Albert Visser, Parklands
After a month of complaining with management in the Virgin Active gym (Parklands) to get them to interact with the customers to save water, they have managed to put up two small stickers.
I go to the gym regularly and would find people showering much longer than required.
They would just stand under the shower for a substantial amount of time and do nothing.
After my engagement with them I am frustrated because I know they must have a large water bill (and are probably exempted from some kind of limit because of the nature of their business).
When I first engaged with them as to why they do not interact with the customers to assist in saving water, the comment was: “Wow that is a great idea”, then the excuse was we have to get headquarters approval and eventually I was informed they will put up stickers.
I am not sure why they do not take action. I have asked them today if they know what their water consumption is and they did not have a clue. It is clear that they do not have any responsibility to contribute to the water crisis we have. Maybe an article would wake them up more than I could.
It is really disgusting that a brand like Virgin Active has so little social responsibility.
* Les Aupiais, Head of Strategic Communications: Virgin active Health Clubs, South Africa responds:
Water is critical to the efficient and healthy/hygienic operating of a health club but in times of a shortage of this precious resource, Virgin Active not only reminds members about water saving via signage but we also send out regular newsletters to our membership base detailing what we are doing and also suggesting water-saving tips.
We were also one of the first companies to support and include our members in the national water crisis initiative, Operation Hydrate.
At the same time, we take water saving in our clubs very seriously but as these initiatives happen behind the scenes, it is not always easy for members to observe our efforts – such as reducing the number of backwashes on all our pools, which amount to substantial water saving.
We have also installed water-saving heads in all our showers resulting in a 50% saving in water usage. We track our monthly consumption closely and also complete quarterly water audits including checking that there are no leaks or dripping taps in any of our 124 clubs nationwide.