In Oxford, England, salon owner Anne Veck is very proud to preside over the country’s first and only certified Carbon Neutral salon, an achievement helped in part by an entire salon refit to incorporate clean, recycled energy to power the business.
Together with business partner, Keith, Anne has now launched a sustainable salon toolkit, named Salon Re:Source to help other salons do their bit towards creating a more environmentally-sound hairdressing industry. It consists of a three-part checklist of actions to take, broken down into Quick Wins (easy, cheap, quick ways to improve); Next Steps (changes that involve more time and expense but bigger payoffs) and Major Changes (large-scale investments and lifestyle changes for maximum impact). As well as practical tips and advice, the toolkit is packed with recommendations for suppliers, brands, support systems and accreditation options.
“It’s clear now that business as usual is not an option,” explains Anne. “The world is facing emergencies in health, human rights, climate change and extinction – but what can we do? It can seem that the problems in the world today are so big that the only thing to do is to go ostrich and bury your head in the sand. However, because we are in the hairdressing industry, we actually have the power to make a real difference. Salons and barber shops use huge amounts of energy, water, plastic and chemicals and we produce large amounts of waste, too. UK salons on their own produce roughly the same volume of carbon emissions as a small country! On the plus side, this means we have the potential to have a huge impact if we do things differently.
“At Anne Veck Oxford, we have been trying to make a difference by reducing demand for energy, lowering the salon’s energy use, meeting our reduced energy needs from renewable sources, reducing our own and our clients’ carbon footprints, reducing waste through more efficient systems and using ethical and sustainable products and packaging whenever possible. Anything we can do, you can do too, which is why we produced Salon Re:Source to make it easier for salons to make their own businesses more sustainable and ethical.
“We believe that we are now trading in a world where being kind to our fellow humans and the earth resonates with our clients, and is the key to commercial success. The changes we have made have not just had a positive impact on the world, but on our business too. For us, success means being profitable, while being sustainable. Becoming a sustainable salon is a journey. We are all where we are, rather than where we’d like to be, on this – so do what you can, but start now!”
You can start from the top and work through all of the actions, or you can dip in and out, keeping a record of what you’ve done.
The things you can do are grouped into three sections:
-Easy, low-cost, quick wins
-Next steps that require a little more effort and cost
-Major changes that require bigger investments in time and money.
To find out more about Salon Re:Source CLICK HERE