Forums & Short Courses

Foundations of Sustainability Workshop

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 

Green Drinks Auckland

Green Drinks

The Sustainability Society and the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) are partnering to initiate a monthly ‘low-fi’ Green Drinks in Auckland.

What is ‘low-fi’ Green Drinks?  It’s 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 from 5:30 onwards  

Where: Brothers Brewery,  5 Akiraho St, Mount Eden (right next to train and bus – plan your trip


2017 Webinar Series

The 2017 Webinar Series is underway and we are looking forward to some stimulating sessions.

If you do have any ideas on additional sessions that we could hold please do get in touch

These webinars are offered free to TSS members and $15 + GST for non members. If you would like to attend multiple sessions in 2017, pay $65 + GST and participate in as many as you like.

+ Investing in Infrastructure in a Changing World: 12 Sept

Each year, countries invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects that will shape the countries’ development for decades. Given their lifetime, these projects need to include climate change in their design, but the uncertainty about future climate changes, combined with other uncertainties about socio-economic changes or technological breakthrough, challenges decision-making processes.

Traditionally, we have been asking “Which investments best meet our clients’ goals given our beliefs about the future?”. But these approaches hinge on our accurately predicting and then reaching consensus on what the future will bring. Worse, decisions tailored to one set of assumptions about a deeply uncertain future often prove inadequate or even harmful if another future comes to pass. Governments and international development organisations increasingly recognise that current approaches to decision making struggle to meet these ubiquitous challenges.

New state-of- the-art methods exist that help plan for robust projects, which perform well whatever the future brings. These methods move away from relying on predictions of the future in project design. Instead, they place the decision back into the centre and ask the question “what are the future conditions that make my project fail?”. Several decisions are stress-tested under hundreds of combinations of plausible future conditions – that include changing climate conditions, but also changing socio-economic conditions that may affect the project’s performance, like urban development. Therefore, they enable analysts to stress test the investments considering multiple risks at the same time. Once the main risks and the specific vulnerability thresholds of the project are identified, planners can evaluate them and explore other options that may reduce these risks. These methodologies help planners make informed decisions, despite uncertainties about likelihoods.

The World Bank has been tailoring these methodologies to countries’ needs and to different sectors like energy, water, flood management, and transport. Examples from Marshall Islands and Sri Lanka will be presented.


Julie Rozenberg is an Economist with the Chief Economist of the World Bank Sustainable Development Group. Her work includes green growth and climate change mitigation strategies and climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. She participated in the writing of several World Bank flagship reports including “Decarbonizing Development: Three Steps to a Zero Carbon Future” and “Shockwaves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty”.

She builds new tools that allow looking at the impacts of natural disasters and climate change from a household perspective, and thus analysing poverty and distributional impacts. She also develops innovative methodologies to take long-term uncertainties into account in the economic analyses of projects, in sectors like transport, water or urban. The objective is to help World Bank teams and clients deal with climate change constraints and other long-term uncertainties in the preparation of projects and strategies, and build resilience in World Bank client countries. Julie Rozenberg holds an engineering degree from Ecole Nationale Superieure de Techniques Avancees and a PhD in economics from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

When: Tuesday 12 Sept 2017, 8 – 9:30am

+ Water Sensitive Cities: Transition Frameworks and Benchmarking – 28 Sept

Water services play an important role in enhancing a city’s liveability, sustainability, resilience and productivity. Achieving these outcomes requires a holistic understanding of a city’s water system across its socio-institutional and biophysical dimensions to develop strategic initiatives that support transitions towards more water sensitive practices. The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) has developed a suite of tools and methodologies to guide cities in benchmarking current performance, developing a shared water sensitive city vision and developing strategies for overcoming current barriers and achieving the vision.

This webinar will explore this transition planning process by outlining the Water Sensitive Cities Index tool, the Transition Dynamics Framework, and an envisioning methodology that together help guide a city’s water sensitive city transition.


Dr. Briony Rogers is a Senior Lecturer with Monash University’s School of Social Sciences and a Project Leader with the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) and Monash Water Sensitive Cities. Briony is also Co-Leader of the Urban Water Cluster with the Australia-Indonesia Centre. Her research explores how visioning, strategic planning and institutional change processes can enable transitions in urban water systems to create more liveable, sustainable and resilient cities.

