News   Features   Video    Products   Magazine   Handbook   Email sign up   Advertise  
Eco spa
Going green

Executive director Joanna Roche and board president Bonnie Baker are aiming to breathe new life into the Green Spa Network – and to grow the non-profit internationally. Jane Kitchen sits down with the GSN’s new leaders

By Jane Kitchen | Published in Spa Business 2019 issue 3


First set up in 2002, when Rancho La Puerta’s Deborah Szekely urged spas to become active in sustainability, the Green Spa Network (GSN) has found itself, 17 years later, at the forefront of a mushrooming environmental movement, as consumers become more aware of the devastating impact of modern-day living on our natural world. With a mission to promote the natural connections between personal wellbeing, economic sustainability and the health of our planet, GSN aims to help support those in the spa industry to make step-by-step changes to become more sustainable.

Last year, spa operations and marketing professional Joanna Roche joined the organisation as its new executive director, and Bonnie Baker of consultancy Satteva Wellness took the position of board president. Together, these two women are breathing fresh life into the nonprofit at what is perhaps its most critical time.

“In today’s world, we collectively face some of the greatest ecological challenges in known history, as well as some of the greatest threats to our health,” says Baker. “The shortsighted approach we’ve been living with is unsustainable and offers no resolution. It’s becoming all the more obvious, that only a deep shift in our perspective from short-term solutions to long-term regenerative practices will carry us into a healthy future.”

What are your GSN roles?
Roche: Bonnie and I are incredibly well-suited to work together – our personalities, passion and desire to inspire change in our industry make this effort a true joy for both of us. I’m strategic and tactical, while Bonnie is diplomatic and generous of spirit. Since working together, we’ve applied professional standards for operations and an entrepreneurial management style to growth and future vision.

Baker: Since Joanna first joined GSN in May of 2018, she immediately brought a sharpened focus and direction, prioritising the many programmes and goals GSN has been pursuing. Joanna and I complemented each other from the very start in the way we understand GSN’s mission, and our belief in the importance of sustainable practices for personal and planetary wellbeing.

What changes have you made so far?
Baker: There have been many changes internally, as well as in relation to our membership which includes new strategies and benefits. We’ve created new GSN events; re-branded and re-structured the website; developed a webinar series; re-structured our sponsorship packages; and evolved the board of directors to be more of an advisory board, and less of a management board. We also initiated an annual action initiative, which started last year with the goal of planting one million trees, and this year, we launched our first sustainability research, where we collect monthly surveys from our community of 5,000 members to get insight into their environmental efforts – which means we can bring of-the-moment data on green topics to the wider wellness community.

Roche: We also have a Sustainability Assessment Tool (SAT), where we can come to your business and help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions and solutions, which is great for spas or suppliers that want to learn how to become more eco-friendly in their practices, operations or manufacturing.

Why should those in the spa industry get involved with GSN?
Roche: We should all care about the sustainability of the planet, and for US$1 a day you can be a member of GSN and make a difference – whether it’s participating in the tree planting initiative, taking the SAT back to your brand or business, or engaging with thought leaders at our annual congress. Consumers are driving the demand for more sustainable solutions across the wellness industry – whether it’s plastics or packaging, they want less, and we as an industry need to listen.

Baker: Any business truly looking to participate in the experience of wellness should become involved in GSN, but especially companies which have identified sustainability in their core values, manufacturers which want to take a more environmentally or socially responsible approach, and corporate wellness divisions that are setting up standards and operating practices for multiple locations. It doesn’t matter the size or focus of a business, GSN can provide the baseline tools and resources for taking steps to become more sustainable.

What plans do you have for the future for GSN?
Baker: GSN has primarily been a US-based organisation, but we’re now looking at expanding with initiatives in the UK, Mexico and Costa Rica. In December, we’re holding our first-ever Self-Care Summit at the Kripalu Center in New York. This will be focused on caring for the caregivers, including spa managers and practitioners.

Roche: We’re also launching a new GSN Foundation, which is an independent tax-deductible nonprofit association. We’re partnering with Hutchinson Consulting on an industry job board, and launching a ‘Growing Greener’ Facebook page for members to discuss sustainability challenges and solutions. And in January, 2020, we’ll have our annual congress in Ojai, California, as well as our Sustainability Awards. The theme this year is ‘Transformation’.

Roche and Baker’s top tips for eco-friendly spas
  • Skip the plastic – bags, straws, water bottles – and reduce plastic packaging
  • Re-cycle, up-cycle, and bicycle
  • Switch to towels and linens that weigh less and require less water to wash
  • Reduce consumption (water, electricity, trash, etc)
  • Go with organic ingredients everywhere, go local where practical, go in-house when possible
From our members...
  • 28% have a sustainability officer or a green team
  • 84% say consumers are choosing brands because they are green
  • 57% say time is the biggest challenge to being green
GSN members are passionate about sustainability and the health of our planet
Upcoming GSN events

11 September 2019
GSN Breakfast, Las Vegas
Held during ISPA for the first time last year, where more than 70 people attended

27 September 2019
GSN Media Event, Rainbow Room, New York
Second annual media event to feature sustainable stories and ventures from properties and suppliers

1-3 December 2019
Self-Care Summit, Kripalu Center, New York
A first for GSN, focusing on caring for the caregivers, including spa managers, therapists and practitioners

26-29 January 2020
GSN Congress, Ojai, California
GSN’s signature event, with a theme this year of ‘Transformation’

17-20 May 2020
GSN Buyers Conference, Lake Tahoe

Sign up here to get the Spa Business and Spa Business insider weekly ezines and every issue of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines free on digital.
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Increasing staff productivity with technology
As spas reopen after more than a year of fluctuating restrictions, spa operators face a new challenge. [more...]

