Many people are willing to pay for sustainability, especially those with genuine purchasing power, said Green by Design President Adam Zellner. The reason why: clear-cut financial incentives. In Club Industry's latest webinar, "The Green Effect," sponsored by SportsArt, Zellner explored the ways in which health club operators can take advantage of eco-friendly incentives to broaden their customer base and reinforce bottom lines.
Zellner defined green business strategy by an egg-chicken model. Cities and states want better energy efficiency, so elected officials outline incentives that make this goal possible on a business-by-business level. (Consider LEED certifications, for example.) The benefits of going green are applicable to any health club of any size, according to Zellner. New clubs almost always need capital and investors, whereas existing clubs must continue to reduce operating costs and invest in new technology. Large franchises need to capture economies of scale, and boutiques are always seeking to attract members in unique ways.
To guarantee your success as a green business, Zellner recommended cross-selling the experience. This could mean co-locating with like-minded tenants, featuring organic meal plans, promoting ethical active-wear brands and offering discounts for green purchases.
Sacramento Eco Fitness is one brick-and-mortar example Zellner highlighted in the webinar. When it opened in December 2016, the club was the first-ever human-powered fitness facility, featuring 16 custom SportsArt indoor bikes that directly feed power back into the local grid.
Throughout the webinar, Zellner broke down how going green could translate to higher profits, quicker ROIs and more incentives. The key takeaway: green initiatives are not a flavor of the month; rather, they are here to stay.