About Clare, the Institute
and the meaning of life…

About Clare Feeney

I am a strategic trainer with over 30 years’ experience in hands-on environmental management, monitoring and training. I have a strong science background, with a First Class Honours Masters degree in Geography (limestone hydrology) from the University of Auckland. I lectured at the University of Auckland for two years and continue to deliver guest lectures there every year, to the Masters of Urban Planning class. I worked in regional government for twelve years before setting up my consulting company, focused on strategic environment and sustainability training – that’s training I deliver to help your experts deliver great training on their specialist topics.

My clients range from individual companies and sector associations to government bodies at all levels, as well as First Nations peoples. My book, How to Change the World – a practical guide to successful environmental training, draws on extensive research as well as practical experience. I’ve worked with local and national governments, factories, farms, mines, first peoples and big construction sites – but got out of sewage treatment before I fell in!

I belong to several professional associations, including the New Zealand Association of Training and Development, the Professional Speakers Association of New Zealand, Water New Zealand, Civil Contractors New Zealand, the International Erosion Control Association, the Sustainability Society (a special interest group of Engineering New Zealand), Infrastructure New Zealand and the Waste Management Institute of New Zealand.

Click here to check out how I can light up your event with my professional speaking!

Based in Auckland, New Zealand, I have a trusted network of other experts to draw upon as needed to best meet your needs. I happily travel for my work – conscientiously offsetting my carbon emissions through third-party verified systems.


I am the grateful recipient of four awards for my environmental work and professional speaking:

  • 2022 winner of the PSANZ President’s Award for services to the Professional Speakers Association of NZ
  • 2020 winner of Water New Zealand’s prestigious ‘Stormwater Professional of the Year’ Award
  • 2010 ‘Bright Star’ of the Year 2010 from National (now Professional) Speakers Association of New Zealand
  • 2010 joint winner of the occasionally (and seldom) awarded “Outstanding Contribution Award” from NZARM, the NZ Association of Resource Management


In 2019 I founded my Institute and its Environmental Training Hub to disseminate my unique strategic model of environmental training.

This exponential model helps environmental experts to deliver training that has measurable – and monetised – outcomes that create jobs, grow profits and improve the environment.

Find out here how we can all make a bigger difference, faster – and become a Learning Society. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says this has a greater impact on human wellbeing than any other form of government policy or resource allocation.


As a strategic trainer my aim is to elevate workforce training to its highest possible status: a powerful way of helping people solve the serious environmental issues facing humanity which also solves their associated social, cultural and economic problems.

I believe that environmental training can light the touchpaper of individual and organizational learning, generating the transformational change that we need to make a ‘just’ transition to a happier and more sustainable world.

To achieve this, I support environment and sustainability experts to deliver great training that transforms every job into a green job.

Unique Approach

My approach to environment and sustainability training is unique because:

  • it’s generic: there are many technical manuals on training for specific topics, e.g. water treatment, wastewater treatment, contaminated soil and other highly technical topics, but they are about ‘how to run a wastewater treatment plant’. By contrast, my book, strategic consulting and planetary training is about ‘how to set up, deliver and evaluate the effectiveness of an environmental training programme on “whatever your environmental issue of concern may be”’;
  • it’s transdisciplinary: like subject matter experts in other fields, most environmental experts don’t know that there is a worldwide body of professional trainers who follow a globally accepted suite of methods to develop, deliver and evaluate the effectiveness of training. I have worked in the environmental field all my professional life and have been a member of the New Zealand Association of Training and Development for almost all that time, so I’m in a unique position to bridge these separate fields and add significant value to environmental training programmes;

  • it’s strategic: I no longer deliver technical training myself because I cannot replace the huge range of specialized environmental experts who deliver training. Instead, I help them set up strategies and programmes that enhance their effectiveness, regardless of what public or private sector they work in;

  • it’s exponential: I train people to work in the same way I do, so that together we can disseminate this model and make a bigger difference faster; and

  • it’s revolutionary: as an environmental expert and ardent trainer, I focus on measurable results. My Planetary Training Model is a powerful breakthrough approach to environment and sustainability training that fully aligns the elements in my Success Framework (Chapter 3) with the globally accepted methods professional trainers use to evaluate their training – including full financial return on investment; the six forms of capital against which 70+ (and growing) stock exchanges require their listed companies to report; the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which New Zealand and most other nations have endorsed; and the Stockholm Resilience Institute’s nine planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for human life and civilization on Earth.

My Success Framework and exponential approach works across sectors and issues, including those in which the trainer is not an expert.

Environment and Sustainability Strategy and Training Institute Exponential Model