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Fonterra released its sustainability score card this week, which summarises the co-op's progress towards people and environmental targets.
Next week, Fonterra will announce its annual results, along with its fifth Sustainability Report.
This report covers Fonterra's activities in detail, across business, people, and environment - three vital ingredients for a sustainable co-operative, Fonterra Chief Operating Officer Fraser Whineray said.
The scorecard was a summary covering two of those activities – people and environment, Whineray told The Country Sport Breakfast's Brian Kelly.
"[The scorecard] made it easy to track how we're going against our long-term targets. It's really important to transparently report that."
The scorecard allowed Fonterra to ensure it stayed focused on bringing the whole co-operative together to make it a success, Whineray said.
Fonterra has made good progress with its environmental targets, both in New Zealand and around the world.
One of the co-op's biggest achievements was an 11 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from coal in a single year.
This was primarily through the conversion to renewable wood pellets at Fonterra's Te Awamutu site, Whineray said.
"That was a great step towards our 2030 target of reducing absolute emissions by 30 per cent off-farm and getting out of coal altogether by 2037."
The co-op had nine sites to convert, with the next project at Fonterra's Stirling cheese site in the South Island, Whineray said.
"That'll become the first 100 per cent renewable thermal energy site for us – so that's the exciting one we're on to next, and doing the Te Awamutu project gave us even more confidence to proceed with that."
Meanwhile, progress on-farm was also continuing for Fonterra, even though the co-op was already one of the most carbon efficient producers of dairy nutrition in the world, Whineray said.
This year Fonterra introduced The Co-operative Difference payment which rewards farmers for on-farm demonstration of care for the environment, animals, people and community.
Last season, around 30 per cent of Fonterra farms were recognised with a 25 per cent increase in farms achieving Te Tihi (top level) and Te Puku (middle level), with around a third of Fonterra farms recognised in the overall programme.
On top of this, 53 per cent of Fonterra farmers in New Zealand also had tailored Farm Environment Plans, which was up from 34 per cent last year, Whineray said.
"We are on our way to 100 per cent by 2025 and that's provided free to all farmers."
There was also "plenty of work" going on with "the big ticket" – on-farm methane and research, Whineray said.
This includes a seaweed trial, the Kowbucha project, and a partnership with DSM, all aiming to limit methane production from cows.
"That's ongoing in a really exciting space as well. So there's really good progress across the whole supply chain."