Stuart Frank | PCMA Member Spotlight

Get to know PCMA Member Stuart Frank, Senior Director, Field Events Asia Pacific, Salesforce

Tell us a little bit more about your sustainability journey at your events…

As a long time events industry professional – sustainability has always been a personal priority of mine having seen the waste in the early days of my career. Since joining Salesforce in 2015 I have looked at ways we can minimise our impact. We have made investments in event infrastructure and signage to be stored and reused across multiple events annually, as well as being deliberate in what we create for events so reuse is possible.

In 2022 – Salesforce officially added Sustainability as our fifth company value (adding to Trust, Customer Success, Innovation and Equality) as we chart our path to Net Zero – which added to the initiatives we had in place and provided the chance to share what we were doing with our attendees.

Areas we have focused on in this area include:

  • Swag reduction – stakeholders are provided with guidelines to ensure sustainable decisions are made.
  • Power – working with our venues to understand their sustainable power sources such as solar arrays or green energy sourcing.
  • Food – working with our venues we make sustainable menu selections, for example choosing proteins that are less water intensive, such as chicken rather than beef. On the day – any unused food goes to local charities.
  • Waste – working with our venues to operationalise waste diversion from landfill through waste separation & recycling.
  • Water – water filling stations provided and attendees are encouraged to bring a water bottle to refill. No plastic water bottles.
  • Signage – Cardboard signage – made in Australia from recycled product and 100% recycled after use; Fabric signage – manufactured from recycled material, stored & reused wherever possible and if needed 100% recycled in Australia.
  • Exhibition – Storage & reuse of exhibition infrastructure including exhibition booths, rope & stanchion, seating & signage.
  • Giving back – we host a volunteer activity onsite for a not for profit in the sustainability space


What has been your favorite initiative implemented?

Our Shiny, Not New initiative sees us make strategic investments, particularly in exhibition structures that are deliberately designed for reuse – rather than the build once, use once standard we see all too often. Some of these structures are now 7 years old and continue to be used at World Tours, our World Tour Essentials series, as well as being installed at third party events

We had been deliberate about this internally for some time – in 2023 we took this further with the production of (reusable, sustainably sourced wood) placards that we affix to these pieces with messaging: Shiny, Not New – This structure if being repurposed from previous events to reduce environmental impact.

What has been your biggest challenge with sustainability and how have you overcome it?

Making space to really think ahead can be difficult in any event professionals day to day – but is critically important when it comes to the initiatives we have implemented. As a team, we have to ask a lot of questions, and also so do our supplies. Do we really need this? If we changed it slightly would it be more useful in future? How will it store?

The storage piece was a challenge early on – we build some large structures which were difficult to transport and store. Over time, we have moved to a model whereby almost all assets are modular and can be flat packed back on pallets for easy and efficient storage.

I am very fortunate that as an organisation we place such importance on sustainability – making it much simpler to overcome any challenges.

What advice would you give to an event organizer looking to implement more sustainable initiatives?

The biggest piece of advise is to think ahead – these measures are hard to implement when you are too far down the path in planning – so that forethought is important.

Also – look at all areas of your event – not just the big picture ones. Everything from name badges, to swag, signs, food, water, waste and more all present opportunities to make sustainable choices.

Anything else you would like to share about sustainability at your events?

I have never thought of this as something I “need” to do – it’s always been about it being the right thing to do. It doesn’t need to be complicated, or expensive – you can make some very simple changes – and each and every one has an impact. So go out there and do what you can – it feels good when you do good.

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