Unlocking Success with ESG in the Salon Industry

In  the contemporary business landscape, businesses are very aware of the fact that they are not only responsible for generating profits but also for their impact on people and the environment. This awareness has been developing over many years – it started with the drive for corporate social responsibility, which was followed by the Millennium Development Goals and then the Sustainable Development Goals. Today these impacts are known as ESG.

ESG refers to a set of metrics used to measure an organization’s impact on the environment, society and what their governance structures are; and has become increasingly important in investment decision-making over the years.

ESG in the Middle East

Many ESG initiatives have been implemented in the Middle East region in the last few years. However, with the UAE hosting COP28 this year, momentum for ESG and sustainability to be at the top of the corporate agenda in the region has been created.

PriceWaterhouseCooper shares info from a recent survey which shows that companies in the Middle East are responding with increasing vigour to new demands for changed thinking and stronger action on climate issues.

“They are showing greater transparency about how their operations affect the environment, through increased public reporting. And they are adjusting their organisations to put in place a more systematic approach to managing these efforts, including adding senior executive roles with specific sustainability-focused responsibilities,” the report states.

According to the survey 64% of respondents have adopted a formal ESG strategy in the last 12 months and as many are embedding ESG priorities across their organisations. 70% state that they report on ESG, with a quarter doing so in a stand-alone ESG report.

The survey also states that for a growing number of companies in the Middle East, the ESG journey is neither steady nor linear. While all the signs of growing ESG maturity are present, the survey highlights several areas where progress is patchy. Survey respondents report that the lack of adequate skill to implement ESG and funding remain their biggest obstacles currently.

What falls under the ESG umbrella?

The environmental aspect of ESG refers to factors related to the impact of a business on the natural world, such as energy consumption, waste management, and carbon emissions. This metric underscores the necessity for sustainable practices. With growing concerns about climate change, resource depletion, and pollution, businesses are increasingly held accountable for their ecological footprint.

The social dimension of ESG encompasses aspects of how a company interacts with society, including labour practices, community engagement, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. It is important because prioritising social responsibility contributes to employee satisfaction, enhances brand reputation, and strengthens community ties, thereby fostering long-term resilience and goodwill.

Governance focuses on the systems and processes in place to ensure ethical behaviour, accountability, and transparency within an organisation, including board diversity, executive compensation, and adherence to regulatory standards. All the above are essential for fostering trust among investors and stakeholders. Effective governance practices help mitigate risks such as fraud, corruption, and conflicts of interest while promoting accountability and sustainability.

What does ESG mean for the Beauty Salon Industry?

For salon businesses, embracing ESG principles presents several opportunities to not only minimize their environmental footprint but also to foster positive social impact and ensure robust governance structures. Here are some examples of how ESG can be applied to a salon business.


Implementing eco-friendly products: Beauty salons can switch to using organic, cruelty-free, and sustainably sourced beauty products to minimize their environmental impact.

Energy conservation: Installing energy-efficient appliances, such as LED lighting and low-energy hairdryers, can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Waste reduction and recycling: Beauty salons can implement recycling programs for paper, plastic, and other materials used in their operations, as well as encourage customers to bring back empty product containers for recycling or refill.

Water conservation: Installing water-saving fixtures like eco-friendly showerheads, and encouraging staff to minimize water usage during treatments can help conserve water resources.


Fair labour practices: Ensuring fair wages, providing benefits such as paid sick leave, paid leave and paid overtime, and offering opportunities for professional development and advancement to salon employees.

Community engagement: Participating in local events, supporting community initiatives, and collaborating with local charities or non-profits to give back to the community.

Diversity and inclusion: Promoting diversity in hiring practices and creating an inclusive work environment where employees from all backgrounds feel valued and respected.

Customer education and safety: Providing comprehensive information to customers about product ingredients, safety measures, and proper usage to ensure their well-being and satisfaction.


Transparent pricing and policies: Ensuring clear and transparent pricing for services and products, as well as having easily accessible policies regarding appointments, cancellations, and refunds.

Ethical sourcing: Implementing policies to ensure that all products used in the salon are ethically sourced, such as verifying suppliers’ adherence to fair labour practices and sustainable sourcing methods.

Compliance with regulations: Adhering to all relevant laws and regulations governing the beauty industry, including health and safety standards, licensing requirements, and tax laws.

Accountability and oversight: Establishing mechanisms for accountability, such as regular audits, performance evaluations, and feedback channels for employees and customers to voice concerns and suggestions.

In summary, embracing ESG principles is not only a moral imperative but has become a strategic necessity for businesses in the 21st century. If your salon proactively addresses environmental challenges, fosters social responsibility, and puts strong governance practices in place, you will be able to enhance your competitiveness, mitigate risks, and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future for all.