Lorraine Jenks - My journey

Lorraine’s journey began in California between 1969 and 1974, when she worked with environmentalists and the newly established EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Back in South Africa, in 1994 she found herself working part time at Southern Sun (now Tsogo Sun), Africa’s largest hotel chain.

Fifteen years, and a Procurement Management Diploma later, Lorraine was still there, full time, as Contracts Manager to tender, select suppliers and manage the Purchasing Manual for 82 hotels.

During that tenure she tried to encourage more responsible procurement habits as well as to encourage greener practices by manufacturers. But, being ahead of her time was simply patted on the head and called “The Little Green Queen”.

Hotelstuff website

2001 saw the launch of her online directory, www.hotelstuff.co.za; the third of its kind in the world, the rational being to share experiences with other lodgings and to help smaller suppliers get a foot in the door.

Greenstuff website

Nothing was changing. Someone had to do something, so Lorraine took early retirement and in 2006 (encouraged by Al Gore’s movie), launched a sister website to Hotelstuff. She called it www.greenstuff.co.za and began listing all the eco-friendly or “greener” products from the core directory; her personal goal being to turn her entire old Purchasing Manual “Green” and to list anything she could find that met basic green lifecycle criteria.