1% for the Planet Business Member Whips Fitness Center Into Environmental Shape

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The Longfellow Clubs takes innovative steps to decrease energy, water, and gas usage.

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At 1% for the Planet, we applaud ‘doing good business’ by internally greening your operation as well as ‘doing good with your business’ by supporting the nonprofits that work day in and day out to be a part of the environmental solution.

In the past decade, The Longfellow Clubs, a group of sports clubs and children’s centers based in the greater Boston area, has become a national leader in the fitness industry, showing resource-intensive businesses that even a fitness center can get into environmental shape. Since 2006, The Longfellow Clubs has pioneered several practices new to the industry that prove fitness centers nationwide can successfully implement sustainability initiatives that decrease energy, water, and gas usage while remaining profitable.

In March 2013, the Natick Racquet Club, on behalf of Longfellow Clubs, joined 1% for the Planet, the world’s largest environmental network to further its environmental impact and connect with likeminded businesses. Through the company’s involvement in the network, The Natick Racquet Club supports the continued growth of the 1% for the Planet movement as well as The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN), which is committed to building local, green, and fair economies throughout the state. The Natick Racquet Club seeks the expertise of The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts on several of its internal greening efforts, a partnership that contributes to the businesses’ commitment to donate 1% of sales to environmental causes annually.

“At 1% for the Planet, we applaud ‘doing good business’ by internally greening your operation as well as ‘doing good with your business’ by supporting the nonprofits that work day in and day out to be a part of the environmental solution for our big blue planet,” said Kate Williams Director of Partnerships and New England. “Laury Hammel is a leader here and has figured out a way to do both with his support of his local SBN chapter.”

As a pioneer in several sustainable business practices, The Longfellow Clubs has made the following changes to increase the sustainability of its locations:

  • Replaced 1000-watt metal halite halide lights on the tennis courts with 500 – 700 watt inductions florescent bulbs that increase the quality and brightness while reducing wattage by 40%.
  • Decreased electricity usage in the Longfellow Natick location from 501,920 kilowatt-hour (KWH) in 2007 to 361,840 KWH in 2013.
  • Replaced all urinals with waterless urinals that have saved over 45,000 gallons of water per urinal per year.
  • Replaced all showers’ 3.5-4 gallons per minute showerheads with 2 gallons per minute showerheads, saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of water every year.
  • Decreased water usage in the Longfellow Wayland location from 255,923 average gallons/month in 2006 to 160,500 average gallons/month in 2013.

In less than a decade, The Longfellow Clubs has decreased energy, water, and gas usage each year while maintaining a strong membership base and increasing annual gross revenue. Energy savings have been significant across the board, with some energy savings as high as 64% for locations that began changes back in 2006-2007. In its most recent undertaking, The Longfellow Clubs installed tube LEDs, which have a life expectancy of over 20 years, on the center’s tennis courts in February, a change predicted to reduce energy usage by 55%.

“We are constantly looking for ways to make our health clubs more efficient,” said Laury Hammel, president of The Longfellow Clubs. “We put a lot of thought into how we approach these changes. We want to be an example for other businesses that are thinking of greening their facilities and our goal is to show them that it is possible to be both green and profitable. It is an interesting challenge to find a sustainable option that enhances the user experience, while still keeping the gym profitable. When you can find that balance, everyone wins.”


About 1% for the Planet
Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This global movement of more than 1,200 member companies in 48 countries donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide.

To learn more go to: http://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.

About the Longfellow Clubs
The Longfellow Clubs was founded in 1972 and the company has experienced continual growth in the past 42 years. Today, The Longfellow Clubs includes seven facilities in Sudbury, Wayland, Natick, and Franklin, MA and Salt Lake City, UT and is nationally recognized as the greenest health and tennis club in the United States.

To learn more about The Longfellow Clubs, please visit: http://www.longfellowclubs.com.

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Michelle Searer
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