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Meet Travelife audit operations manager, Lucas Taylor

Based at our London office, Lucas oversees and coordinates hundreds of Travelife sustainability audits each year in more than 50 countries.

Describe your role at Travelife.

I oversee Travelife’s global audit operation, currently involving around 1,400 accommodation providers in more than 50 countries, and an international team of around 50 independently contracted auditors. A big part of this is coordinating with our hotels and auditors to effectively schedule the audits, but I’m also responsible for our extensive auditor quality control programme, as well as overseeing auditor recruitment and training. Our auditors are based all around the world, and after four years at Travelife I feel like I know them well!

Besides audits, I also support our customers with general enquiries and guidance on how to implement Travelife in their organisation.

How did you end up working at Travelife?

Before joining Travelife I was working in corporate travel management, supporting charity and not-for-profit organisations with their travel solutions. There was a strong emphasis on responsible travel choices, which sparked my interest in sustainability. I came across an opportunity to join Travelife as an Operations Executive, and since then I’ve been involved in projects from reducing plastic waste to developing our Auditor Quality Programme. It’s been great to work alongside some of the industry’s leading sustainability experts, as well as our own growing team in London. 

What is the best part of your job?

I love talking with our auditors and hearing about sustainability successes across our membership. I recall an auditor mentioning a visit to a hotel in Lisbon which grows its own fresh produce on an allotment on the roof of their building. It’s great to connect with so many different people and hear different stories from across the world.

What is the most inspiring thing you have seen an accommodation provider do?

I was given the opportunity to visit Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge in Nepal back in 2018. The lodge has incredibly close ties with its locals, supporting community development projects and prioritising career opportunities for its neighbours. You can sense that every person working at the resort takes part in educating guests on their surroundings, be it through their locally sourced food or guided wildlife tours. I learnt a lot from their in-house biologist!

What advice would you give to a hotel just starting on their sustainability journey?

Sustainability is a collective effort which, if done right, will become part of your business ethos – but it’s impossible to achieve alone. Before starting out on your sustainability journey, put together a team of trusted and dedicated colleagues from across all departments and work together to identify strengths and weak points. Making it a collective effort will drive forward your sustainability mission, which in turn will rub off on your guests!

What one piece of advice would you give to a hotel that is already working with Travelife?

Prepare, prepare, prepare! It takes time to implement a sustainability strategy, so make the most of Travelife’s support materials and spread the word across your teams so that everyone is involved in your mission towards certification.

Lucas' top tip for sustainable living

I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m conscious of my meat intake and try to eat it less than 2–3 times per week. When choosing meat, go for organic or high-quality options and try to avoid red meat altogether. Israeli chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, is a great reference for spicing up your vegetables!

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