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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Everyone’s talking about: Sustainability

Climate change, like COVID-19, presents challenges that won’t go away and demands both our immediate attention and collective efforts. Kath Hudson reports

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 10
Leisure centres and gyms are big energy consumers / photo: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock
Leisure centres and gyms are big energy consumers / photo: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock

As I write, Greenpeace activists have shut down Downing Street in London with an oil soaked statue of the British Prime Minister, following his support for climate-destroying oil field projects.

The recent oil price crisis has shown us how vulnerable our dependency on fossil fuels makes us and this summer we saw the devastating reality of the climate crisis with forest fires and floods across Europe.

Experts have said there must be no new fossil fuel projects if we’re going to stay below the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees.

While many of the world’s governments failed to act in accordance with the Paris Agreement and commitments made at COP25, the planet is moving past the tipping point and our ability to stay below two degrees – the absolute minimum required by the Paris Agreement to avoid natural catastrophe – is now in doubt. This really is everyone’s problem.

So how is the UK health and fitness industry stepping up? We ask the experts.

David Melhuish
The Gym Group
photo: the gym group

The most immediate and urgent challenge facing us all has to be the climate crisis caused by global warming. If we don’t all address this challenge with the urgency it requires then the cost, both social and economic, will be unthinkable.

Time is not on our side and there’s no environmental rabbit to be pulled out of the scientists’ hat. I don’t underestimate the difficulty of the world achieving net zero in a meaningful and substantive way within the economic system and competitive environment we all operate in, so it will take local and national leadership to step up and create the right environment for it to happen.

At The Gym Group we’ve been focused on reducing our carbon emissions for a number of years and are establishing our pathway to net zero based on the Science Based Targets Initiative (www.sciencebasedtargets.org). Any sustainability plan must be built on a solid understanding of how the business performs, so we’ve carried out a detailed carbon audit to inform our net zero strategy and build a pathway for the next 10-15 years.

We purchase all our electricity from renewable sources and publish official renewable energy certificates. With our power supplies being zero carbon at source, we only generate carbon emissions from the use of gas-fired boilers for heating water. Working closely with our supply partners, we’ve been testing and evaluating heat pump systems for a number of years and now have a standard solution for our smaller sites. With gas still being the cheapest energy utility available, we currently incur a cost for operating heat pumps but consider this worthwhile, as the environmental cost would be higher in the long term.

Our Beverley gym opened in December 2019 and was designed from the outset with energy efficiency and environmental impact in mind. Hot water is generated through a high efficiency heat pump system, so no gas is used in the gym, and with power supplied from renewable sources there’s effectively zero carbon produced in gym operation. This doesn’t mean we don’t consider how much power we consume, however, and efficiency is achieved through careful design of the main power consuming services.

All lighting is LED and we have time controls and daylight linking to minimise its operation. The primary consumers of energy are the air conditioning and ventilation systems, with weather and occupancy being the main drivers of consumption. The weather we can’t control, and we like our gyms to be busy and exciting places, so we aim to run them as efficiently as possible. Operating 24/7 also comes with its challenges, so we control the space temperature depending on the presence of people in the specific areas of the gym: the air conditioning automatically adjusts the temperature up by a few degrees if there’s no one in that particular area, reducing the energy required. Our ventilation system is also super-efficient, with low energy fans providing the air circulation and heating or cooling energy being transferred from the outgoing air to the fresh incoming air by use of a heat exchanger. Reducing water consumption is an ongoing objective. Alongside low water volume showers and self-closing taps we have a system that recovers condensate water from the air conditioning systems and uses it to flush the toilets.

For energy efficiency, it’s invaluable to understand exactly what energy is being consumed and where.

• David Melhuish is chief development and sustainability officer at The Gym Group

We’re establishing our pathway to net zero based on the Science Based Targets Initiative
Tim Mayer
MDL Fitness
photo: MDL

We aim to be the UK’s most sustainable marina and fitness operator, developing a culture of environmental awareness and care among our customers and teams.

