Global Spa Standard released
The growth of spas as stand alone facilies and, increasingly, as an essential service offering at top-end hotels and resorts has led to concerns that while spas are kind to the body, they may well be less kind to the environment.
Given the exponential growth in the spa industry in the past 15 years, concerns have emerged over spas high levels of water use, as well as the chemicals used in treatment and cleaning. In addition, air conditioning keeps guests cool, electricity provides atmosphere through ambient lighting and music and the demands for ever longer shelf life for products, often packaged in plastic, mean that 'all natural' and 'recyclable' are still some way off.
Launched at the recent 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit , EarthCheck's Spa Benchmarking Initiative, aims to establish an international standard for environmental benchmarking and certification programs spa.
Designed specifically for the tourism industry, EarthCheck is the only international benchmarking and certification program with criteria based on the Agenda 21 principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by the United Nations at the Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.
All EarthCheck Standards are performance-oriented, providing participants with a framework to benchmark and thus measure, monitor and improve their environmental and social sustainability.
EarthCheck Vice President of Sales Andre Russ explains "the ability to benchmark the performance of the spa sector is less to do about giving them a logo and more about delivering the industry with a mechanism to demonstrate their ongoing sustainability as an industry."
EarthCheck has already developed guidelines for more than 30 sectors. Each sector within the EarthCheck program has sector-specific benchmarking indicators that identify the measures that need to be recorded by an operation.
The spa benchmarking process has the following 12:
1. Energy consumption
2. Water consumption
3. Water Saving
4. Water Source
5. Waste Sent to Landfill
6. Waste Recycling
7. Community Commitment
8. Community Contributions
9. Paper Products
10. Treatment & Cleaning Products
11. Pesticide Products
12. Staff Wellness
During a benchmarking assessment a spa is compared to other spa businesses in the same region using Baseline and Best Practice levels for the industry. As more spa operations join the EarthCheck program, these levels are reviewed to ensure they are consistent with current spa industry practice worldwide.
Alila Hotels and Resorts, a company that has already committed to EarthCheck benchmarking processes and received certification (Design and Operational) for many of their hotels, welcomes the continued support in a spa-specific initiative.
As Alila Hotels & Resorts Director of Spa and Development Steve Jeisman explains "spa-specific environmental benchmarks and yearly accreditations are definitely a necessity for all spa developers and operators to take onboard.
"Such programs bring great awareness to not only the spa's owners and developers but also its employees, surrounding villages and associated businesses."
EC3 Global is an international tourism and environmental management and advisory group which was developed by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), the world's largest dedicated research centre specialising in sustainable tourism and research. EC3 Global work with clients to plan, manage and achieve business, development and marketing objectives; Set and achieve sustainability goals with a triple bottom line focus and implement programs to achieve these objectives. Its global community of clients have access to experienced project managers and allied professionals, as well as global tourism best practice and research.
EarthCheck, managed and owned by EC3 Global, is an internationally recognised environmental management and certification program with members in over 70 countries. The program improves operational performance of member organisations and reduces costs. Recent studies show that six million people a week are impacted by EarthCheck's branded solutions. The company takes a scientific and systematic approach to risk mitigation and legislative requirements and is regarded as one of the world's best-practice environmental sustainability leaders.
4th September 2013 - TOURISM MUST PAY ITS DUES TO THE ENVIRONMENT
24th February 2013 - CAIRNS CONVENTION CENTRE CONTINUES TO MEET EARTHCHECK CERTIFICATION STANDARDS
20th November 2012 - INTERNATIONAL EXPO ORGANISERS LAUNCH JOINT VENTURE FOR ASIA’S POOL AND SPA MARKET
20th October 2010 - KEEPING FIT AND ACTIVE ON THE HIGH SEAS
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