Friday, January 11, 2008

White Bear Racquet & Swim - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

White Bear Racquet & Swim (White Bear Lake, MN) has fully embraced sustainability.

The sustainability section of their website outlines the many initiatives that they have undertaken in their quest for a more environmentally-friendly facility. Here is a sampling:

  • They replaced incandescent lights and increased natural lighting, both of which resulted in decreased energy usage.

  • Replaced chlorine with a salt water system.

  • Replaced a five tennis court bubble with a permanent, super insulated tennis building featuring in court radiant heat, cooling and heating powered by ground source heat pumps, and a super efficient lighting system (courts 1-5 in the old bubble used $44,744 worth of natural gas to heat. During the same time, courts 6-10 in the new building used less than $300 to heat.)

  • Installed water-saving showerheads.

  • Made improvements outside, such as taking an acre of land they used to water, mow, and fertilize and restoring it to a short-grass praire.

  • Reduced waste.

  • Use local and organic foods.

  • Switched from chemicals to natural green cleaning.

  • Office furniture is made from renewable or recycled materials and can all be recycled.
White Bear Racquet & Swim was acquired in September 2007 by the "big box" of fitness centers, Life Time Fitness.

Why do we highlight sustainable and responsible businesses each week? To show the ways in which for-profit businesses are looking beyond profit and are seeking to address their environmental and social impact. Sustainability goes beyond the product sold or service offered and attempts to incorporate positive impacts through all aspects of the business. We hope to show the wide array of possibilities across various businesses and industries.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

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