Briony has an interdisciplinary background, with a PhD in Environmental Sociology, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science, as well as experience as an engineering consultant on water infrastructure projects in Australia and Vietnam.

Briony was selected by the International Social Science Council to be one of twenty World Social Science Fellows in the area of sustainable urbanisation. She is also co-chair of the International Working Group on Water Sensitive Urban Design.

When: Thursday 28 Sept 2017, 12 – 1:30pm

+ UN SDGs: A Framework for Improving Lives in Current and Future Generations – 5 Oct

This webinar will give an overview of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and discuss how the SDGs can be used as an organising framework to improve the lives of current and future generations and achieve sustainable development by 2030.


Marjan van den Belt is the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University of Wellington.

Marjan moved to New Zealand eight years ago, from The Netherlands, to lead and work together on innovative sustainability initiatives. Marjan has a Master of Business Economics from Erasmus University, Rotterdam and a PhD in Marine, Estuarine Environmental Science and a Graduate Certificate in Ecological Economics from the University of Maryland, USA.

Marjan is an expert on Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services and has worked with iwi on Social Ecological Entrepreneurship. She has worked internationally in a variety of roles, including strategy advisor for a sustainability-oriented start-up hedge fund in The Netherlands, co-founding a co-housing/eco-village in Vermont, USA, and running her own research consultancy on ‘mediated modelling’ in Vermont and waste minimization in Stockholm, Sweden.

Her trans-disciplinary interest spans land (e.g. urban, agricultural and conservation) and water (e.g. rivers, coast and marine) as they relate to human well-being and her skills are currently used to facilitate the co-creation of capability and knowledge through a ‘sustainability’ lens at Victoria University, for which she uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

When: Thursday 5 Oct 2017, 12 – 1:30pm

+ Money, Finance & Sustainability: How personal and institutional investors can actively support key Sustainable Development Goals – 12 Oct

Sustainability isn’t just an operational choice – more and more, it’s also a financial choice that has an impact on Sustainable Development Goals.

Many people are aware of “ethical investment” – looking to invest their money in alignment with their values. However, in a move that’s sweeping the world, increasingly personal as well as institutional investors are using their money to make change happen inside companies, both directly and indirectly. These changes have a real impact in the SDG areas of Consumption & Production, Climate Action and Affordable & clean Energy. 

During this session you will learn:

  • The latest trends in responsible investing, from ‘negative screening’ to ‘positive engagement’
  • How fund managers and investors are using environmental, social & governance assessment to guide their decisions – and influence the way companies do business
  • Sustainable investment’s impact on climate, energy and sustainable consumption.

Peter Lee is Principal and Chief Challenger of C2C Partners, a boutique investment, financial planning & employee benefits consultancy. He has held senior management roles including CEO of the Institute of Financial Advisers, the premier professional body, as well as senior roles at ANZ Bank and Guardian Trust.

Peter has  over 15 years of experience in ethical investment, launching two ethical investment funds and developing innovative ethical investment solutions. He is one of only six New Zealand financial adviser members of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia, and was a founder director of the Sustainable Business Network. C2C Partners is explicitly focused on helping individuals and businesses make a sustainable difference to the world.

When: Thursday 12 Oct 2017, 12 – 1:30pm

+ Feasibility of Rainwater and Greywater in Commercial Buildings: 2 Nov

Over the last 3-years, rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling systems in 8 commercial buildings were investigated to gain an understanding of their operational performance and the saving opportunities. From over 300 survey responses, cost was listed as the primary barrier to installation – as well as the biggest incentive. However, education appears to be the main overarching barrier to uptake. Furthermore, one of the largest perceived drivers to uptake was the positive impact on the water network in terms of delayed infrastructure, environmental benefits and resilience.

A key finding in this work is the perceived health risk associated with rainwater and greywater systems. The 8 case study buildings have provided an excellent baseline for both good and poor system design – leading to several learnings that can be adopted in future engineering design guidance. Buildings in Auckland, where volumetric wastewater charges exist, had the greatest financial incentive for reducing water use.


Since gaining her PhD in Building Science, Lee Bint has been furthering New Zealand’s water efficiency research over the last 5-years at BRANZ. She has been involved in the Wellington Young Professionals group and the Water Efficiency and Conservation Network (We Can) special interest group at Water New Zealand.

