New targets to reduce water use


More than 3.4 billion litres of water (or about the same as 1,350 Olympic swimming pools) will be saved every year under new water targets Fonterra launched today.

The Co-operative has announced that six manufacturing sites in water-constrained regions will reduce their water use by 30% by 2030 as part of its move to accelerate sustainability to the heart of its strategy.

“Water is a precious resource and we can’t take it for granted. For some parts of New Zealand, water isn’t always in the right place at the right time, and our water use in these regions can put stress on local water sources and the communities that rely on them,” says Fonterra Chief Operating Officer Global Operations Robert Spurway.

“Reducing our water use at our manufacturing sites is the right thing to do for the environment and for the communities we operate in. That’s why we’ve set this new target, which will save billions of litres of water.”

The six sites are Maungatoroto, Lichfield, Brightwater, Darfield, Edendale and Clandeboye.

Mr Spurway says taking a targeted approach will ultimately result in better efficiency and outcomes.

“We’ve focused on the six sites where major water savings can have the greatest impact. This means we can target efforts and investment into those regions most in need.”

All other sites across Fonterra’s entire manufacturing footprint will take steps to keep water use to FY18 baselines.

“Some initiatives are underway with more in the pipeline. This target will require some clever ideas and creative thinking. But our site teams are already rising to the challenge.”

This target is the latest in a series of commitments the Co-operative has set as it embeds sustainability at the heart of its strategy. These include:

  • No more coal boilers or increasing capacity to burn coal
  • Reducing emissions by 30% across all manufacturing operations by 2030, on the way to net zero by 2050
  • Improving the energy intensity of our sites by 20% by 2020
  • No solid waste to landfills by 2025
  • 100% recyclable, reusable and compostable packaging by 2025
  • A tailored Farm Environment Plan for every Fonterra farmer by 2025
  • Farm-specific emissions reports for every Fonterra farmer by the end of this season.

Fonterra cares about water, whether it’s on-farm or at our manufacturing sites. More information about our efforts to look after water can be found at