FIL Named as 2008 BOP Sustainable Business of the Year

Posted on 8 September 2008

FIL has scooped the supreme award at the Bay of Plenty Region Sustainable Business Awards.

The judges were impressed with FIL’s determination through ongoing R&D to make their products as environmentally and socially sound as possible, while educating their supply chain and customers in the process.

The company's new purpose built manufacturing facility leads the way within the industry and within New Zealand as the nation's most eco-effective industrial building.

Full media release follows:

Agri-business company collects top BoP sustainability award.

A company producing dairy farm chemicals has scooped the top prize for its sustainable business operations. In an unlikely industry to receive such recognition, Mt Maunganui based FIL scooped the supreme prize at the recent Bay of Plenty Sustainable Business awards.

New Zealand owned FIL has been supplying dairy hygiene, animal health, markers and nutritional products to the industry for over thirty years from its head office in Mt Maunganui and stores in Timaru.

The company’s new eco-designed head office and production plant has formed the centre piece to its sustainable business policies.

Company director Arthur Jordan said FIL’s farmer clients are increasingly expected to sustainably manage their water, energy and soil resources.

“It is only reasonable then companies further up the supply chain, like FIL, should do the same.

“It is difficult for a chemical company to win an award like this. We have worked very hard to produce products that are sustainable and environmentally compatible, using processes that minimise energy and waste,” he said.

“Attention to how we designed this new building is central to our sustainable goals, and the award confirms we are on the right track,” said Jordan.

The company’s head office features rainwater storage with water stored in two 30,000 litre tanks and treated for process use. Heat recovery systems include solar heating and process heat recovery with further heat requirements met using a boiler burning recovered waste car oil. Natural light is optimised throughout the building with louver systems to maximise light and reduce heat over summer.

He said all staff had the opportunity over two and a half years of planning to offer their thoughts on any aspect of the building’s construction and vision to be a true ‘Green Building.’

The result is a building that uses 80% less energy than traditional buildings of its size.

Just as farmers are increasingly expected to be accountable for their environmental management with effluent systems and nutrient management plans, FIL’s is aware of what future export clients will demand.

“Overseas buyers are increasingly requiring evidence of environmental sustainability from farmers and exporting companies like ours. FIL’s new building has one eye on their future expectations as the company aims to lift its export sales from 15 to 50% of turnover in five years,” said Jordan.

He credited former general manager Gavin Cherrie as a driving force behind the company’s sustainable vision.

“Farmers are aware we are a Kiwi owned business in tune with their own sustainable goals. This award has helped generate much goodwill and appreciation within the rural community,” said Jordan.

The company goes into the finals of the National Sustainable Business Awards next month in Auckland.