Starting as a sustainable beauty entrepreneur

New business owners are faced by more and more rules on sustainability. Take energy efficiency measures and rules on disposable plastic, for example. The government expects entrepreneurs to become greener, and so do many consumers. Getting off to a sustainable start is a great idea for beauty businesses. It will save you money, effort, and time.

Why get your business off to a sustainable start?

When you start your own beauty business, you pick a name and legal form, and register with KVK. This is also a great time to take a deep dive into sustainable business practices. The earth is warming, and the consequences are dire. The government is introducing more and more rules to help mitigate the consequences. Take the energy efficiency obligation, for instance, and the ban on free disposable plastic cups and containers. On top of that, three-quarters of consumers think it is important for companies to contribute to a better world. One in six consumers even avoid companies that do not seem to care about the environment or human and animal welfare.

Sustainability should be a key consideration from the moment you start your company. As an added bonus, it will help prepare you for future laws and rules. When you view commercial property or buy equipment, it pays to go for a more sustainable option. There are several ways to get your beauty business off to a sustainable start:

Funding for sustainable plans

It is possible to run a profitable business and make the world a better place at the same time. Do you have concrete sustainable plans? If so, you may qualify for the SME Credit Guarantee-Green scheme. Through this scheme, the government will stand as a guarantor for loans meant to green your business. This will reduce the risk for your financier and make it easier for you to get a loan.

Pick a sustainable commercial property

The Climate Agreement state that the Netherlands plans to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2030. As a result, more and more rules are being introduced that may affect your property choice. Businesses that consume a lot of energy, for instance, are required to take every energy-saving measure they can, provided it can be recouped within 5 years. Beauticians probably do not have to deal with the energy efficiency obligation just yet. However, choosing a sustainable property now will lower your energy bill and get you ready for the future. 

When you start viewing properties, pay close attention to the energy label. Economical buildings have a better energy label. If you do end up choosing a property with a poor energy label, you can still take energy efficiency measures yourself. For example, investing in a heat pump and insulation. A properly insulated salon can help you lower your energy costs by as much as 30%. You can apply for grants to make your property more sustainable.

Energy saving law checker

Use the Wetchecker energiebesparing to check which legal obligations apply to your company or premises when it comes to saving energy or reducing CO2 emissions. 

Get energy advice

You can bring in an energy consultant to figure out the costs and potential yields of energy saving measures. Not only will they draw up a report for you, but they will also help you implement their recommendations. 

How to save energy

Périne Heerooms, who owns a beauty salon in Mijndrecht, knows just how much energy your equipment can use. She recently replaced her old condenser dryer with an A+++ heat pump dryer. And she switched out her incandescent bulbs for LED lights. On top of that, she installed a separate switch on an extension cord to drive down her energy use even more. “When we close up shop at the end of the day, we can power down all equipment with a single switch. When you come here at night, not a single device will be on standby.” The results - lower energy bills - are clear.

Heerooms combined big investments like solar panels with smaller measures. “We boil water for tea once a day and pour it into a thermos flask. We also separate the laundry and do high- and low-temperature loads. That way, I only have to do the occasional high-temperature cycle. All the small things do add up in the end.”

Energy-saving measures for tenants

Renting a workspace? Talk to your landlord and discuss ways to make the building more sustainable. One way to start the conversation is sending your landlord this model letter from InRetail (in Dutch). Document your agreements in your lease contract.

Your home business

People who work from home can also go green. Why not install solar panels to generate your own energy? Entrepreneurs who use more than 10% of the generated energy for their business are allowed to expense the solar panels to their business. This also lets you claim tax credits like the Small projects investment credit (KIA), the Energy-saving investment credit (EIA), the Environmental investment credit (MIA), and the Random write-off of environmental investments scheme (Vamil). You can even stack certain schemes for extra benefits. Ask your accountant or energy consultant for more information.

Separating and recycling waste

Commercial waste should always be separated. Examples of such waste include cardboard and paper boxes and packaging, but also foils, needles, glass packaging, and textile. Use the Company waste separation tool to find out what waste you need to separate and how.

Sustainable transportation

Some beauticians, especially those who offer beauty treatments at home, spend a lot of time on the road. If that also applies to you, it can be smart to invest in an electric vehicle. Starting from 2025, the rules for low-emission zones are set to become stricter. You will only be allowed to enter a low-emission zone if your car or van meets emissions standard 4 or 5. Make sure to check (in Dutch) now whether your vehicle will be allowed to enter the city centre in the future.

From 2030, there will be a ban on the sale of new fuel cars in the Netherlands. The government wants to encourage business owners to switch to electric vehicles. That is why there are various grants that make buying an electric car cheaper.

Sustainable purchasing and sales

There are already countless biodegradable beauty products out there. Importantly, these products do not leave behind any harmful materials, such as microplastics, in the environment. Non-packaged products are also becoming increasingly popular. If possible, always opt for refillable products, including the products you sell to your customers.

Heerooms pays extra attention to packaging when she buys new products. “If any part of the packaging is made of glass, I want it to be recycled glass. Plus, I only buy products that directly or indirectly contribute to making the world a better place. I prefer products with a CSR quality mark.”