Can Your Health Club Save Money by Going Green?

Going green isn’t just good for the environment—it’s good for your bottom line. Here’s how you can save by choosing green products and services, from lighting to cleaning supplies.

There are many reasons health club operators may be interested in going green. In addition to the environmental benefits, buying green or “environmentally preferable products” (EPP), offer safer alternatives that are often non-toxic to humans and animals. And today more than ever, going green presents an excellent opportunity to reduce costs and waste.

We talked to Grainger and APPI Energy—two of IHRSA’s Group Purchasing suppliers—to learn more about how health clubs could benefit from going green.

The Financial Benefits of Going Green

Commercial buildings account for 36% of all U.S. electricity consumption and cost more than $190 billion in energy every year, according to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. What’s more, on average 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted, presenting building owners and managers a huge opportunity for operating cost savings.

“Green products offer many ways to reduce energy consumption,” says Jeff Metherd, Grainger’s senior strategy manager of sustainability & emergency preparedness. “Many utilities in the U.S. offer rebates and incentives tied to energy efficient products and Grainger offers a Midstream Utility Rebate Program to help eligible customers take advantage of these opportunities.”

Another opportunity for cost savings is switching to LED lights.

“The savings delivered from LED lighting is provided by the reduction of kWh usage as well as ongoing maintenance savings,” says Kathryn Allen, marketing services manager at APPI Energy. “LED lighting uses up to 80% less electricity than current lighting technology. This translates directly into significant ongoing cost reductions.

“Additionally, many utilities provide generous rebates to assist with the upfront project costs. LED lighting lasts up to 6 times longer than traditional florescent lights and are they generally guaranteed for a minimum of 5 years. This reduces ongoing maintenance costs to $0.”

Green Products for Health Clubs, from Lighting to Cleaning

Both Grainger and APPI Energy offer green solutions that could save your club money, reduce waste, and benefit the environment.

“At APPI Energy, our goal is to provide a greater savings to the member than the cost of the project, translating to a short ROI,” says Allen. “One of the greatest contributors to a short ROI is how many hours a client uses their lights. Health clubs are normally open long hours to provide convenient access to their customers and they generally have outdated high wattage lighting currently installed.”

APPI Energy’s turnkey LED program allows businesses to replace their inefficient lighting with new money saving LED lighting while APPI Energy manages the project end to end.

“Many clients can pay for the upgrade and also see savings in your budgeted funds every month,” Allen says. “We will perform a no-cost, no-obligation initial site survey to see if your organization is eligible for rebate incentives.

“In addition to LED retrofitting, energy efficiency assessments may also be completed, renewable energy generation, and solutions to assist your organization in increasing sustainability by sourcing renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydro power, or geothermal energy. An integrated energy assessment to determine the best option for you, may be best for you.”

At Grainger, the two leading green product categories are lighting and cleaning.

“Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to reduce energy costs,” says Metherd. “Grainger offers more than 5,800 lighting products in our EPP portfolio carrying trusted certifications such as Energy Star and Design Lights Consortium.”

Another option worth considering are green cleaning programs, which aim to clean effectively while minimizing negative impacts on health and the environment, according to Metherd.

“Grainger currently offers nearly 2,000 green cleaning products to help our customers implement their green cleaning programs,” he says.

Going Green with Grainger and APPI Energy

Facilities wind power stock column

If you’re thinking of how to incorporate green products and energy into your club, Grainger and APPI Energy are the best places to start—especially if you’re an IHRSA member. Both companies participate in IHRSA’s Group Purchasing program, which enables our members to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on licensing, housekeeping and appliances, utilities, and more.

So, how can you get started and choose the green offerings that are right for your club?

On, any product search can be filtered to identify green alternatives that may be available.

“We provide transparency to customers in terms of why products are identified as environmentally preferable,” says Metherd. “For each product in our EPP portfolio we identify the environmental certification or attribute within the technical specifications for that item. Customers can then make their own determination of whether certain products meet their defined ‘green’ goals. And finally, environmental claims on all items are evaluated and validated through our ongoing partnership with UL Environmental.”

And with APPI, health club operators can schedule a simple no-cost, no-obligation site survey that can provide you with an overview of all savings, rebates, tax credits, and any no-upfront-cost funding opportunities that you can take advantage of to drastically improve the look and efficiency of your club.

“Speak with your APPI Energy Consultant about our powerful and holistic energy management solutions to explore ways to reduce energy demand, reduce energy costs and increase your energy resiliency and sustainability,” says Allen.

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Marianne Aiello

Marianne Aiello previously served as IHRSA's Senior Digital Content Manager—a position focused on crafting and monitoring IHRSA’s digital strategy and covering IHRSA events.