Sustainability and Nelson 2060

Nelson City Council worked with the Nelson community to create a vision for Nelson over the next generation and beyond. If you would like more information go to our Nelson 2060 page.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is  "a state which does not systematically undermine natural or social systems", a definition provided by The Natural Step and one adopted by Nelson City Council.  It is something which is relevant to everything that we do.

This page lists a range of resources under different topic headings, which can be used to develop greater understanding of, and knowledge about, sustainability in the Nelson community. Published materials are available at Nelson Public Libraries, in print or online.

 Natural Step and planning for sustainability

local resources
National resources
  • Natural Step : the Natural Step Environment Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand
    The Natural Step (TNS) is an international non-profit environmental education organization working to build an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable society. The site outlines the activities of the Natural Step in NZ, referring to the NZ companies taking part in the Pathfinder programme. Resources include an online newsletter.
  • Sustainability Council of New Zealand
    A charitable trust with no political affiliations. Contains news and publications on issues relating to GM research and sustainable development.
  • Sustainable Future : exploring a complex world
    Sustainable Futureis a research organisation specialising in issues affecting New Zealand. Site has information about current New Zealand and global sustainability developments and policy analysis and research. Includes publications, reports and resources.
international resources

 Sustainability at home

  • Ecobob
    Site developed to make eco friendly living easy. Provides users with an easy way of accessing information on environmentally friendly living such as profiles of eco houses, a listing of businesses providing eco living products and services, a range of information articles on eco living and an online community for people to share ideas and connect on eco living topics
  • Environmental Choice New Zealand
    Environmental Choice is the official environmental labelling programme. Looks at how to improve the quality of the environment by encouraging more sustainable processes through e.g. the design, production, marketing, and use of products which have a reduced environment impact during their entire life cycle.
  • Good : New Zealand's guide to sustainable living
    Good magazine provides information, advice, and ideas about sustainable living. Site includes subscription details, contents and some articles in full-text.
  • Smarter homes : creating healthy, affordable homes for better living
    Information about designing or remodelling homes so that they are more environmentallly friendly, energy-efficient, warmer, dryer, and more affordable. Includes technical information, news, and case studies.
  • Living Heritage – Growing Native Plants in Nelson (821KB PDF) (2003)
    Department of Conservation and Nelson City Council - guide to growing the right native plants.

 Building Design

 Sustainability at work

Read about local iniatives, resources and information on this site.

  • BusinessCare
    By providing training and support, BusinessCare aims to increase the number of people who have cleaner production skills throughout the country, giving business and industry greater access to experts to help them towards a sustainable future.
  • Green office guide
    Information on building a business case for an environmentally friendly office ; practical tips, and a directory of environmentally friendly services, supplies, and information providers.
  • GreenFleet/ Sustainable Business Network
    Programme which enables New Zealand businesses to do something towards reducing the environmental impacts of their vehicle fleet. Highlights services and tools available to calculate and offset carbon emissions; includes events calendar, resources, and news
  • New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development
    NZBCSD provides business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development and promotes eco-efficiency, innovation, and responsible entrepreneurship. Site provides information about the council, its projects, and public events. Includes news and online resources.
  • Sustain : New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development newsletter / New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development
    Sustain, published by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, covers sustainable development news, issues and events. All issues are available in full-text.
  • New Zealand Green Building Council - a not-for-profit, industry organisation dedicated to accelerating the development and adoption of market-based green building practices

 Sustainability in the Community

 Climate Change


Web links


Read about support and advice from Nelson City Council on this site.


Read about transport in Nelson

  • Go Smarter - NZ organisation for Sustainable mobility
  • Fuel Saver - NZTA site: tips and tools for travelling smarter

 Sustainability and waste/ recycling

Local resources
  • Waste Education Service
    WES is a free service for your business or school - provided through Nelson Environment Centre for Tasman District and Nelson City Councils. Our Waste Education Service can help you discover all the ways you can reduce, re-use, and recycle your waste.
  • Nelson Freecycle group - Non-profit exchange network for unwanted goods
NZ resources
  • CANZBAC : can recycling : you can
    Information for homes, industries and councils about how to recycle cans. Includes educational resouces and activities about steel cans and recycling.
  • DonateNZ
    Suggests options for passing on unwanted household goods which will support the local community and help save the environment. Includes links to community news, events, competitions and re-use tips and ideas.
  • Maximising recovery
    Advice and services for New Zealand industry to help meet demands for more sustainable and commercially driven waste solutions. Includes link to the RAWNZ (Recycling and Waste New Zealand) online discussion group.
  • New Zealand waste exchanges
    Directory of waste exchanges in New Zealand.
  • Waste Exchange
    A free not for profit organisation which operates in many parts of New Zealand. It enables the exchange of information resulting in the diversion of waste from landfill to reuse or recycling. Includes lists of waste available and registers of material available or wanted.
  • WasteMINZ
    The Waste Management Institute of New Zealand exists to promote sound waste management for the benefit of all New Zealanders. Their primary function is to act as a facilitator for the waste industry. They host an annual conference, hold seminars and/or workshops during the year, which are relevant to their Interest Groups. These comprise Landfill, Hazardous Waste, Environmental Education and Recycling.
  • Your guide to reducing building material wastes
    Information about the Resource Efficiency in the Building and Related Industries initiative, including guidelines about resource efficiency, case studies, directories of purchasers of recyclable materials, online resources, and a link to the national waste exchange database.
  • Zerowaste New Zealand
    Zero Waste is an approach that maximises recycling and waste minimisation and a design principle which ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace. The site provides information about the Trust and its philosophies and activities. It describes zero waste solutions and includes online reports, information and website links.

 Sustainability and our natural environment

  • Action Bio-Community : local capacity in biodiversity management
    Includes latest developments in the bio diversity management project for councils and communities. Contains resources, case-studies, reference material and contacts.
  • Bio-Protection : bioprotection science for New Zealand
    The Centre's mission is to champion novel bioprotection technologies for New Zealand's plant-based primary industries through research and development, leading to enhanced national biosecurity, sustainable production systems, wealth-creating technology, protection of ecosystems. Site includes information about the Centre, latest news, reserach, and publications.
  • Clean Air Society of Australia & New Zealand
    Information about the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand, including training, publications and special interest groups. Includes the latest issue of Clean air news
  • Canopy
    The newsletter of the New Zealand Native Forests Restoration Trust. Issues are available in full-text.
  • Earth sea & sky
    Part of Te Ara online encyclopedia of New Zealand, covering natural environment topics.
  • Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New Zealand
    Information about ECO and its member groups as well as news of the environment in New Zealand
  • Environmental Defence Society : EDS
    Website of organisation committed to improving environmental outcomes within New Zealand through litigation, community support, research and policy analysis. Contains information about the Society, news, events, and e-resources including newsletters, media statements, articles and submissions
  • Forest & Bird
    Site of New Zealand's largest independent conservation organisation. Includes information about native animals and plants, natural environments and threats to the ecosystem. Includes a blog and a map that helps find conservation campaigns and activities around the country.
  • Our chance to turn the tide = Whakakōhukihukitia te tai roroku ki te tai oranga
    New Zealand government site about native biodiversity, what is being done to help conserve and manage it, and who are involved. Details of initiatives under the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy. Includes publications; downloads and advice on how to get involved.
  • Sustainable Coastlines : projects to sustain and protect our coastlines
    About the New Zealand organisation which organises and supports events and coastal clean-ups in New Zealand and around the world