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).

Featured Image

Foundations of Sustainability workshop

March 2018

TSS in collaboration with Engineering NZ are offering a new workshop in March 2018. Foundations of Sustainability is for built environment practitioners looking to develop or update their understanding of how sustainability needs to be integrated into their practice.

More info and registrations



Featured Image

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.



Featured Image

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

Featured Image

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

Featured Image

Workshop 2018: Foundations of Sustainability

Early bird discounts available until 31 January 2018 

We are delighted to announce a new workshop being held for the first time in March 2018. This one-day workshop will introduce some of the foundational aspects of sustainability in the built environment.

It is targeted to engineers who are in the initial stages of their career or for those who have recognised they need to have a broader and more current understanding of sustainability within their professional practice. Although this workshop is oriented towards engineers it is also relevant for planners, urban designers, architects and other built environment practitioners.

This workshop is being hosted by TSS in partnership with Engineering NZ and it is our intention that it be offered on an annual basis in different centres around New Zealand.

Where: Tonkin & Taylor, Newmarket, Auckland

When: 14th March 2018, 8:30am – 4:30pm

TSS and Engineering NZ member discounts available

More info and registration 

TSS Webinar Series 2017

The Sustainability Society webinar series is in full swing for this year.

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

We are excited to be collaborating with The Coastal Society to host a group of Climate Change Adaptation webinars in November – December drawing from experts based in NZ and globally.

Take a look at the line-up 

Auckland’s Climate Future

Auckland Council and the Council Controlled Organisations, together with the region’s District Health Boards have co-commissioned NIWA to provide an Auckland-specific report on the climate change projections developed through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.  This work provides Auckland with the best information on future projected changes for the region, to inform our decision-making and understanding of risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities. The report incorporates information on a range of climate variables for 2040, 2090 and 2110.

We invite you to join us to explore these future climate projections for Auckland and discuss the potential implications for our water systems.

When: Wed 6 December, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Where: MottMacDonald, Mason Bros Building, Pakenham St West, Auckland Central

Eventbrite - Auckland's Climate Future by Friday Dec 1

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


Receive Updates

Sign up here to join our regular mailing list.
  • If you can't read the text select the top blue button for a different image.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.