Case: Élan Hair Design
Having created a niche position for itself in a fiercely competitive local market, Élan Hair Design has worked tirelessly to improve upon its position as ‘the UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon.’
Key to this innovative approach has been a commitment to incorporate almost every conceivable environmentally-friendly initiative – as demonstrated by a major ‘green’ refurbishment of its Inverurie town centre salon, completed in 2012.
The ongoing project includes the use of recyclable materials; PV panels to generate electricity and solar thermal panels to provide energy for hot water; LED lighting that uses 80% less electricity; and, an air-source heat pump, saving 80% on heating costs.
The salon understandably uses large volumes of water but thanks to the installation of a new basin system, water consumption has fallen by 64%.
Élan has also made substantial reductions in its carbon emissions and the amount of waste it sends to landfill. This includes sending customers’ hair clippings, along with other biodegradable waste, to be spread as compost on local farmers’ fields.
The business, established more than 40 years ago, is led by Lorna and Gordon Milton along with their daughters Lanice and Lauren.
Lorna Milton, owner and director of Élan Hair Design, said: “We made the decision to implement the new eco-friendly approach on the back of customer feedback which indicated they wanted a greener and more sustainable service.
“Since then the business has grown significantly with increased turnover as well as a rise in the number of customers visiting our salon.
“We have continued to make major inroads into reducing our environmental impact. This includes putting in place initiatives which have seen us reduce our carbon emissions by 90% and increase the amount of the salon’s waste successfully diverted from landfill to 95%.
“We believe these changes will help ensure the long-term success of the business.”
Élan Hair Design is unique, not only in the north-east of Scotland, but in the wider UK market too. Indeed, the environmental and commercial benefits gained by Élan could act as a template for other like-minded businesses throughout the country to follow.