Personal Profile

Grace Stead is a sustainability strategist with her roots in town planning.  She became actively involved in promoting sustainable development in 2000 when asked to be the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) Co-ordinator for the City of Tygerberg and later Cape Town.

During her time in local government she managed a range of projects and enabled a better working relationship between the City and civil society. This included managing a partnership between the City of Cape Town and the City of Aachen in Germany, which promotes sustainable development through projects, exchanges, networking and awareness-raising and has received international acclaim.  She was also very involved with the WSSD in 2002 and the ICLEI World Congress in 2006.

She established Steadfast Greening in April 2007 to focus on promoting sustainable development in a practical way and the list of projects showcase this.

One of her key passions in the workplace is event greening and she is a key role player and founding member of the Event Greening Forum. She teamed up with Justin Hawes from Scan Display in 2009 to establish the Forum, which has managed to get the buy-in from the main industry Associations.  She has extensive knowledge and experience and lobbies for a better understanding of sustainable event management.

Her journey has included the development of the initial Green Building Guidelines for the City of Cape Town and getting a handle on cleaner production in the hospitality industry. She is a certified GRI practitioner and enjoys to work with sustainability teams in the development of their indicators and sustainability reports.

Grace is an organised, enthusiastic, dedicated person with proven administrative, organisational and facilitation skills. She is strongly committed to a high standard of work, which is demonstrated through an analytical, efficient and logical approach to getting things done. She is able to interact with people on all levels and operates well under pressure – professional, yet practical.  She enjoys teaching and facilitating workshops as it keeps her grounded. She has good knowledge about the process, structure and policy of local government and civil society.


From a young age Grace has enjoyed travelling, and spent two years in Europe exploring various places and meeting new people.   Over time she has managed to visit places such as Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kenya and even Iceland, but also basks in traveling around South Africa whenever she can.  When traveling on business, she always tries to spend additional time in a foreign country to get to know the local people and their customs.

Her photography interest dates back to pre-digital and all the photo’s on this website were taken during her travels. She has a passion for paragliding which she has been doing since 2002 (although not enough lately!), while she recently got her motorbike license and is saving up for a fast bike. She celebrates life through spending time in nature with activities such as camping, hiking or cycling, but is not adverse to waiting for the wind on a slope in anticipation of a paragliding flight.


She has done presentations at various conferences and training workshops on sustainability and event greening, both locally and internationally:

  • Ongoing training workshops on behalf of the Event Greening Forum
  • Webinaar presentation on Event Greening (July)
  • Presentation on Greenwashing at Markex 2012, Johannesburg (May 2012)
  • Presentation on Sustainability Reporting for the Events Industry at Meetings Africa, Johannesburg (February 2012)
  • Participated in EcoMark Africa obo ICLEI in Niarobi, Kenya (August 2011) and again in Johannesburg (May 2012)
  • Participated in IIDF IEG Consultation obo ICLEI in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (May 2011)
  • Presentation on Event Greening at Meetings Africa, Johannesburg (February 2011)
  • Presentation on Event Greening at the EXSA Conference, Johannesburg (Feb 2010)
  • Presentation on Event Greening at the Event Greening Forum in Cape Town and Johannesburg (October and November 2009)
  • Participant in the Regional International Meeting for Sustainability (RIMS) for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (June 2009)
  • Facilitator for the launch of the Event Green Guidelines for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in Rijkewijk, Iceland (March 2009)
  • Presentation on responsible community tourism at the Responsible Tourism Conference in Rimini, Italy (November 2008)
  • Presentation on event greening and eco procurement at the Green it Yourself Conference in Cape Town (November 2008)
  • Presentation on climate change at the UNEP SCP/LA21 Anglophone Africa Regional Meeting of Partners, in Mombasa, Kenya (August 2008)
  • Presentation on Event Greening at the Green Procurement Conference in Cape Town (August 2008)
  • Presentation at the FEDHASA Joint Association Members Meeting on the Smart Living Handbook in Cape Town (July 2008)
  • Presentation on Event Greening at the EXSA Conference, Johannesburg (2008)
  • Presentation on Event Greening at the Green Business Conference, Johannesburg (November 2007)
  • Presentation on Green Building Guidelines at the PREA Conference, Cape Town (October 2007)
  • Participant in an Art of Hosting Training workshop (September 2007)
  • Presentation and participant in a plenary panel discussion on Sustainability and Event Greening at the SAACI Conference, Cape Town (July 2007)
  • One of 15 African representatives participating in the MDG preparation workshop titled The Future of Africa – A Unique Challenge for Tomorrow’s Decision-makers, Bonn, Germany (December 2006)
  • Presenter and facilitator at the South African German Network Conference (SAGENET), Cape Town, SA (October 2006)
  • Presentation about the Greening of the 2006 ICLEI World Congress at the ICLEI Eco Procurement Congress, Barcelona, Spain (September 2006)
  • Project Management of the Event Greening and Professional Conference Organizer for the ICLEI World Congress (March 2006)
  • Facilitator at the ICLEI World Congress, Cape Town, SA (March 2006)
  • Presenter at the ICLEI European Conference; Tilburg, Netherlands (June 2005)
  • Presenter and facilitator at the Aalborg +10; Aalborg, Denmark (June 2004)
  • Participant at the International and Local Conference on Renewable Energy; Bonn, Germany (May 2004)
  • Presenter at the Fair Trade Conference, Looking at a New Future; Bonn, Germany (October 2003)
  • UN accredited participant at the World Summit on Sustainable Development; Johannesburg, SA (September 2002)
  • Presenter at the Local Authority North South Co-operation in Local Agenda 21 Conference; Aachen, Germany (April 2002)
  • Presenter at Shaping the Future Together: Rio +10 in the North and South Dialogue; Munster, Germany (April 2002)
  • Participant at Threefolding, A New Global Culture of Spirit; Stuttgart, Germany (2001)
  • Participant at African Solutions, Towards Sustainable Urban Development – The Habitat Agenda and Local Agenda 21 in Africa; Pretoria (March 2000)


  • Gauteng Green Events Guideline for Gauteng Tourism Authority (2012)
  • Smart Events Handbook for City of Cape Town (2010)
  • Smart Living Handbook update for the City of Cape Town (2010)
  • Stead, G (2004): Sustainable Development in South Africa; Stadtgespräche, Agenda Transfer, Bonn, Germany
  • Stead, G (2004): The First Ten Years: a description of the establishment of Local Agenda 21 within the City of Cape Town; 2004
  • Stead, G (2002): Kapstadt in Johannesburg [translated as Cape Town at the WSSD] a contribution to “Chance Eine Welt, Rio +10 im Nord-Süd-Dialog”; LAG3W – Eine Welt Netzwerk, Munster Germany; p.85
  • Ley, A; Stead, G (2001): Local Agenda 21 : North- South Partnership; Trialog No. 69, 2/2001, p.20-22
  • Various contributions to newsletters, brochures and internet information