Case study: Les Mills moving toward a greener business model

Case study: Les Mills moving toward a greener business model
Les Mills, our leading fitness brand, is cutting back on energy consumption and finding other benefits at the same time.

Obtaining CEMARS certification is part of Les Mills' ongoing ambition to help the environment.

New Zealand’s leading fitness brand is running with New Zealand’s leading GHG certification programme to make a real difference to their environmental impact.

Les Mills has added internationally accredited carbon footprinting certification to its business portfolio, adding a further point of difference to its iconic brand. In fact, it’s the first fitness organisation in the world to achieve this status.

The difference is, the Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) involves less sweat and tears but it creates, like their group fitness programmes, great results. Les Mills followed a streamlined process for measuring, managing and reducing its GHG emissions (more commonly known as carbon footprint), helping the organisation to identify efficiencies and strategic opportunities.

Over the past few years Les Mills has become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of running its business. Les Mills New Zealand chief executive Reece Zondag says that while the company doesn’t put a heavy burden on the environment, every little contribution counts – just like when you’re at the gym.

“We’re keen to play our part,” Zondag says. “We were looking for a proven system based upon sound science, which carries an internationally recognised certification brand that would bring us credibility.

“CEMARS certification delivers on each of these criteria and is really setting the benchmark. Now our members can feel great at our clubs as well as feeling great about supporting sustainable business practices.”

The CEMARS certification scheme is a globally recognised greenhouse gas certification programme born right here in New Zealand. It’s now helping organisations in the UK, Chile, UAE, Australia and New Zealand train to reduce their carbon emissions waistline.

Gaining certification has helped Les Mills learn a lot about itself, Zondag says. Collecting data on business emissions was challenging, but Les Mills managed to identify areas where it could implement improvements to internal systems.

Les Mills is now implementing initiatives to reduce its emissions inventory and remove unnecessary costs, as well as running a mix of product, service and behavioural initiatives. The largest component of its inventory is from electricity and gas – the CEMARS certification process has enabled Les Mills to pinpoint areas where it can more effectively manage natural resources and reduce waste sent to landfill.

Sustainability means a lot to Les Mills, which aims to do more good than harm when it comes to the environment. The management team is pumped and sees the sustainability goal, which encompasses CEMARS certification, as a win for the business, its members, the communities in which it operates, its own people and the environment.

“Our members are telling us that they care about things like better management of waste to landfill – we always plan to exceed their expectations,” Zondag says.

“It’s important for our staff as well – they want to work in a place that cares for the community and the environment that sustains us.”

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