RECENT UPDATES / NEWS //
We’ve recently made a change in the carpeting we use, switching to eco–friendly, sustainably produced carpet tiles from Interface — a pioneer in sustainable flooring. Read more below.
Experience Life Magazine Digital Edition Now Available
In the interest of preserving natural resources and fossil fuels, and giving readers a paper–free option, Life Time Fitness recently launched a digital edition of Experience Life magazine. Read more below.
Life Time Fitness Foundation
As the charitable giving component of Life Time, the Life Time Foundation is about inspiring healthy people and a healthy planet one mission at a time. Our current mission is improving children’s nutrition. As part of our first and current mission the Life Time Foundation has partnered with Deephaven Elementary School to improve the quality and nutrition of their school lunches.
Life Time Fitness embarked on an aggressive strategy to improve the environmental impact of its buildings in 2004. We conducted a green–building symposium in 2005. Since that time, we’ve begun incorporating a number of high–efficiency and earth-friendly features into our buildings.
From energy efficiency and water conservation to low–VOC materials, we are striving to continually improve the eco–footprint of our facilities. We’re achieving these efficiencies through a combination of changes to the design and construction techniques in our buildings, including:
Life Time Fitness is continually researching and integrating cost–effective sustainability–oriented improvements in the facilities we build and operate.
Life Time Fitness facilities are designed to ensure a generous flow of fresh air into the buildings. All buildings have an indoor–air–quality management plan, and our current prototypical plan provides cleaner HVAC systems and improved air quality both during and after construction.
By embracing lower VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) building materials and products (paints, carpeting, glues, cleaners, etc.), we are able to minimize VOC off–gassing and maintain a safer, more pleasant breathing experience for our members.
We recognize energy use in our facilities — primarily through heating, cooling and lighting — and that reducing that energy usage is one of the most effective ways of reducing our environmental impact.
Our team of LEED–Certified architects, engineers and construction professionals has been tasked with finding creative, innovative ways of adjusting the design of our prototypical buildings, and also with retrofitting existing buildings to reduce their energy requirements and to eliminate waste. Meanwhile, our leadership team has been working in conjunction with operations teams to find ways to operate our facilities more efficiently.
Currently, our focus is on reducing peak–energy usage and eliminating energy waste through the use of air–to–air heat exchangers, highly efficient light fixtures, and technology that automatically turns off lights when a room is not occupied or when there is adequate daylight coming in. We also incorporate a great deal of day lighting in our building designs, which both reduces the need for electric lights and improves the environment and member experience in our facilities.
We strive to landscape with climate–appropriate plants, and employ temperature– and moisture–control sensors to minimize unnecessary irrigation. We are taking a number of steps in designing our roofs and lots to minimize uncontrolled storm water runoff and, in some cases, to capture rainwater that can be used for irrigation.
In our buildings, we seek to orient them in ways that take advantage of solar patterns, allowing us to benefit from maximum daylight and desirable solar gain without taking on excessive heat during warm months, particularly in hotter climates.
Construction Waste Reduction
We currently recycle approximately 80 percent of all discarded construction materials during the building process for our facilities, and are continually adjusting our facility designs in order to minimize waste creation during the construction process. Read more about our operational recycling efforts.
These carpet tiles offer several important advantages: They reduce the waste often encountered during installation; they do not require the use of toxic adhesives; and they wear better than broadloom carpets. When they do require replacement, the used carpet tiles are returned to Interface for recycling. Finally, use of tiles allows us to replace only the worn or damaged portions of carpet rather than larger expanses of material, further reducing the waste associated with renovation.
We began incorporating Interface carpet tiles into our building designs in 2009 and are including them in our club remodels whenever possible.
Life Time Fitness founder, chairman, president and CEO, Bahram Akradi, on Sustainable Business and Long-Term Thinking
Over the past several years founder, chairman, president and CEO Bahram Akradi has shared the company’s perspectives on sustainability and corporate responsibility in his “Letter From the Founder” column, which is published 10 times a year in Experience Life magazine:
Life Time Fitness prides itself on the exceptional cleanliness of its facilities, and we strive to achieve that cleanliness in a safe, environmentally responsible way. From the Green–Seal–certified cleaners we use in our locker rooms to the low–phosphate detergents we use to launder our towels, we are committed to finding more ways to eliminate petroleum–based and potentially toxic compounds from the products we use every day.
We are well on our way to achieving our goal of 100 percent nontoxic, biodegradable cleaning products (we’ve as yet been unable to achieve satisfactory results with alternative products for some applications). We continue to challenge our suppliers to improve their formulations as we seek out lower–impact, more effective laundry and cleaning technologies.
All of our facilities feature recycling programs that help minimize the flow of trash into landfills and incinerators. We encourage our members and team members to recycle metals, plastics, cardboard and paper. In 2008, we recycled approximately 876.7 tons of cardboard/paper, 89.1 tons of plastic and 2,827.7 tons of glass.
Currently, there are certain markets where we’ve been unable to coordinate recycling for all material types. For example, some municipalities do not yet offer recycling for plastics. In other markets, we have older buildings whose footprints do not accommodate all the recycling receptacles incorporated into our newer designs. We are striving to find ways to bring the recycling programs in all our clubs up to date and to make them more consistent and robust.
We also recycle approximately 80 percent of all discarded construction materials during the building process for our facilities, and are continually adjusting our facility designs in order to minimize waste creation.
Recycled Paper/Paper Conservation
In selecting paper and other products for use in our clubs and headquarters, we give preference to recycled materials whenever possible, including paper towels with 100 percent recycled content, copy paper containing 30 percent post–consumer waste, and direct mail printed on FSC– and SFI–certified paper stock.
Our magazine, Experience Life, is printed on recycled paper with a minimum of 30 percent post–consumer content, processed chlorine free. The paper is Forest Stewardship Council Certified.
The magazine is also available in a digital edition, which gives readers a paper–free option that helps preserve natural resources and fossil fuels. Identical to the printed edition, the interactive digital edition is available online by subscription, and is made available at no extra charge to Life Time Fitness’s member subscribers through our member portal at myLT.com. To subscribe, visit http://www.experiencelife.com/ (non-members) or myLT.com (members).
We have always embraced a paperless invoicing process for our members. In 1992, we made a decision to use month–to–month agreements, rather than contracts. Not only do we feel that not locking our members into a contract (and therefore earning their business each time they use the club) is the right way to do business, but it has also substantially reduced the environmental impact of our operation. Seventeen years and 600,000 memberships later, we do not print and mail any account activity, whether monthly or quarterly.
In 2009, we began producing our annual report on recycled paper. We also adopted “notice and access,” which significantly reduced the number of copies of annual reports that we printed and mailed.