Young energy strategist awarded for leading change for Fonterra


Fonterra Energy Manager Linda Thompson has been named Young Energy Professional of the Year 2016 at the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards held in Auckland this week.

The award recognises Linda as ‘the standout professional under the age of 40 in the New Zealand energy sector’ for her accomplishments in the energy field.  

Ian Goldschmidt, Environmental Manager at Fonterra said, “Linda has really helped give Fonterra strong direction on where we should be heading in the energy space.”

Linda has developed a comprehensive energy strategy focused on increasing efficiency, sourcing and researching alternative energy sources such as bio mass, and bio fuel.

“A great example of Linda’s work is at Fonterra’s Edendale site, which was also a finalist in the awards. Last year the site built four new plants without having to install any new boilers thanks to new heat recovery technology.”  

Ian says Linda’s vision for the future of energy sets her apart as a young professional. And much of that vision is reflected in Fonterra’s overarching sustainability strategy and environmental policies.

Fonterra has made substantial commitments to the environment, with a major focus on energy efficiency and identifying more sustainable energy sources.

“Fonterra has one of the longest running energy efficiency programmes in New Zealand. Since 2003 we’ve achieved more than 16 per cent reduction in energy intensity – and we’re on track for our target to reach 20 per cent by the year 2020,” Ian said.

Energy is front of mind for Fonterra both in terms of efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint.

“On one hand energy efficiency improves return to our farmers through reduced manufacturing costs. And on the other it supports our stakeholders and communities by helping the country reduce carbon emissions. It’s good for everyone,” Mr Goldschmidt said.

Deloitte awards organisers commented on Linda having taken on the role of Energy Manager in 2012 with no prior experience in the energy sector. And how she cemented key objectives for Fonterra’s energy portfolio with the view to using resources more efficiently and sustainably.

The judges were impressed with key initiatives championed by her team, including participating in the spot market to reduce electricity purchase costs, dual-fuelling select manufacturing sites to increase energy security and achieving notable energy savings at targeted sites.