Raquel Noboa – Founder and CEO Fifty Shades Greener
I am the founder and CEO of Fifty Shades Greener, educating people on how to change their own behaviour around the use of energy & water and production of waste, so they can measure, manage, and reduce their use of utilities to achieve a lower carbon footprint lifestyle or workplace environment. We give people the knowledge and skills to manage their own carbon emissions in order to create a society that is more aware of their own environmental impact.
Fifty Shades Greener’s aims to ensure that education contributes to sustainable development by equipping learners with the relevant knowledge (the ‘what’), the key dispositions and skills (the ‘how’) and the values (the ‘why’) that will motivate and empower them throughout their lives to become informed active citizens who take action for a more sustainable future. Our suite of developed programmes responds to education and skills gaps in primary, post primary,
professional development, and Hospitality further education.
Q1. Did you always want to become a consultant or did you fall into the role?
I fell into the role. I have worked in Hospitality all my live, I went to college 20 years ago by nobody told me what environmental sustainability meant within the Hospitality sector. When I learned about it back in the 2012/2013, I had a light bulb moment when I thought “Why isn’t everyone doing this?” and from that point on I decided I needed to show as many people as possible what I had learned to reduce carbon emissions and costs in the industry.
Q2. What makes a good consultant?
A good consultant will guide you to find the solutions that work for you, without judgement.
Q3. Do you feel you manage yourself well or is it a case of ‘the cobbler’s shoes’?
I have had my moments over the past few years. I advocate for social sustainability, the care of our people. My team work a 4 day week on a 5 day week salary. I offer them total flexibility with their hours so they can fit work around their life’s schedules, but I have not always been able to operate that way myself. I strive to do so, but there are times when the demand of running an international company caught up with me and I end up working too much. They hey for me is to identify those times and be aware I am doing the wrong thing, so I can find a way to fix it before it gets out of
Q4. Are there enough hours in your day?
I do not know any business owner that would say yes to that question! There could always be more, life is short and is we had longer days we would have more time to enjoy it.
Q5. If you could magically stop your clients from making one mistake – what would that be?
To put sustainability in the long finger, everyone knows there is something they need to do about it, but many still feel they don’t have time to do it.
Q6. What do you find is the best way to market yourself?
Always speaking from personal experience. I have built my company around the things I experience myself, how feel and what I think about individual issues. While not everyone will agree with me on everything, if you speak from a place of honesty people will understand you.
Q7. What do you do to unwind?
Pilates, during the week, sailing or canoeing at weekend and spend as much time as possible with my husband and animals.
Q8. What advice would you give a starting consultant?
Don’t give up and be kind to yourself. I spent many years giving myself a hard time, impostor syndrome has followed me most of my adult years, and I now know it is the same for many people, particularly women. If I was to start all over again, I wouldn’t change anything I have done, but I would change how I felt along the way.
Q9. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Rubbish television programmes! My husband hates them, I find them highly entertaining.
Q10. What’s your goal for next year?
Continue the fight to ensure environmental education is free and accessible to all age groups so we can build a carbon conscious society in the future.