Sus­tain­able milk pro­duc­ers

The Southland Times - - WEATHER - BRIT­TANY PICK­ETT

Fon­terra’s Eden­dale site is the best per­form­ing site for sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tives. The South­land site was awarded the Sus­tain­abil­ity Cup which is part of Fon­terra’s in­house awards that recog­nises ex­cel­lence among its dairy man­u­fac­tur­ing sites across a range of cat­e­gories from safety to sus­tain­abil­ity, peo­ple to pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Each year, the awards also crown Small, Medium, and Large Site Cup grand win­ners that are lead­ers in dairy in­no­va­tion, com­mu­nity and iwi en­gage­ment, staff sat­is­fac­tion and health, safety and qual­ity.

The Eden­dale site won the sus­tain­abil­ity award based on its en­ergy and wa­ter re­duc­tion, heat re­cov­ery and com­mu­nity and iwi en­gage­ment.

En­ergy and wa­ter re­duc­tion at Eden­dale and Stir­ling sites saved $2.5 mil­lion in en­ergy in the past year. The site is also the first large man­u­fac­turer to achieve four stars in the En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency and Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity’s (EECA) one to five en­ergy man­age­ment as­sess­ment.

Site man­ager Richard Gray said the site stood out in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and for its con­sul­ta­tion with iwi and the com­mu­nity about con­sents and other is­sues.

‘‘I shouldn’t say it was a sur­prise, we’ve done a lot of re­ally hard work but it was quite ex­cit­ing.’’

The other part of the award fo­cussed on gen­eral en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pli­ance.

Gray said Eden­dale staff had been steadily im­prov­ing their en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance through work­ing through past is­sues to en­sure they did not hap­pen again.

‘‘For a site like this, it’s a big site, it’s a pretty com­plex oper­a­tion and it does have the po­ten­tial to have an ef­fect on the com­mu­nity, and I think the work that is done by not just the en­vi­ron­men­tal team but ev­ery­one at the site re­ally works to try and min­imise that im­pact.’’

In the past year the site has re­duced its en­ergy use by 2.5 per cent.

Gray said it was a sig­nif­i­cant sav­ing which went di­rectly back to the pock­ets of Fon­terra share­hold­ers.

‘‘The work we can do here has a def­i­nite and dis­tinct ben­e­fit to our share­hold­ers.’’

While the whole site won the award, there were some staff mem­bers who helped lead the charge.

En­ergy ef­fi­ciency cham­pion Kan­chana Maras­inghe said the award recog­nised the added value of fo­cussing on im­prov­ing en­ergy use.

En­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vi­sor Chris­tian Gunter said it was a good af­fir­ma­tion that the site was on track with its en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance.

‘‘It also sets a stan­dard for us to con­tinue to im­prove.’’

Global oper­a­tions chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Robert Spur­way said the co-op­er­a­tive’s goal was to be lead­ers in en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity in dairy man­u­fac­tur­ing around the world.

En­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity was cen­tral to Fon­terra as a co­op­er­a­tive, he said.

‘‘We talk about Fon­terra be­ing ‘of the land’ and that’s ev­i­denced in our farm­ers’ care for the en­vi­ron­ment, and the con­stant fo­cus our peo­ple place on min­imis­ing our foot­print across our man­u­fac­tur­ing sites.’’

Ev­ery one of the more than 650 peo­ple work­ing at Eden­dale was fo­cused on do­ing what was right for the en­vi­ron­ment, he said.

‘‘We see it in their ev­ery­day be­hav­iour, and it was ev­i­denced even in the tough­est of times – dur­ing our silo col­lapse – when the quick think­ing of our team en­sured there was no en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.’’

Fon­terra Eden­dale en­ergy ef­fi­ciency cham­pion Kan­chana Maras­inghe, site man­ager Richard Gray and en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vi­sor Chris­tian Gunter.

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