Green Queen: The face behind Hotelstuff/Greenstuff

Lorraine Jenks

Joining Southern Sun on her return to South Africa, Lorraine persevered with her endeavours to instill green procurement practices in the 80-plus hotels under her wing. At the time, it was nothing more than a 'nice idea' and not the serious situation it is now. Her attempts to garner information from suppliers on their green practices, were met with nothing more than an appeasing answer, covering the lack of transparency she was demanding.

Lorraine attempted to source suppliers when going out to tender, who were fellow believers in her cause. At the same time, she came across countless suppliers struggling to get their foot in the door, with the major players in the hospitality market. This is where she saw the gap for a directory geared primarily at those looking to trade in this arena.

She set about creating an online platform aimed at facilitating introductions aimed at a specific target market. This was the start of what is today Hotelstuff/Greenstuff. Today, Hotelstuff is 11 years old and Greenstuff three.

This directory is now the first choice for many procurement managers when sourcing their suppliers. Her crusade around environmental sustainability may have been a bit premature, but her belief never waned, and when Al Gore‘s now infamous movie, 'An Inconvenient Truth' aired, everything that she had been fighting for, became mainstream thinking.

People were finally sitting up and listening. The idea of sustainability and conservation were finally being taken seriously. Even though South Africa had a history of being proud of its natural heritage and conservation, it still lagged behind the rest of the world. Lorraine was determined to make sustainability more appealing and throwing caution to the wind, officially launched Greenstuff in 2008. It was an online directory showcasing green alternatives and encouraging responsibility when it came to the environment.

Lorraine is now a highly respected, sought after speaker in South Africa's tourism, hospitality and sustainability markets, where she educates and distills her vast knowledge on the greening of the supply chain as a whole. She regularly teams-up with industry experts in the fields of training, green certification, water/waste management and carbon offsets. She has also won a number of awards, being Best Overall Stand at Decorex Jhb 2010, and the FEDHASA Chairman’s award. Hotelstuff is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds and the market’s reception has been astounding.

The website has been growing exponentially, and Lorraine is happy to continue her work in this realm, showing her commitment to making a real and noticeable difference to our planet.

Butler 27: The Green Issue