Putting global UN goals into action at home


We look at how dairy is delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and helping make the world a better place.

Four years ago, New Zealand was one of 193 countries that signed up to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The goals address big global challenges and aim to deliver a better and more sustainable future for all.

We support all 17 goals, but there are ten goals in particular where our business is having a real and positive impact.

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Across our value chain, we’re supporting healthy and sustainable livelihoods for our farmers by returning the most value from every drop of milk.

We’re providing good employment opportunities, giving people from all walks of life sustainable livelihoods so they can put food on the table for their families. 

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

We’re addressing public health challenges by improving the nutritional profile of our products and promoting healthy diets. Fonterra supports the Healthy Kids Industry Pledge. By unlocking the potential in dairy through science and innovation, we are developing products that contribute to balanced nutrition and respond to people’s changing needs, attitudes and lifestyles.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women

Across our global workforce, our focus is on ensuring equal opportunities for all. We’re ensuring equal participation and opportunities for women in our workforce. This includes identifying and eliminating unexplained gender pay gaps and increasing the proportion of women in senior leadership roles. We also support women in dairy through organisations like the Dairy Women’s Network and Rural Women NZ.

Goal 6: Ensure access to sanitation and water for all

We’re reducing the impact of farming and manufacturing on water quality and ecosystems, and helping our farmers continue to improve water quality in local waterways, rivers and streams.

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

We are committed to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse group of talented individuals and creating an inclusive culture so everyone can bring their best selves to work every day. 

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We’re committed to managing and using natural resources more efficiently. This means reducing waste throughout our supply chain. Our goal is to send zero solid waste to landfill and have 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.

This is part of our wider efforts to improve and reduce our environmental footprint across our business.

In our 2018 Sustainability Report, we identified the specific goals where we can make the most material contribution, the objectives we have prioritised for specific indicators and where this occurs in our value chain.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

We’re playing our part towards a healthy climate. We’re backing the Zero Carbon Bill and supporting our farmers to reduce methane and emissions on farm. In 2018, we piloted climate action plans on 100 farms and have committed to rolling these out to all farms by July 2020. We’re transitioning away from coal at our manufacturing sites, and have made a commitment not to install any new coal boilers.

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

Reducing our water use at our manufacturing sites is the right thing to do for the environment and for the communities we operate in. We’ve committed to reducing water use at six manufacturing sites in water-constrained regions by 30% by 2030.

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

We know that healthy freshwater and strong ecosystems underpin New Zealand’s sustainable future. That’s why we’re committed to the efficient use of water and working with our communities to improve the health of the country’s waterways. Through our Living Water partnership and our Sustainable Catchments work, we’re showing how dairying and freshwater can thrive together.

We’re committed to playing our part on this global blueprint, by working collaboratively to deliver change at scale and contributing where we can. We even measure up our progress against the goals in our annual Sustainability Report.

Putting global UN goals into action at home


Sustainability is core to our strategy. With New Zealand’s natural environment and some of the world’s most effective farmers, we’re well positioned to lead change.