COP 26: hair and beauty takes action to save the planet!

COP26: what are hair salons doing to cut CO2 emissions, reduce waste and save nature?

The Glasgow Climate Pact was finally signed on Saturday evening 13th November. COP26 President Alok Sharma described the closing of the summit as a “fragile win” and he was reduced to tears after a last-minute intervention from India and China weakened the effort to end the use of coal power. Fossil fuel really was a big sticking point. It is generally agreed that the pledges on emission cuts fell short on what is required to limited global heating to 1.5 degrees, although this target is still possible. Climate finance was left with much unresolved and developing countries left the summit without the funds they will need to manage the effects of climate change or to move to cleaner energy. The day 1 agreement on stopping deforestation looked good until some countries rowed back on their commitments as early as day 2!

On a positive note, most commentators agree that ,despite shortcomings, COP26 is a major step forward.

What is also very clear is that saving the planet can not be left to governments alone. Both the public and business will need to play a massive part in the programme of change that is required to prevent the climate and nature crisis we all face.

So how can hair salons play their part? Can our industry make a significant contribution? UK hair salons and barber shops emit more CO2 than many small countries and that is not counting the CO2 emissions from our salons’ supply chain – in other words the large and small manufacturers who sell us products. And all the other businesses who depend on salons. So we most definitely can make a difference.

Each and every salon can play its part. The no brainer action is switch to green energy and do it now. Other obvious actions include reduce chemical waste, reduce use of paper and card in stationery and packaging and reduce single use plastic in the salon to zero. Use the train for business travel, don’t take internal UK flights! Examine the sustainable credentials of your product supplier ( and others too, from loo paper to coffee to towels) and change them if necessary! If a brand is part of the problem then don’t do business with them. So many brands in our industry are making real changes to be sustainable and ethical. They deserve our business.

What is the British Beauty Council doing?

The British Beauty Council Sustainable Beauty Coalition have published two ground breaking reports on beauty and sustainability and greenwashing respectively. “The Courage to Change” and “The Planet Positive Beauty Guide”. These are must reads and you can find links to them here

Salons and nature!

It is sometimes overlooked that reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere sufficiently to restrict climate heating to 1.5 degrees more than pre-industrial levels, will be impossible without nature. The oceans, forests, peat bogs and other habitats are what absorb and retain all the CO2 we emit! Whilst salons don’t often have gardens and roofs that can be looked after with nature in mind (wildlife gardening, green roofs, etc), we can make a positive impact. The best plan is to simply be more sustainable- reduce energy and CO2 , reduce packaging both plastic and paper/card, reduce chemical waste, buy products from sustainable suppliers, etc – and help save forests, oceans and the nature that lives there. Living forests and seas full of wildlife absorb more CO2 than “dead” seas (eg Pacific gyre) and “dead” plantations of the wrong trees in the wrong place.
And of course, support your local wildlife trust with donations and sponsorship and by organising team building days with your team. The Conservation Volunteers can also help with this.

Salon Re:Source get it here! Simple, step by step actions all salon owners can take, starting today. It’s easy! Well some of it is!

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