Introducing Esthetica’s multi-function, fully adjustable spa treatment table
Some clients look for quality. Others look for perfect design or brand. Almost all of them want a treatment table that is reasonably priced. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Pendex Fisio S.L.

The Pendex training method is based on 40 years’ of biomechanical rehabilitation protocols, collect [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

PENDEX | Simply Ingenious
It trains humans better than humans train humans. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

27-28 Sep 2021

Sothys International Summit 2021

Online,
28 Sep 2021

Wellness Real Estate & Communities Sympposium

In Person in NYC + Virtual, New York, United States
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
SPA BUSINESS
SPA OPPORTUNITIES
SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021
News   Products   Magazine
Eco spa
Going green

Executive director Joanna Roche and board president Bonnie Baker are aiming to breathe new life into the Green Spa Network – and to grow the non-profit internationally. Jane Kitchen sits down with the GSN’s new leaders

By Jane Kitchen | Published in Spa Business 2019 issue 3


First set up in 2002, when Rancho La Puerta’s Deborah Szekely urged spas to become active in sustainability, the Green Spa Network (GSN) has found itself, 17 years later, at the forefront of a mushrooming environmental movement, as consumers become more aware of the devastating impact of modern-day living on our natural world. With a mission to promote the natural connections between personal wellbeing, economic sustainability and the health of our planet, GSN aims to help support those in the spa industry to make step-by-step changes to become more sustainable.

Last year, spa operations and marketing professional Joanna Roche joined the organisation as its new executive director, and Bonnie Baker of consultancy Satteva Wellness took the position of board president. Together, these two women are breathing fresh life into the nonprofit at what is perhaps its most critical time.

“In today’s world, we collectively face some of the greatest ecological challenges in known history, as well as some of the greatest threats to our health,” says Baker. “The shortsighted approach we’ve been living with is unsustainable and offers no resolution. It’s becoming all the more obvious, that only a deep shift in our perspective from short-term solutions to long-term regenerative practices will carry us into a healthy future.”

What are your GSN roles?
Roche: Bonnie and I are incredibly well-suited to work together – our personalities, passion and desire to inspire change in our industry make this effort a true joy for both of us. I’m strategic and tactical, while Bonnie is diplomatic and generous of spirit. Since working together, we’ve applied professional standards for operations and an entrepreneurial management style to growth and future vision.

Baker: Since Joanna first joined GSN in May of 2018, she immediately brought a sharpened focus and direction, prioritising the many programmes and goals GSN has been pursuing. Joanna and I complemented each other from the very start in the way we understand GSN’s mission, and our belief in the importance of sustainable practices for personal and planetary wellbeing.

What changes have you made so far?
Baker: There have been many changes internally, as well as in relation to our membership which includes new strategies and benefits. We’ve created new GSN events; re-branded and re-structured the website; developed a webinar series; re-structured our sponsorship packages; and evolved the board of directors to be more of an advisory board, and less of a management board. We also initiated an annual action initiative, which started last year with the goal of planting one million trees, and this year, we launched our first sustainability research, where we collect monthly surveys from our community of 5,000 members to get insight into their environmental efforts – which means we can bring of-the-moment data on green topics to the wider wellness community.

Roche: We also have a Sustainability Assessment Tool (SAT), where we can come to your business and help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions and solutions, which is great for spas or suppliers that want to learn how to become more eco-friendly in their practices, operations or manufacturing.

Why should those in the spa industry get involved with GSN?
Roche: We should all care about the sustainability of the planet, and for US$1 a day you can be a member of GSN and make a difference – whether it’s participating in the tree planting initiative, taking the SAT back to your brand or business, or engaging with thought leaders at our annual congress. Consumers are driving the demand for more sustainable solutions across the wellness industry – whether it’s plastics or packaging, they want less, and we as an industry need to listen.

Baker: Any business truly looking to participate in the experience of wellness should become involved in GSN, but especially companies which have identified sustainability in their core values, manufacturers which want to take a more environmentally or socially responsible approach, and corporate wellness divisions that are setting up standards and operating practices for multiple locations. It doesn’t matter the size or focus of a business, GSN can provide the baseline tools and resources for taking steps to become more sustainable.

What plans do you have for the future for GSN?
Baker: GSN has primarily been a US-based organisation, but we’re now looking at expanding with initiatives in the UK, Mexico and Costa Rica. In December, we’re holding our first-ever Self-Care Summit at the Kripalu Center in New York. This will be focused on caring for the caregivers, including spa managers and practitioners.

