Sustainability

Sustainability lies at the heart of all we do.

Our duty is to:

  • treat and supply the water that nature provides, and

  • treat wastewater to a high standard to protect Auckland’s environment.

We need to keep our harbours, estuaries and freshwater ecosystems healthy so Aucklanders can continue to enjoy a safe, clean environment.

Protecting the environment

We aim to minimise the impact of our activities and contribute to the restoration of Auckland’s environment. From recycling and composting our office waste, to reusing biosolids, to restoring habitats, we work hard to enhance nature and protect biodiversity.

Environment and community 

Treating biosolids

Climate change strategy

The global impacts of the changing climate will bring significant direct and indirect changes and challenges. For Watercare these include extreme weather events, prolonged dry periods, rising seas and increased coastal flooding.

  • Our climate change strategy sets out our future direction as we embark on a journey to operate a low carbon organisation that is resilient to climate impacts
  • Our climate change policy communicates to staff and suppliers what is expected of them to contribute to our climate objectives each year
  • We have created a summarised version of the strategy to help communicate the challenges that we face, our ambitious targets and our work plan

Reducing our carbon footprint

We have initiated a range of projects that support our ambitious carbon reduction targets:

  • Revegetation programme in the Hūnua Ranges
  • Solar power pilot schemes at a pump station near Pukekohe Wastewater Treatment Plant, Redoubt Road water reservoir and Wellsford Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Conversion of 30 per cent of pool fleet cars to electric vehicles
  • Plans and progress to make the Māngere and Rosedale wastewater treatment plants energy neutral by 2025, which would be a world-first for a plant the size of Māngere
  • Initiated 40/20/20 vision for our capital works programme (reduce our infrastructure carbon by 40 per cent, reduce our cost by 20 per cent and have a 20 per cent year-on-year improvement in health and safety outcomes).

Energy improvement programme

Energy is a significant part of our operations and carbon footprint. We aspire to be a leader in energy management.

  • Our energy policy sets out our targets and expectations for staff and suppliers in energy management
  • Between 2016 and 2019 we have been working with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. See how we met our 8GWh savings target
  • We are working on five work streams to achieve our goal of energy neutrality at our Māngere and Rosedale wastewater treatment plants.

Managing water demand

As Auckland's population grows, reducing water wastage becomes more and more important. We are committed to helping residents and businesses to reduce their water use. This helps us defer the need to build new water infrastructure, which in turn keeps our costs down.

  • Our water efficiency strategy outlines our efforts to reduce average rates of consumption across the region. Auckland already outperforms other New Zealand cities in conserving water.
  • ​We are working with households and businesses to manage water, and we offer free water audit and efficiency programmes. For more information call us on (09) 442 2222, press 3, or email info@water.co.nz 
  • We offer practical tips and advice for using water wisely. 
  • Our Be Waterwise programme encourages households and businesses to save water and help the environment.

Supporting communities

We partner with local organisations to:

We offer free, hands-on lessons to teach children about water and their local environment with the Watercare education programme

Read about our community initiatives

Consulting with stakeholders

Two advisory groups help us to consider external viewpoints on the environmental effects of our activities:

Environmental Advisory Group: This is an independent group we have brought together to advise, support and challenge our approach to sustainability generally and environmental matters in particular. The EAG helps us to anticipate emerging issues, expresses community concerns and informs our strategy development.

Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum: We meet quarterly with this forum in order to:

  • ensure difficult issues are discussed openly
  • consult on projects that may affect the interests of mana whenua
  • develop a view on future freshwater management.


Documents

Energy policy PDF (811 kB)
Energy and greenhouse gas emissions supplement 2015 PDF (1.92 MB)
Biodiversity supplement 2015 PDF (1.91 MB)