Spa industry focused environmental sustainability survey
in conjunction with World Spa & Well-being Convention 2014
By Daniel Koeppel
The Survey was circulated during 10 days starting on February 21st until February 28th 2014 in cooperation with the organizers of the World Spa & Well-being Convention 2014, who handled the distribution of the survey questionnaire via the Thai Spa Association’s member list. The member list consists of approximately 300 Spa industry operators and Spa Managers. In addition a public link to the survey was posted on the World Spa & Well-being Convention 2014 Facebook page. Participation in the survey was 100% anonymous.
The Survey consisted of 10 questions – which where split into the following topics:
After one week of survey circulation a total of 15 respondents (5% of the total sample seize) have provided the data on which the following analysis is based.
The survey data shows that almost every respondent had been confronted with environmental sustainability aspects in the past 12 months.
Spa managers with knowledge of environmental sustainability are rated as important and so is the provision of environmental sustainability training.
Currently, however the most frequently provided training sessions are concerning P&L report analysis and cost control trainings. This provides interesting opportunities for experienced trainers of environmental sustainability who can make the connection to operational processes and vice versa.
The survey furthermore discovers that about half of the respondents consider it more than medium difficult to select an environmental sustainability certification for their Spa operation. At the same time however more than half of the survey respondents agree that a Spa with an environmental sustainability certification label possesses operational and marketing advantages upon the arrival of the AEC in 2015.
You learn early in the survey (question 6) that the reduction of waste is the professionally second most valued topic in environmental sustainability training. The survey then gives an interesting insight into what spa managers think is the % of total monthly spa operation cost they need to pay for waste and waste removal.
Finally the survey points out the need for best practice and benchmarking data access for Spa manager in relevance to water consumption per spa service provided.
46.67 % or 7 out of 15 respondents have been very frequently or extremely frequently confronted with environmental sustainability aspects in the past 12 months.
It is interesting to notice, that none of the 15 spa’s responding to the survey have not been confronted with environmental sustainability aspects in the past 12 months.
The average answer rating to this question was 7.80 out of 10. 10 being “very important & a key asset”. Alternatively only one Spa considers such know how as only one point above “not important”
The average answer rating here is 8.27 out of 10. 10 being “extremely important”. Even the lowest rated answer was that of a “medium importance”.
With 5 answers going to sustainable education being “extremely important”, with a 13% higher maximum rating.
Cost control and Profit and Loss reporting are the most frequently (73.3%) trained topics, followed by environmental sustainability aspects (60%) and then training in competitive shopping and marketing as well as administration related training.
The top 2 training topics both concern themselves with the reduction and or management of expenses.
Interestingly enough it is the 3rd most frequent training topic that combines expense reduction and communicability!
9 Respondents or 60% declared that the provision of an post training action plan how to reduce waste, water and energy would most positively influence their purchase decision for a sustainability related training.
Action plans are a step by step approach how to reduce or change processes or procedures with the objective to reduce cost or increase revenue.
With each 10 respondents considering it the top 3 valuable topics are:
It is an interesting observation that 9 respondents consider “waste and how to reduce waste” as an educationally valuable topic. This in contrast with only 4 respondents considering advances in PLA packaging of high educational value. A contrast, since PLA is one possible answer how to reduce packaging generated waste.
46.67% do consider the selection of an environmental sustainability certification as medium difficult selection.
33.33% rate it with 7 or 8 out of 10 (difficult and confusing). Only one respondent considers the selection of an spa operation specific, environmental sustainability certification as “not difficult”.
The 46.67% (7 persons) who consider the selection of an environmental sustainability certification as medium difficult create a contrast to the 73.32% or 11 out of 15 respondents who more then somewhat agree (6 or more points) that the holding of an environmental sustainability certification counts as a marketing and operational advantage with the arrival of AEC in 2015.
73.32% or 11 out of 15 respondents, more then somewhat agree (6 or more points) that the holding of an environmental sustainability certification as a marketing and operational advantage with the arrival of AEC in 2015.
Waste and Waste removal costs are what % of your monthly spa-operation cost?
Respondents could answer question 9 by supplying their own % figure. The Editor believes that all provided answers which stated a waste & waste removal cost of >5% of the total monthly Spa operation cost, are not realistic.
Therefor only 4 answers out of 15 are usable. These 4 usable answers are in the range from 1% – 5%. Underlining the need for deeper understanding of ones P&L statement and questions the effectiveness of provided P&L report analysis training. (see question 4)
Almost two third of the respondents do not have any relevant information about their water cost or feel they have about the same water consumption when compared to the water cost of their immediate competitive set.
An interesting answer when one considers that the “Competitive shopping and marketing” is a training topic provided at least once per year to spa managers. Further more it would appear that the provision of Cost control training (the most often provided training) would raise an interest of the expense levels and or water consumption of ones immediate competitive set.
One could however make the case that such information concerning expenses is not openly shared with ones competitor.
This points out the value of a certification label that offers a tool that can give a spa operator access to spa industry best practices and benchmark levels of water & energy consumption as well as waste creation.