Spas | Credit: Hans Vivek on Unsplash

This standard was revised in 2013 with the help of staff from the Green Spa Network, an industry task force and a two month long public comment period.

All standards are required unless noted. Standards noted as preferred are preferred for the green level Green Business Certification, but mandatory for companies seeking or holding the gold level Green Business Certification.

Restored & Protected Environment


Treatment products used by staff and available for sale to customers

  • Made without synthetic fragrances or musks, dyes, petrolatum, paraffin phthalates, or parabens
  • Third party certified as not tested on animals (Third party preferred, products not tested on animals regardless of certification is required)
  • For non-spa treatment products available for sale, at least half made with ingredients/materials that are at least 50% local, fair trade certified, or certified organic


  • Install renewable energy water heating systems, i.e. solar, waste heat, geothermal
  • Use of sustainable equipment and materials use in operations, including spa textiles and linens, massage tables, vintage and reclaimed furniture, exercise machines, etc.
  • Use sanitizers for equipment that do not contain chlorine or triclosan
  • Source paper goods with recycled content including office paper, toilet paper and paper towels
  • Exclusive use of reusable cups, plates and cutlery for staff and clients (no disposables)


  • Sustainable laundering of linens including phosphate, petroleum, and synthetic fragrance free detergents, fabric softeners, and whiteners
  • Laundry uses cold water and the least amount of water possible
  • Use sustainable, non-toxic, and/or non-chemical water treatment strategies in all water based therapies including swimming pools, hot tubs, nail care (saline instead of chlorine or bromine)
  • Install pool cover systems to reduce night-time water and heat loss
  • Protocols, employee training, and regular use of non-toxic cleaning and sanitation products


Treatment products used by staff and available for sale to customers

  • Made without ethoxylated compounds, petroleum-based chemicals such as dimethcione, butylene glycol, propylene glycol

Social & Economic Justice


  • Company social and environmental mission and vision statement prominently displayed
  • Statement on the company’s desire to be a standard bearer for best practices in the spa industry incorporated  into company mission statement
  • Minimum and detailed set of environmental and labor criteria/standards


  • Policies that encourage a nourishing work culture, including job flexibility, work/ life balance and employee healing aspirations
  • Offer location dependent living wage to all employees including lowest paid
  • Regular employee training and development practices in core work and sustainability
  • Educational materials offered to clients on environmentally and socially preferable product/service offerings and industry best practices

 Policy and Process

  • Annual goals/action plans for sustainable improvement projects in service chain and company operations
  • Shared documents include regularly updated metrics by which successes and in progress work is measured
  • Annual reassessment of priorities/goals/action plans for sustainability improvement projects in service chain and company operations
  • Involvement in local community through hiring, sourcing, and supporting activities using volunteer time, financial resources, use of office space, etc.
  • Involvement in local or national organization supporting community building