Fonterra factory wins environmental award

The efforts of the South's largest dairy factory to lift its environmental performance has won one of the country's top green awards.

Fonterra Edendale has won the New Zealand Clean Air Society's annual Clean Air award, which recognises exceptional contributions by individuals and businesses to researching and improving the environment.

This win follows another environmental honour received by the factory two weeks ago when it won a similar accolade at Fonterra's site awards.

Fonterra Edendale hub manager Keith Mason said it had worked hard and invested "significantly" to improve its environmental performance.

"The quality of the air discharged from the site and this award reinforces the results we're achieving."

Its work in this area reflected the importance Fonterra placed on sustainability and environmental performance, not just at its Edendale plant but right through its international supply chain.

"Our business strategy is founded on the basis of being among the world's lowest-cost, most sustainable producers of dairy products," he said.

"That means we're always looking at resource use and minimising any possible environmental impacts from our operations."

This approach was a top priority and crucial to the industry's sustainability, Mr Mason said.

"This is an area where we can't stand still and so it was great news that Fonterra Edendale received the top environmental accolade at our annual Best Site awards.

"Receiving the endorsement of our local community with the Clean Air awards is the icing on the cake."

In January this year, Fonterra announced plans to build a new $212 million milk powder plant on its Edendale site, an investment it anticipates with projected growth in the South Island milk supply in the next five years.

The new plant is scheduled to start processing milk by the end of 2009.