Our first gym – opened in September – uses the SportsArt Eco-Powr range of energy-generating gym equipment to offset energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint. The flooring is made from recycled tyres, the ventilation system has heat recovery, making it more energy efficient and the gym furniture comes from a sustainable source.

We’re also investing in green energy through the rollout of solar cells, looking at the management of waste streams and the separation of recyclables. We’re currently researching and developing a range of solutions for habitat improvement and creation in disused or unusable areas of our marinas, such as the installation of artificial reefs to prevent coastal erosion and improve biodiversity in the area.

 MDL Fitness is paperless, which is a quick and easy process to adopt. It doesn’t matter if you’re running an independent or 200 plus locations, technology allows all businesses to go either completely paper free or to minimise its use. We’re also replacing our existing petrol/diesel fleet with fully electric or hybrid vehicles and providing car charging facilities for our members.

I’d like to see all the big fitness operators start talking to the green brands, improving their carbon footprint and working with change makers, such as SportsArt. Each of us can begin to make that journey to zero carbon with forward thinking ideas that are flexible enough to be developed alongside changes in government policy and fitness related legislation.

• Tim Mayer is sales and marketing director at MDL Fitness

I’d like to see all the big fitness operators start talking to the green brands and working with change makers to improve their carbon footprint
Energy-generating gym equipment helps reduce the carbon footprint / photo: MDL fitness
Luca Fini
SportsArt
photo: sportsart

Sustainability has been at the heart of the SportsArt business since inception. Our Eco-Powr cardio products convert the human energy produced during exercise into clean usable electricity products, and we’re currently working on a strength line which will do the same.

Solar panels have been installed at our manufacturing facility to cover 50 per cent of the energy demand and an articulated rainwater collection system provides water for the manufacturing process. Specially tinted windows provide natural lighting throughout the factory, without letting in heat. Sixty to 70 per cent of post-consumer paper is used for cardboard packaging for equipment.

Although being sustainable isn’t always easy, especially in the early stages of transition, our advice is to start by dividing your green path into categories to properly analyse where improvements could be made – for example, energy savings, flooring, furniture and mobility – and systematically work through them.

While adding efficient heating and cooling systems might be a long-term project, there are quick wins to start upgrading every facility: providing secure bike storage and giving members travel incentives to reduce car use, offering water bottle refill stations and composting bins, switching to eco cleaning products and LED lights and using recycled materials for flooring and mats.

A key role in being sustainable is the education of the members about the green strategies in place and how they can minimise their own impact. To this end, offering concrete incentive programmes to encourage greener habits – for example discounts based on the energy generated during their workouts, or for travelling by public transport or bike – would be extremely beneficial. Sharing objectives with members and keeping them informed about the potential of their contribution to the green cause, can make a real difference. A conscious, motivated, interested and passionate customer will personally commit to making the sustainable project a success.

• Luci Fini is EMEA marketing manager at SportsArt

A key role in being sustainable is the education of the members about the green strategies in place and how they can minimise their own impact
James Foley
Alliance Leisure Services
photo: alliance leisure

Undoubtedly, more needs to be done at all levels to make the sector more sustainable, but change is happening and at pace.

We see it in our work every day – public sport and leisure providers want to play their part in tackling the climate emergency, they just need help to achieve their ambitions.

According to the new Securing the Future of Public Sport and Leisure Services report by the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (CLOA), public sport and leisure facilities currently account for up to 40 per cent of councils’ carbon emission output (www.HCMmag.com/securing)

Ageing facilities are a huge energy drain, so investing in energy efficiency upgrades is critical to meeting net zero targets. To this end, our longstanding partner, Lancaster City Council, is building a solar farm on a disused landfill site to generate electricity for the adjacent Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.

Harrogate Borough Council has appointed Alliance Leisure to improve efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions with an ambitious targeted reduction of 50 per cent of CO2 produced each year. Repurposing Harrogate Hydro and replacing the tired Knaresborough Pool with a brand new facility are part of these works and a host of decarbonisation measures will contribute to the delivery of a BREEAM Excellent rating (www.breeam.com).