Roche: We’re also launching a new GSN Foundation, which is an independent tax-deductible nonprofit association. We’re partnering with Hutchinson Consulting on an industry job board, and launching a ‘Growing Greener’ Facebook page for members to discuss sustainability challenges and solutions. And in January, 2020, we’ll have our annual congress in Ojai, California, as well as our Sustainability Awards. The theme this year is ‘Transformation’.

Roche and Baker’s top tips for eco-friendly spas
  • Skip the plastic – bags, straws, water bottles – and reduce plastic packaging
  • Re-cycle, up-cycle, and bicycle
  • Switch to towels and linens that weigh less and require less water to wash
  • Reduce consumption (water, electricity, trash, etc)
  • Go with organic ingredients everywhere, go local where practical, go in-house when possible
From our members...
  • 28% have a sustainability officer or a green team
  • 84% say consumers are choosing brands because they are green
  • 57% say time is the biggest challenge to being green
GSN members are passionate about sustainability and the health of our planet
Upcoming GSN events

11 September 2019
GSN Breakfast, Las Vegas
Held during ISPA for the first time last year, where more than 70 people attended

27 September 2019
GSN Media Event, Rainbow Room, New York
Second annual media event to feature sustainable stories and ventures from properties and suppliers

1-3 December 2019
Self-Care Summit, Kripalu Center, New York
A first for GSN, focusing on caring for the caregivers, including spa managers, therapists and practitioners

26-29 January 2020
GSN Congress, Ojai, California
GSN’s signature event, with a theme this year of ‘Transformation’

17-20 May 2020
GSN Buyers Conference, Lake Tahoe

Sign up here to get the Spa Business and Spa Business insider weekly ezines and every issue of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines free on digital.
LATEST NEWS
Report: Leisure shift drives wellness real estate during the pandemic
Hotels with wellness revenues exceeding US$1m (€852,700, £731,700) generated nearly 75 per cent more in total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) in 2020, compared to locations with wellness revenues of less than US$1m.
Global Wellness Institute launches new initiative to bring healthy habits and wellness into the classroom
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has launched a new programme to help educators introduce young school kids to the importance and practice of physical and mental wellness.
Canyon Ranch’s first urban wellness club to debut in Texas in 2023
US wellness lifestyle brand Canyon Ranch is curating a members-only urban wellness club concept to help its guests lead healthier happier lives.
Alchemy Springs Communal Bathhouse to revive San Francisco’s social bathing culture
Alchemy Springs Communal Bathhouse, a planned hydrothermal spa located in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill neighbourhood, has announced a vision to revive the city’s bathhouse culture and provide a place for community and wellness to intersect through social bathing.
Trilogy Spa Holdings purchases spa asset management firm and its proprietary Spa Audit Service
Spa management and operations company Trilogy Spa Holdings has announced the purchase of Trinity Spa Advisors – a boutique spa asset management firm.
Healing Hotels of the World taps Marina Efraimoglou and Mahesh Natarajan to host masterclasses on healing in hospitality
Global consortium of holistic hotels, resorts and retreats Healing Hotels of the World is hosting two online webinars aimed at finding answers as to how people can travel consciously as they face the effects of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Elegant spa opens in Budapest inspired by the River Danube and its native swans
A new spa has opened in Budapest, with design influenced by the city’s historical links to thermal bathing and the graceful forms of swans.
WTS International announces Barry Goldstein as chief executive officer
Spa consultancy and management firm WTS International has today announced the appointment of Barry Goldstein as chief executive officer (CEO).
Six Senses’ first spa resort in India to open within 14th-century walled fort, formerly home to royalty
Six Senses is scheduled to open its first Indian destination in Rajasthan in mid-October 2021, complete with a 2,800sq m spa. The wellness sanctuary will be powered by Ayurveda's alternative holistic healing traditions which originated in India more than 3,000 years ago.
Temporary insolvency measures in the UK to end on 1 October
Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic will be phased out from 1 October, the government has confirmed.
Doctors in Belgium prescribe museum visits for patients struggling with pandemic stress
Patients treated for stress in the Belgian capital Brussels will be offered free visits to museums, as part of a three-month trial designed to rebuild mental health amid the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Hamlet, Robin Hood and Marie Curie inspire sauna masters at Aufguss World Championships 2021
Last week marked the eighth annual Aufguss World Championships, hosted in one of the world’s biggest saunas in Katowice, southern Poland.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Increasing staff productivity with technology
As spas reopen after more than a year of fluctuating restrictions, spa operators face a new challenge. [more...]

Introducing Esthetica’s multi-function, fully adjustable spa treatment table
Some clients look for quality. Others look for perfect design or brand. Almost all of them want a treatment table that is reasonably priced. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Pendex Fisio S.L.

The Pendex training method is based on 40 years’ of biomechanical rehabilitation protocols, collect [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

PENDEX | Simply Ingenious
It trains humans better than humans train humans. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

27-28 Sep 2021

Sothys International Summit 2021

Online,
28 Sep 2021

Wellness Real Estate & Communities Sympposium

In Person in NYC + Virtual, New York, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS