Beauty salons and spas are often at the forefront of environmental initiatives and regulation, as any stylist who lived through the era of CFC hairsprays can tell you. But there’s much more we can do to make a difference. Here is the latest advice for keeping your salon on the environmentally-friendly cutting edge.
Industry • Best Practice
How Salons & Spas Can Contribute to a Green Future
By prioritizing green products and treatments, you’ll gain new clients while minimizing your carbon footprint.
Use and sell green products
As green lifestyles become more common, clients want to know if your salon has “gone green” by embracing eco-friendly products and treatments. Salons that do so can expect to gain customers almost as quickly as they lower their carbon footprints.
If you’re unsure where to start, look for brands with trusted ecolabel certifications on their packaging. Recyclable containers are a plus since you’ll need to dispose of them eventually. And don’t stop with professional-grade products — seek out green products you can sell directly to clients. Simply making them available tells everyone that you prioritize green initiatives, which will help attract customers who feel the same way.
Become water and energy efficient
Out of all small-to-midsize businesses, salons are unfortunately one of the most energy-intensive — easily reaching up to 40,000 kWh per year. (For comparison, the average US home is closer to 10,000.) Water efficiency is even worse: using an average of 250 gallons a day per chair, the spa and salon industry is easily among the biggest water wasters. The good news is that salons can significantly rein in these inefficiencies by adopting good energy and water management policies:
Turn it off: The simplest solution is to always switch off equipment that isn’t in use. Lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems all consume high volumes of energy in the background, so only use them when necessary.
Maintain your equipment: Upgrading and maintaining your salon equipment is an excellent way to increase energy and water efficiency. Regularly-serviced boilers reduce costs by 10 percent, while LED light bulbs last longer with an energy-efficient design.
Prioritize eco-friendly equipment: High-efficiency laundry machines can cut down your energy costs by 40 percent. L’Oréal created water-saving salon equipment that is 80 percent more efficient without sacrificing client comfort. Be on the lookout for eco-friendly products wherever possible. As a general rule, new equipment tends to be more efficient than older designs, so keep the long-term savings in mind.
Addressing salon waste
Beauty waste might be one of the biggest environmental challenges facing salons and spas. Between hair clippings, foils, color tubes, and aerosol cans, the beauty industry produces roughly 877 pounds of waste per minute. Even a salon that makes every effort to be sustainable will struggle to dispose of everything in environmentally-safe ways.
Thankfully, you don’t have to solve it alone. One friend of Boulevard, Green Circle Salons, offers sustainability training and certifications to bring your process up to speed. Once that’s complete, GCS will collect waste shipments from each partner to ensure items are recycled or disposed of correctly. GCS’s ultimate goal is to reduce 95 percent of beauty waste under this method, and it’s off to an excellent start.
We teamed up with GCS to integrate sustainability management tools into our salon management platform. These features include Boulevard Dashboard access to the GCS app and the ability to create custom environmental service fees to offset recycling costs — all noted with full transparency on client receipts. With these resources, you’ll be reducing your beauty waste in no time.