Hyndburn Borough Council is in the first phase of a consolidated investment strategy which will bring in a host of low/zero carbon technologies, including air source heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, pool air handling and pump motor upgrades to deliver a net change in greenhouse gas emissions of around 500 tonnes a year.

In addition to encouraging robust environmental protection strategies at all levels of our supply chain, we’re also implementing policies which promote energy efficiencies and reduce our carbon footprint in our own day to day business. For example, all company cars are energy efficient hybrid models and we’ve reduced electricity use and paper consumption.

We’re planting trees to offset the carbon emission we’re unable to influence and are on the journey to becoming a carbon literate organisation, along with achieving our Investors in the Environment Silver accreditation (​​www.iie.uk.com).

• James Foley is commercial director at Alliance Leisure Services

Public sport and leisure facilities currently account for up to 40% of councils’ carbon emission output
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre will be powered by a solar farm built on a landfill site / photo: alliance leisure
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/869265_152021.jpg
Climate change is causing devastation. HCM talks to innovators across the sector about inspiring solutions
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Are you on board with the metaverse or is it something to leave to the tech team? Kath Hudson investigates
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From VR to personalisation, here’s what we can expect to see in wellness in the coming months, says Lauren McAlister
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Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging explains the latest research into opportunities in the active-ageing sector
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There was little evidence of any legacy of improved PE teaching in England’s primary school sector
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Sponsored
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HCM People
“I wanted to bring real kickbox training to the average person in the most convenient format, while taking out the worst part – getting punched in the face!”
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Editor's letter
For years the sector has used participation numbers as a measure of success, but policymakers are now calling for a change to measuring outcomes, so value can be established
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Research
New research from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne has found that heart patients benefit from resistance training
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Policy
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Directory
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Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
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25-28 Oct 2022
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Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Everyone’s talking about: Sustainability

Climate change, like COVID-19, presents challenges that won’t go away and demands both our immediate attention and collective efforts. Kath Hudson reports

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 10
Leisure centres and gyms are big energy consumers / photo: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock
Leisure centres and gyms are big energy consumers / photo: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock

As I write, Greenpeace activists have shut down Downing Street in London with an oil soaked statue of the British Prime Minister, following his support for climate-destroying oil field projects.

The recent oil price crisis has shown us how vulnerable our dependency on fossil fuels makes us and this summer we saw the devastating reality of the climate crisis with forest fires and floods across Europe.

Experts have said there must be no new fossil fuel projects if we’re going to stay below the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees.

While many of the world’s governments failed to act in accordance with the Paris Agreement and commitments made at COP25, the planet is moving past the tipping point and our ability to stay below two degrees – the absolute minimum required by the Paris Agreement to avoid natural catastrophe – is now in doubt. This really is everyone’s problem.

So how is the UK health and fitness industry stepping up? We ask the experts.

David Melhuish
The Gym Group
photo: the gym group

The most immediate and urgent challenge facing us all has to be the climate crisis caused by global warming. If we don’t all address this challenge with the urgency it requires then the cost, both social and economic, will be unthinkable.

Time is not on our side and there’s no environmental rabbit to be pulled out of the scientists’ hat. I don’t underestimate the difficulty of the world achieving net zero in a meaningful and substantive way within the economic system and competitive environment we all operate in, so it will take local and national leadership to step up and create the right environment for it to happen.

At The Gym Group we’ve been focused on reducing our carbon emissions for a number of years and are establishing our pathway to net zero based on the Science Based Targets Initiative (www.sciencebasedtargets.org). Any sustainability plan must be built on a solid understanding of how the business performs, so we’ve carried out a detailed carbon audit to inform our net zero strategy and build a pathway for the next 10-15 years.

We purchase all our electricity from renewable sources and publish official renewable energy certificates. With our power supplies being zero carbon at source, we only generate carbon emissions from the use of gas-fired boilers for heating water. Working closely with our supply partners, we’ve been testing and evaluating heat pump systems for a number of years and now have a standard solution for our smaller sites. With gas still being the cheapest energy utility available, we currently incur a cost for operating heat pumps but consider this worthwhile, as the environmental cost would be higher in the long term.

