Many sustainability leaders in travel and tourism owe their success to the hands-on advice of consultants. Back in September 2015 we had the opportunity to meet Daniel Frey, among Europe’s most experienced sustainability advisors for hotels, whose career included active management experience as director, such as of Lisbon’s multi-award winning Inspira Santa Marta hotel.
In this interview, Daniel gives us a glimpse into the world of management consulting, the sustainability challenges and how his company Green Growth helps hotels large and small master the long but inevitable journey towards (more) sustainability.
- How Daniel Frey’s view on sustainability in tourism has changed over the years;
- Lessons he learned as CEO of award-winning Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal;
- The key to a sustainable hotel;
- Why consultants are a vital component for successful sustainable tourism destinations;
- The objectives of his company Green Growth, and how it works;
- What it takes for tourism destinations to be successful;
- Which books Daniel Frey recommends to hotel managers;
- How to measure the success of sustainability initiatives in hospitality;
- How to choose the right eco-certification.
Daniel, a few words on your current work and professional responsibilities?
My company Green Growth – The Way to Go, works with businesses in the hospitality industry. We help hotels develop an integrated sustainability strategy and to implement this strategy as a way to create value.
Our focus is on achieving change and to modify attitudes by engaging all stakeholders across all areas. As a hotelier, I gained an in-depth understanding of the hospitality business and know how to work with teams and members in a practical way, so that they can feel enthusiastic and passionate about what is being done.
Was sustainability a topic when you started your professional career? What got you interested?
The spirit of respect, preservation and biodiversity was a gift that our parents shared naturally with all of us children, but it was not much in evidence when I started my career.
My experiences in different parts of the world made me aware that there is more to life and work than earning money – I saw things happening around me: deforestation, slash and burn, inequalities and other things that made it clear to me that it was time for change, and that “business as usual” was not good enough.
I wanted to consolidate these experiences and show young people that it is possible to be sustainable and build a business case around this – a win-win situation.