How to make your spa more sustainable

Sustainable Spa of the Year is a new category in the World Spa & Wellness Awards and judges were blown away by some of the impressive initiatives from the international spas that entered. Here is just a taster of some of the innovations that helped our six finalists make it through to the shortlist.

Fivelements Retreat, Bali, Indonesia


Fivelements Retreat illustrates its commitment to sustainability through focussing on its three pillars: environmental awareness, believing a basic understanding of natural and social systems is integral to a sustainable relationship with one’s environment; social sustainability, committed to continuous cooperation and an open dialogue with the local village of Baturning, and Bali as a whole; and zero net impact, whereby it is committed to minimising the impact of construction and any disturbances on site by offsetting it with positive action either at Fivelements Retreat Bali or through its outreach programmes.

The team at Fivelements sees community participation as a main resource for ensuring sustainability and has a steady calendar of contribution, work groups, social projects and ceremonies with the neighbouring village of Baturning, as well as two annual donations to local and international social projects.


Green Spa Resort, Stanglwirt, Tirol, Austria

Green Spa Resort

Green Spa Resort converts the mountain water of Wilden Kaiser into energy, through an innovative heat pump system that converts the energy of the water to be used as the energy source for the spa and wellness area, and the air-conditioning in storerooms, offices and conference rooms. This system is extremely efficient, running with zero emission and saving approximately 1,000 litres of heating oil.

Using natural resources and organic farming is also a crucial element for the resort. Green Spa Resort produces all its own milk, curd cheese, butter, yoghurt, cheese and bread, and processes about 6950kg of beef in its own butchery.

Since it has its own water source form the Kaiser spring, Green Spa Resort can also handle all its laundry, about 3 tonnes daily, in house, in a sustainable way.


Jiva Spa, The Taj Mahal Mumbai, India

Jiva Spa

Jiva Spa has brought sustainability into the establishment through a series of small steps that equate to a more environmentally friendly hotel. It has introduced Eco Pens, in place of conventional pens throughout. This pen is made of recycled paper, and has got basil seeds in it, once the pen in used it can be planted and a basil plant will grow.

The resort has stopped selling sunscreens and introduced the Tan Ban by Skin Project scarf, a scarf made of natural bamboo with will give wearers UBA and UVB protection.

Jiva Spa has stopped serving drinks in plastic bottles, and stopped using plastic bags completely, instead using only jute bags for retail. Additionally, rain and STP (sewage treatment plant) water is used for cooling towers, flushing systems and gardening, and energy-efficient pumps have been installed.


The Day Spa @ Jorja James, NSW, Australia

The Day Spa @ Jorja James

The Day Spa @ Jorja James is built on the philosophy of reduce, reuse, recycle. Throughout the spa, there is a variety of pre-loved or reclaimed pieces that harmonise with the spa’s practice of sustainability. From the reclaimed doors that welcome guests into the spa, the reception desk that evolved from an old bedhead, to the up-cycled kitchen salvaged from a knockdown, the day spa has worked around the existing structure, designing and fitting out the spa, while being as environmentally conscious as possible.

The Day Spa @ Jorja James accepts responsibility for the harmful effects its operations have on both the local and global environment, and is committed to reducing them through setting targets and implementing staff training programmes to raise awareness and enlist support in its sustainable mission.


The Scarlet, Newquay, UK

The Scarlet

The Scarlet has put in place a range of clever initiatives to be more sustainable. To reduce vehicle traffic, the spa has combined orders with its sister spa, reducing deliveries of general monthly requirements by 50%. Additionally, all its own brand products are shipped in bulk just three times a year to greatly reduce their environmental footprint.

The Scarlet has also been able to remove most chemical products through using oxygenated water for cleaning. The solution is environmentally friendly and cost effective, bringing monthly cleaning costs down by 50% and cutting the use of single use plastic on site by 90%. A UV filter has been installed on the outdoor pool at The Scarlet, maintaining cleanliness without the need for chemicals and allowing lilies to thrive, enabling a wild swimming feel.


Titanic Spa, Yorkshire, UK

Titanic Spa

Titanic Spa aims to set a new standard for eco builds. It has renewable energy generation through solar photovoltaic roof panels which convert light directly into electricity, low U value windows virtually eliminate draughts and thermal mass means that the property doesn’t overheat in summer and retains a comfortable temperature during the winter months.

Titanic Spa also has its own natural water source found 100m below the spa, which provides fresh drinking water as well as bathing water for the plunge pool, salt-regulated swimming pool, showers and ice experience. Furthermore, the site uses an OTEX laundry system, which while washing on a cool temperature, delivers continuous ozonated water to the linen, leaving it 100% disinfected and eliminating the need to transport the laundry to another facility.

The winners of all categories of the World Spa & Wellness Awards 2020 will be announced live online on November 16, 2020, at 1pm GMT. To watch live, just mark yourself as attending on the Facebook event here to be notified for updates then join us live on the day