Spa Business issue 3 2019

Page 88


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

irst 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

O nly a d e e p sh i f t i n ou r p e rsp e c t ive f rom sho r t- te r m solut i ons to lo ng- te r m re g e ne ra t ive prac t i ce s w i l l ca r r y us in to a heal t hy f ut ure

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 wellsuited 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

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

Roche (left) and Baker (right) want to expand GSN to the UK, Mexico and Costa Rica 88

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