Green Circle Salons Interview

Announcement • Interview

Stakeholders in Sustainability: An Interview With Bill Deliman

What are some of the biggest challenges facing salons aiming to improve their sustainability efforts in 2021?

Understanding the environmental concerns of the salon staff and the consumer are just two areas where salons can benefit in 2021. Last year, Green Circle Salons and Modern Salon Research conducted the first-ever market research studies on Sustainability and Wellness.  The two studies focused on 1) consumers who go to salons and 2) salon owners/managers. We sought to better understand gaps in perception and behavior between salon professionals and consumers in regard to the environment, lifestyle products and services, recycling, and climate change. The results were eye-opening.

For salon professionals:

  • 88% believe it’s important to work in an environment that is green and sustainable

  • 86% are interested in learning how their salon can recycle beauty waste

From the consumer study: 

  • 72% would be interested in knowing what happens to their beauty waste after their salon service

  • 60% of consumers would consider changing salons if they knew all the waste from their visit would be recycled.

These figures showcase a shift in the consumer mindset and demonstrate that sustainability efforts can add value to a business.

What does Green Circle offer that our audience could not get from other beauty recycling companies?

There are four reasons why Green Circle Salons is chosen over conventional or local options for waste management.

  • Green Circle Salons is not just a recycling company; we’re a movement with a comprehensive green business strategy benefiting our member salons with both environmental and financial sustainability. 

  • Green Circle Salons is a B Corporation, which means we’re a business that meets the highest standards in verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. 

  • We also have a credential from the Carbon Trust, which certifies us as a Zero Waste to Landfill company. This guarantees to our members that we are processing the waste in the most responsible way. 

  • We specialize in contaminated beauty waste (contaminated metals, hair color, and PPE) which conventional recyclers cannot manage with a guarantee.

How does Green Circle Salons’ partnership with Boulevard help facilitate these efforts?

Over the years, we’ve learned that we must provide our member salons with green solutions to manage their business and improve their bottom lines. We continuously seek technology partners to help our customers which led us to Boulevard.  Boulevard provides our member salons with software features that bring transparency to our relationship and the business. Boulevard invested in our partnership and demonstrated “skin in the game” which makes them a stakeholder in sustainability, and that cemented our trust in them. Today, our member salons that use Boulevard as their POS, can track environmental fee transactions, run reports, and enable the environmental fee in customizable ways. We are also discussing other automation features for the future that will make them the most comprehensive solution for our member salons. Together we can positively impact the planet and bring richer, more meaningful benefits to our salon community.

What is one thing salon owners and managers should know about their beauty waste that they may not already know?

One of the most surprising facts is that hair color can be recovered. When we receive the chemical waste, we separate the liquid from the solid. The liquid waste is decontaminated and reintroduced to the greywater table and used to water parks.  The solid waste is incinerated and with it becomes clean energy. Every year in North American salons waste enough bleach and hair color per year is generated to fill 1,825 dump trucks! By recovering leftover hair color with Green Circle Salons instead of rinsing it down the drain, our members’ salon professionals are helping to keep our aquatic ecosystems clean and healthy.

Are there socially responsible salon brands that Green Circle endorses? If so, what are they and why?

We seek out brands that want to better their environmental performance and are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. You can find our current brand partners listed our website. We understand that all companies are in different stages of improving their environmental performance, so we meet them where they are, and work to help them achieve their environmental goals and mandates.

What are some “Green KPIs” every salon owner should track? How does Green Circle help with that?

Clearly metrics matter: they’re how we measure performance and the data points to results achieved. When a salon begins our program, we consult them on all beauty waste streams and how to best manage them. Some streams are recycled with regional services while Green Circle Salons will collect and recover the rest. This means that the salon is now able to recycle 95% of the beauty waste. Every box shipped to Green Circle Salons is tracked to capture the volume of waste. Some salons have weekly shipments to us, some less often; our program is on-demand to meet every salon’s unique needs. At the end of the year, we provide the salon with a Waste Diversion Certificate that measures all beauty waste returned to us and celebrate their continued commitment to sustainable beauty. We also track the brands used by our member salons. The waste remitted by brands also ladders up to the manufacturers, and our overall waste diverted from landfill goal for North America.

Any notable statistics or testimonials we can present from any of your partners?

Our stakeholders look to us as sustainability partners. That means they’re expecting us to guide them in a variety of sustainability practices. I receive countless calls from our partners enquiring about how they can incorporate a more sustainable identity into their product, as well as how they can adopt a more sustainable company culture. Looking again at the study we conducted with Modern Salon last year:

For consumers: 

  • 91% would purchase products and services with sustainable identity. 

  • 72% would be interested in knowing what happens to their beauty waste. 

For salon professionals:

  • 77% believe their clients care about sustainability and environmental concerns 

  • 70% of salon professionals do consciously purchase products with green, sustainability identities.  

Sharing this data with our stakeholders supports their marketing and communication efforts to better engage with their audiences and ultimately help to close the loops on products sold into the market.

Aside from becoming a GCS member, give us one thing salons can do right now to improve their environmental impact.

By conserving water at the backwash and installing a low flow showerhead, like ECOHEADS, salon owners can reduce water consumption by 62% while improving water pressure by 200%.

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