The Sustainability Society is an interdisciplinary national network established to foster sustainability within the built environment. We hold a complex systems approach to sustainability, recognising that human and natural systems are interconnected and interdependent. Formed in 2003 (as NZSSES), The Sustainability Society is a Technical Interest Group of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ).

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Webinar series

Webinar Series 2017

The Sustainability Society Webinar series is starting up in September. These webinars are part of the Society’s commitment to create learning and engagement opportunities that are accessible to our nationwide network. Check out the line-up here.



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Water Sensitive Wellington

In September 2014, The Sustainability Society hosted an inaugural Water Sensitive Wellington Forum bringing together a diverse group of water leaders from across the Wellington region.

Download the summary of this Forum which was created to capture the insights and ideas generated and will be used to stimulate further exploration of a Water Sensitive Wellington in the future.

A further event was hosted in February 2015 to explore water governance. Download the audio of that event here.

TSS looks forward to the continued evolution of this Water Sensitive Wellington agenda.



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David Thom 1924 – 2017

We are saddened by the loss of David Thom who was an original instigator of The Sustainability Society and was awarded life membership for his services to the profession.

David is a Distinguished Fellow of IPENZ and widely recognised as New Zealand’s foremost Environmental Engineer. He spent a working lifetime and in retirement, actively promoting sustainability and minimisation of adverse environmental effects from engineering works.

Read his obituary prepared by TSS member John La Roche

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Auckland Green Drinks

If you are based in Auckland and have an interest in sustainability within the city, come and join us!

TSS and NZAEE partnering to offer a monthly Green Drinks to provide a regular incubator for ideas and connections.

When: First Wednesday of every month

Where: Brothers Brewery, 5 Akiraho St, Mt Eden

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TSS Webinar Series 2017

The Sustainability Society is excited to kick off our webinar series in 2017.

These online interactive workshop sessions engage great presenters from across New Zealand and globally, sharing both research and practice case studies across a spectrum of sustainability issues.

  • Stimulating learning and engagement opportunities
  • Easily accessible to our nationwide network wherever they are
  • Sustainable approach to connecting with international leaders

Take a look at the line-up 

Green Drinks Auckland

Green Drinks

In partnership with NZAEE we are initiating a monthly Green Drinks in Auckland.

It’s all about people with a connection to sustainability getting together for a regular catchup on the first Wednesday of every month. Simple really. We just want to offer a little incubator for ideas and connections. 

When: First Wednesday of every month 

Where: Brothers Brewery, 5 Akiraho St, Mount Eden

Thanks to Brothers Brewery for providing a fantastic venue, free nibbles and $2 off your first drink.


Supporting integrated thinking in our future practitioners

Collaboration with Victoria University Faculty of Architecture and Design 

In 2015 The Sustainability Society initiated a partnership with Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Architecture and Design. A group of industry leaders including engineers, scientists and strategists worked with final year Landscape Architecture students on projects to create visionary and progressive precinct designs for the inner city suburb of Te Aro. The results were fantastic and included two of the projects being finalists (and one winning) in an Australasian student design competition.

In 2016 we again worked with this class again on re-imagining Newtown.

Thank you to our organisational member Morphum Environmental for leading this process alongside The Sustainability Society.

Download the conference paper about this project ALTERNATIVE INFRASTRUCTURES – URBAN STREAMS AND THEIR BIODIVERSITY IN TE ARO Stormwater Conference May 2016

Collaboration with University of Auckland Engineering School

We would like to thank three of our organisational members – Opus, AECOM and Tonkin and Taylor for their involvement in this project. Individuals from these organisations worked during 2016 with final year engineering student groups who undertook in-depth research projects in groups on:

  • Occurance, fate and ecotoxicity of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in wastewater treatment plants
  • Green house gas emissions – investigating the novel mitigation mechanism for nitrous oxide emissions with activated carbon
  • Evaluating various lightweight media for assessing their suitability in the use of suspended raingardens for contaminant removal from stormwater


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