For the second year in a row Fonterra Pahiatua has picked up the company's Sustainability Cup.
It is part of Fonterra's annual Manufacturing Best Site Cup Awards recognising excellence over a number of categories.
"Winning the cup was recognising the work our entire team have done in the three main focus areas of sustainability," said Graham Thomson, site operations manager for Fonterra Pahiatua and Longburn.
"We manufactured a record tonnage at Pahiatua this year, with over 140,000 tonnes of milk powder being produced" he said. "Pahiatua employs over 220 staff and everyone has contributed to this award in some way.
"Three years ago Fonterra had a strategy reset, one of the three pillars of that new strategy was Sustainability, along with Innovation and Efficiency.
"The focus areas in sustainability at a manufacturing level were solid waste, energy and water – across all of these categories Fonterra has set ambitious targets for individual sites to achieve.
"We targeted an improvement on what we achieved last year across all three of these categories and we are proud to have achieved those gains.
"We were already the most water-efficient site in the country and we continue to be so. We have made incremental improvements on our water recovery programme.
"Effectively we're taking the water out of the milk and where we used to send that down to the river, we now process it through a reverse osmosis plant and turn it into water that is reused on site."
■ Solid Waste
"It's about trying to reuse and recycle and reduce as much as we can. We've done a lot of work on just simple things, like turning all our rubbish bags into clear bags, so it can be easily seen if recyclable material is being thrown to landfill. Small changes in behaviours can make a difference and setting a target can help keep focus."
■ Energy Reduction
"Our two main energy sources at Pahiatua are natural gas and electricity. Once again if we can make small changes and improvements in how we use that energy then our costs will reduce, along with a reduction on the impact to the environment," Graham said.
"Fonterra Pahiatua has made water savings of over half a million litres a day," said Geoff Charleson, environmental manager. "Reliability is one of the keys and we have been able on occasions to run our new plant 24-hours per day for 28 days continuously without a stoppage. After this time the plant is then shut down for 12 hours and the milk powder driers are cleaned out," he said.
"All of our teams have to be performing at a high level for these things to happen.
"To win the sustainability cup for two years in a row, it's a real honour and reflects on all the work everyone out here has done," he said.