Guest Column - October 2015
Find a printable version here

Locker Rooms

The Power of Green
A New Approach to Locker Room Security

By Mila Adamovica


Green Technologies Transform Locker Rooms

Forward-thinking manufacturers strive to make a fresh statement by applying green standards to their products. The information is collected from green chemistry, environmental science and conservation biology. For example, manufacturers of locks and lockers have responded to the market demands for sustainable products by providing a wide range of "green" lockers and related locking hardware to suit customer needs and satisfy strict industry requirements.

Standard with this green type of locker solutions are keyless electronic locks and quality hardware including European soft-close hinges and a heavy-gauge steel body, ensuring high security, reduced noise level, elegant style and the convenience of a keyless locking solution.

Steel has always been valued as a clean recyclable material. To improve inside air quality, manufacturers have developed environmentally friendly powder coating for steel lockers, eliminating the presence of volatile organic compounds. Although many managers prefer the durability and ease of use of steel lockers, facility managers of locker rooms in moist environments, like swimming pools and spas, are looking for alternative solutions. This motivates manufacturers to continue working on creating and providing innovative security solutions for sports and recreation facilities that meet the customer needs and at the same time meet sustainability standards.

Facility managers now have an opportunity to choose from a wide array of lockers that satisfy their aesthetic preferences and functionality requirements while also being environmentally friendly.

Lockers are available with glass, metal, wood or phenolic doors in a number of designs and colors to effortlessly fit into any sophisticated design and d├ęcor. Solid surface glass doors are made of recycled and rapidly renewable material, and ensure durability and ease of maintenance as they resist moisture, scratches and heat. Elimination of the need for frequent replacement makes them a good choice for heavy-use environments, such as schools, recreation centers, and sports and fitness clubs.

Surprisingly, the widespread use of synthetic materials is a noticeable advancement in green locker manufacturing, because they have a high amount of post-consumer recycled content. Lockers with solid high-impact-resistant phenolic doors are an increasingly popular choice among architects and consultants. The composite nature of the phenolic resin in a wide array of colors and patterns direct from nature makes it a perfect product for humid environments.

Lockers composed of wood are especially popular in higher-end health clubs and collegiate athletic locker rooms. Environmental groups criticize wood clear-cutting as being destructive to the water, soil, and atmosphere and recommend the use of sustainable alternatives. Healthy ecosystems and environments are necessary to the survival of humans and other organisms. The movement protesting the cut of virgin woods created an opportunity for the scientists to develop a composite wood material. In comparison to virgin wood, composite wood recycles mill waste and old pallets. The enhanced durability of composite wood makes it the best long-term investment for sports and recreation facilities.

Every aspect of environment and operation affects the experience the sports and recreation facility provides to visitors. It is easy to enhance that experience with "green" lockers and continue to make a positive impact on the environment. By combining architecturally-inspired design with precision engineering, lockers can be designed to create truly exceptional spaces while contributing to sustainability. It is no wonder why green lockers are a preferred choice for contemporary health and fitness facilities, athletic locker rooms, educational institutions, hotels, spas and office environments.

Why Choose Green?

According to the National Green Buying research conducted by Opinion Research Corporation in 2009, four out of five people say they are buying green products and services. Twenty-one percent of consumers say a product's reputation is the main factor influencing their purchasing decisions, 19 percent indicate word of mouth, and 15 percent, brand loyalty. Surprisingly, only 24 percent of consumers verify green claims by reading the packaging, and 17 percent by reading and doing research online. One in three consumers do not know how to check if a green product claim is true. One in 10 customers trusts green product claims without checking. Nevertheless, green perceptions now drive half of consumers' purchase decisions. In 2015, a poll conducted by Time Magazine found that almost 50 percent of Americans valued environmental protection over economic growth, more than 60 percent had purchased organic produce within the previous year, and nearly 40 percent made purchases based on the social values of the manufacturing company.

Sustainability has an impact on our business decisions and lifestyle choices. There is mounting evidence that human and business activities are having a global effect on the environment. To play an active role in supporting green activities in communities, consumers should start with supporting environmentally responsible local businesses that have long-time commitment to sustainable business practices.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mila Adamovica is marketing and communications specialist for Digilock, a global leader in electronic locks that use patented keypad and RFID technology. For more information, visit www.digilock.com.