Holidays are over for many and getting in shape at gym is on the top list to better tackle the return to daily routine. But can you train and be sustainable at the same time? The answer is definitely Yes. Our actions have an impact on the environment so that we can act to be more efficient to foster green fitness while working out or running a gym. Sustainable Development is far from being something abstract pushing everyone to take action to protect natural ecosystems in every element.
Green initiatives, sustainable business management, reduced-impact products and services, net-zero energy are some of the major trends of the moment. Their effectiveness depends on various elements starting from the motivation of those who practice sport or work in the field, like personal trainers, sports coaches, gym managers, manufacturers of sports machinery and producers of dietary food products and supplements. Luckily, this community is generally predisposed to encourage the well-being of the environment. However, much can be done to make us more eco-conscious while 'jumping jacks'.
Fitness and sports industry are introducing more and more good practices and technological innovations worldwide to reduce the carbon footprint.
Fitness and sports industry are introducing more and more good practices and technological innovations worldwide to reduce the carbon footprint. In March 2023, the Sport Environment and Climate Coalition (SECC) was launched by key actors to encourage facilities located in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to achieve net-zero goals and raise awareness on climate change and environmental issues. The most popular Gold’s Gym® club in Berlin, everely menaced by COVID crisis, reopened in 2021 as a pioneering sports facility equipped with sustainable interior design elements and indoor plants and trees together with a fit-bicycle area generating clean power. Their efforts have been rewarded with the prestigious LEED Platinum certification. A decade before, The Green Microgym was inaugurated in Oregon (United States) considered as the first ecological gym in the world. Being energy self-sufficient thanks to the only contribution of customers' human energy while training was at the core of this ambitious project by the will of its founder, Adam Boesel. Mission accomplished thanks to the development of high tech able convert movement into electricity through spin bikes, steppers, treadmills etc. The sports equipment market would no longer be like before bypassing the "business as usual" model. If properly used, eco-friendly equipment can cover up to 80% of the energy needs of a gym, including lighting, machinery and heating power needs.
Fitness and sport industry are tackling major assets of reducing energy consumption, fighting against waste production and reducing pollution.
Sustainable principles are an integral part of company values at Terra Hale an innovative series of fitness clubs in London known as prior eco-friendly sport centres. All training spaces generate a novel ecosystem made of environmentally friendly devices like recycled wood, converted rubber, biodegradable fabrics and live flora flourishing from ceiling to pavement, strengthened by the natural light that filters in all environments.
Driven by the growing demand of millennials and Gen Z, some companies have specialised in the creation of green generation 3.0 gyms like Biofit, a British interior design start-up based in England, offering a comprehensive approach to build up biophilic-furniture gyms to guarantee clean air, healing ambience and natural aromatherapy.
Increasing attention is also paid to the end-of-life of sports machinery that increasingly fall into recycling programs or solidarity and art projects pro developing countries.
In the footsteps of the International Olympic Committee particularly sensitive to promote sustainability principles within Olympic Games, we can make a difference even by training in the gym near home supported by the whole community of sport lovers.
Fitness and sport industry are tackling major assets of reducing energy consumption, fighting against waste production and reducing pollution. The carbon footprint measuring the total amount of greenhouse gases produced in all steps of a product or service life needs to be under regulator care in every gym that aims at becoming more sustainable. Corporate guidelines and clever communication plans addressed to both internal staff and clients are keystones to hit the edge to encourage change of thinking towards energy-saving measures. Reporting regularly on the achievements and what should be implemented helps engaging the team and the audience in the green fit cause. Incentives offered by decision makers in charge of the local regulatory framework can play as further drivers to facilitate energy-efficiency standards by improving insulation, reducing energy and water use, promoting soft mobility and carpooling to reach sport facilities, producing clean energy, installing water bottle filling stations while choosing plastic-free packaging and recycling containers.
In the footsteps of the International Olympic Committee particularly sensitive to promote sustainability principles within Olympic Games, we can make a difference even by training in the gym near home supported by the whole community of sport lovers. If we succeed in achieving common goals to protect the environment while understanding their benefits, to keep fit will never be so healthy. ***
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing