on for extended periods. Gyms may also like to consider reducing single-use plastic, using sustainable flooring or water efficient toilets and showers too.
Sustainable gym equipment belongs in your gym because it’s the future of fitness. Sustainability is more than just something your business should pay lip service to. It’s become part of the consumer’s lexicon. Offering eco-friendlier processes or equipment in your facility can sometimes seem more expensive or complicated but ultimately, presents a return on investment that you can benefit from.