Chris Thurston

Head of Sustainability, Watercare Services, New Zealand

Chris Thurston

Head of Sustainability, Watercare Services, New Zealand

Biography

Chris Thurston is the head of sustainability for Watercare, based at the bottom of the world, in Auckland, New Zealand. We are New Zealand’s largest water and wastewater services provider and each day, we supply around 365 million litres of water to Aucklanders and collect, treat and dispose of around 460 million litres of wastewater. We interact closely with the natural environment and draw water from 27 sources. We own and manage assets worth $10.1 billion and have a large infrastructure pipeline to cater for the ongoing growth of our metro and rural populations.

Fully Sustainable is a strategic principle for Watercare and Chris is tasked with leading the integration of this thinking through a range of strategic approaches, process changes, innovative thinking and cultural engagement. Chris has launched Watercare’s first Climate Change Strategy, which has ambitious mitigation targets along with an in-depth programme of work on climate resilience.

Chris comes from a background with a wide range of sustainability focus having worked across New Zealand and the United Kingdom across private and Government roles. His specialty in greenhouse gas management has evolved into energy efficiency and renewables. His passion for collaborative approaches has been displayed working across ethical supply chain management and by working for the New Zealand Government on innovative public-private partnerships.

Chris is passionate about the water industry and the leadership role it can have in creating a sustainable future. The energy-water-climate nexus is a topic of great interest and he looks forward to meeting fellow professionals at the Global Water Summit to discuss these.