When: Thursday 2 Nov 2017, 12 – 1:30pm

+ Integrated Water Management in Practice: Aquarevo Development, Melbourne – 9 Nov

The use of alternative water supplies such as rainwater, recycled water and desalinated water are key to supporting the needs of Melbourne’s growing population and the challenge of climate change.  Melbourne’s population is predicted to grow from 5 million to 8 million by 2050, and an estimated 1.5 million new homes will need to be built.  Victoria’s population is also predicted to reach 10 million people by 2051, with major urban centres such as Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong expected to almost double.   Climate change phenomenon are making our weather patterns more intense and less predictable.  Against the backdrop of climate change and Melbourne’s growing population, indicative analysis suggests that major system augmentation is required.

Aquarevo is a residential community currently under construction in Lyndhurst, south east of the Melbourne CBD, that will implement an integrated approach to the supply of water and sewerage services.  It is a unique joint development between South East Water and Villawood Properties, aiming to reduce each home’s demand for drinking water by up to 70%.  South East Water is investing significant R&D into developing and testing the integrated water management technologies for Aquarevo.  Implementing these leading edge technologies, gives South East Water the opportunity to prove the benefits on a scale rarely possible, showing benefits to the householder and showing that they can make a contribution to future water supply sustainability and security.

This presentation will discuss the develop process and the sustainable technologies that will be included in the Aquarevo residences such as a rainwater harvesting system to supply a hot-water system for bathing, an App for customers to view usage and tips, a smart rainwater tanks equipped with stormwater mitigation technology, and an on-estate water recycling treatment plant producing Class A standard recycled water.


With a PhD in Chemistry, David Bergmann has worked in R&D roles in chemicals, detergents, food, manufacturing and now water and wastewater.

David is passionate about innovation and delivery of solutions that make a difference to our customers.

Within South East Water, David holds the role of Research & Development Manager, and is responsible for ensuring a healthy pipeline of projects being implemented in the field, and to enable the opportunity for commercialisation through their subsidiary ‘iota’.

South East Water is one of the three metropolitan water retailers servicing Melbourne.  Its region covers the south eastern suburbs including a growing population of 1.6 million and 700,000 connections.

When: Thursday 2 Nov 2017, 12 – 1:30pm

+ Construction and Demolition Waste: Reducing, Re-using and Reporting on Waste in NZ – 17 Nov

The constructon and demolition (C&D) industry is one of the largest waste producing industries in New Zealand. C&D waste may represent up to 50% of all waste generated in NZ, over 20% of all waste going to landfill and 80% of all waste going to cleanfill.

This session will explore the motivations, opportunities and impacts from viewing waste as a resource. We will discuss the various NZ tools currently available to report on waste and how they can be used.

We will address:

  • Why treat waste as a resource? What are the benefits from diverting or reducing waste?
  • Why and how can we effectively report on C&D waste?
  • How waste is reported within different tools and what impacts are generated

Andrew Walters

Andrew Walters is director at Global Action Plan Oceania, a registered sustainability charity that bridges the gap between intent and action. He specialises in corporate and community sustainability transformation and waste management and minimisation.

Andrew was previously leading sustainability projects at Auckland Council including the redevelopment of the Council offices on Albert St which achieved 82% diversion from landfill and a Greenstar 6 certification.

Sam Archer

Sam is a Sustainability Consultant and Mechanical Engineer with over 17 years experience in the Construction Industry. He is currently Director of Market Transformation at the New Zealand Green Building Council with a responsibility for running their sustainability and energy assessment tools.

He has a particular passion for sustainable housing having spent 6 years creating and managing the sustainability framework for a 3000 home development for the University of Cambridge in the UK.

When: Friday 17 Nov 12 – 1:30pm

Eventbrite - Construction and Demolition Waste: Reducing, Re-using and Reporting on Waste in NZ

Valuing Sustainability Webinar and Workshop

During May 2017 TSS hosted one-day workshops in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to offer built environment professionals an opportunity to learn more about the different frameworks and tools to integrate sustainability into their projects.

These workshops delved into ways to account for social, cultural and natural capitals, as well as wider economic value and explored how to understand what was relevant to built environment contexts and how to apply it to support smart decision-making.


TSS may consider offering this workshop again in the future. If you are interested in attending or hosting an in-house session, get in touch.  

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.