Our Beverley gym opened in December 2019 and was designed from the outset with energy efficiency and environmental impact in mind. Hot water is generated through a high efficiency heat pump system, so no gas is used in the gym, and with power supplied from renewable sources there’s effectively zero carbon produced in gym operation. This doesn’t mean we don’t consider how much power we consume, however, and efficiency is achieved through careful design of the main power consuming services.

All lighting is LED and we have time controls and daylight linking to minimise its operation. The primary consumers of energy are the air conditioning and ventilation systems, with weather and occupancy being the main drivers of consumption. The weather we can’t control, and we like our gyms to be busy and exciting places, so we aim to run them as efficiently as possible. Operating 24/7 also comes with its challenges, so we control the space temperature depending on the presence of people in the specific areas of the gym: the air conditioning automatically adjusts the temperature up by a few degrees if there’s no one in that particular area, reducing the energy required. Our ventilation system is also super-efficient, with low energy fans providing the air circulation and heating or cooling energy being transferred from the outgoing air to the fresh incoming air by use of a heat exchanger. Reducing water consumption is an ongoing objective. Alongside low water volume showers and self-closing taps we have a system that recovers condensate water from the air conditioning systems and uses it to flush the toilets.

For energy efficiency, it’s invaluable to understand exactly what energy is being consumed and where.

• David Melhuish is chief development and sustainability officer at The Gym Group

We’re establishing our pathway to net zero based on the Science Based Targets Initiative
Tim Mayer
MDL Fitness
photo: MDL

We aim to be the UK’s most sustainable marina and fitness operator, developing a culture of environmental awareness and care among our customers and teams.

Our first gym – opened in September – uses the SportsArt Eco-Powr range of energy-generating gym equipment to offset energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint. The flooring is made from recycled tyres, the ventilation system has heat recovery, making it more energy efficient and the gym furniture comes from a sustainable source.

We’re also investing in green energy through the rollout of solar cells, looking at the management of waste streams and the separation of recyclables. We’re currently researching and developing a range of solutions for habitat improvement and creation in disused or unusable areas of our marinas, such as the installation of artificial reefs to prevent coastal erosion and improve biodiversity in the area.

 MDL Fitness is paperless, which is a quick and easy process to adopt. It doesn’t matter if you’re running an independent or 200 plus locations, technology allows all businesses to go either completely paper free or to minimise its use. We’re also replacing our existing petrol/diesel fleet with fully electric or hybrid vehicles and providing car charging facilities for our members.

I’d like to see all the big fitness operators start talking to the green brands, improving their carbon footprint and working with change makers, such as SportsArt. Each of us can begin to make that journey to zero carbon with forward thinking ideas that are flexible enough to be developed alongside changes in government policy and fitness related legislation.

• Tim Mayer is sales and marketing director at MDL Fitness

I’d like to see all the big fitness operators start talking to the green brands and working with change makers to improve their carbon footprint
Energy-generating gym equipment helps reduce the carbon footprint / photo: MDL fitness
Luca Fini
SportsArt
photo: sportsart

Sustainability has been at the heart of the SportsArt business since inception. Our Eco-Powr cardio products convert the human energy produced during exercise into clean usable electricity products, and we’re currently working on a strength line which will do the same.

Solar panels have been installed at our manufacturing facility to cover 50 per cent of the energy demand and an articulated rainwater collection system provides water for the manufacturing process. Specially tinted windows provide natural lighting throughout the factory, without letting in heat. Sixty to 70 per cent of post-consumer paper is used for cardboard packaging for equipment.

Although being sustainable isn’t always easy, especially in the early stages of transition, our advice is to start by dividing your green path into categories to properly analyse where improvements could be made – for example, energy savings, flooring, furniture and mobility – and systematically work through them.

While adding efficient heating and cooling systems might be a long-term project, there are quick wins to start upgrading every facility: providing secure bike storage and giving members travel incentives to reduce car use, offering water bottle refill stations and composting bins, switching to eco cleaning products and LED lights and using recycled materials for flooring and mats.

