Fonterra-EECA partnership heads towards a sustainable future


How a Fonterra-ECCA partnership is driving a 25 per cent reduction in emissions at our Brightwater site.

In partnership with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), Fonterra is making an industry-first move by converting the coal boiler at its Brightwater site so that it can be co-fired with wood biomass.

Transitioning New Zealand to low emissions future involves collaboration, co-ordination, and action.

The move will cut emissions from the site by 25 per cent, as well as significantly reduce reliance on coal. of the total reduction in carbon emissions is around 2,400 tonnes a year – the same as taking 530 cars off the road. 

EECA is providing funding support to the project through its Technology Demonstration programme, which encourages the adoption of new technology to reduce emissions.

Fonterra Chief Operating Officer Global Operations Robert Spurway says the move to a co-fired boiler decreases reliance on fossil fuels and is a significant step towards achieving Fonterra’s emission reduction targets.

“Last year we joined forces with the Ministry for the Environment to develop a roadmap to a low emissions future, which included a commitment to undertake a demonstration of co-firing wood biomass with coal at one of our sites.

“Now, with the support of EECA, we’re putting our co-firing strategy into action. Brightwater’s transition to a lower emission energy source is a tangible step toward achieving our target of reducing our Global Operations emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, and our longer-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

EECA Business Group Manager Market Engagement Greg Visser says the boiler technology has the potential to be a sustainability game-changer.

“This is exactly the type of demonstration project that EECA looks to support. Our funding helps de-risk investment in new technology application where there are big emissions reductions on offer.  It’s a great opportunity for replication across Fonterra – and by others looking to adopt this technology to save energy,” says Mr Visser.