A key role in being sustainable is the education of the members about the green strategies in place and how they can minimise their own impact. To this end, offering concrete incentive programmes to encourage greener habits – for example discounts based on the energy generated during their workouts, or for travelling by public transport or bike – would be extremely beneficial. Sharing objectives with members and keeping them informed about the potential of their contribution to the green cause, can make a real difference. A conscious, motivated, interested and passionate customer will personally commit to making the sustainable project a success.

• Luci Fini is EMEA marketing manager at SportsArt

A key role in being sustainable is the education of the members about the green strategies in place and how they can minimise their own impact
James Foley
Alliance Leisure Services
photo: alliance leisure

Undoubtedly, more needs to be done at all levels to make the sector more sustainable, but change is happening and at pace.

We see it in our work every day – public sport and leisure providers want to play their part in tackling the climate emergency, they just need help to achieve their ambitions.

According to the new Securing the Future of Public Sport and Leisure Services report by the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (CLOA), public sport and leisure facilities currently account for up to 40 per cent of councils’ carbon emission output (www.HCMmag.com/securing)

Ageing facilities are a huge energy drain, so investing in energy efficiency upgrades is critical to meeting net zero targets. To this end, our longstanding partner, Lancaster City Council, is building a solar farm on a disused landfill site to generate electricity for the adjacent Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.

Harrogate Borough Council has appointed Alliance Leisure to improve efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions with an ambitious targeted reduction of 50 per cent of CO2 produced each year. Repurposing Harrogate Hydro and replacing the tired Knaresborough Pool with a brand new facility are part of these works and a host of decarbonisation measures will contribute to the delivery of a BREEAM Excellent rating (www.breeam.com).

Hyndburn Borough Council is in the first phase of a consolidated investment strategy which will bring in a host of low/zero carbon technologies, including air source heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, pool air handling and pump motor upgrades to deliver a net change in greenhouse gas emissions of around 500 tonnes a year.

In addition to encouraging robust environmental protection strategies at all levels of our supply chain, we’re also implementing policies which promote energy efficiencies and reduce our carbon footprint in our own day to day business. For example, all company cars are energy efficient hybrid models and we’ve reduced electricity use and paper consumption.

We’re planting trees to offset the carbon emission we’re unable to influence and are on the journey to becoming a carbon literate organisation, along with achieving our Investors in the Environment Silver accreditation (​​www.iie.uk.com).

• James Foley is commercial director at Alliance Leisure Services

Public sport and leisure facilities currently account for up to 40% of councils’ carbon emission output
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre will be powered by a solar farm built on a landfill site / photo: alliance leisure
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/869265_152021.jpg
Climate change is causing devastation. HCM talks to innovators across the sector about inspiring solutions
Latest News
World Gym International has launched a strength-only gym concept, which it says will cater for ...
Latest News
A new open water swimming venue will has been launched in the heart of Canary ...
Latest News
Peter Roberts, former CEO and founder of Pure Gym, has invested in Another Round, a ...
Latest News
Fitness markets around the globe are demonstrating "reassuring signs of recovery" following the pandemic disruptions ...
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL, has pushed back on Tower Hamlet Council’s decision to take ...
Latest News
Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona. ...
Latest News
Easton Leisure Centre in the UK has announced a 100 per cent reduction in heating ...
Latest News
The Gym Group saw its membership grow by 10 per cent during the first six ...
Latest News
Mindbody has announced that Fritz Lanman will become the company’s new CEO from 3 September ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Peloton Commercial partners with Oracle Red Bull Racing to power high-performance fitness and wellbeing facility
Operating at the extreme edge of performance, a race team requires every element and working part to function at its very best – and that includes its people.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
It was a night to remember at the 2022 ukactive Awards for Parkwood Leisure, as the leisure facilities operator picked up four awards.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: Serco Leisure
Serco Leisure Operating Limited is one of the UK’s leading national operators of leisure centres, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Perfect Gym Solutions S.A.
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safespace – Star treatment
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Énergie Fitness appoints Technogym as equipment partner
Peter Croney CEO of Empowered Brands, owners of Énergie Fitness Group, today announced the appointment of Technogym as one of its primary equipment partners to help power Energie’s international expansion over the next decade.
Directory
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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