Fonterra sustainability director Carolyn Mortland steps down as dairy firm restructures function

Mortland is moving on after 19 years to pursue a family business as the dairy giant rethinks how sustainability is managed.

Carolyn Mortland
Carolyn Mortland joined Fonterra in 2002, and was appointed global director of sustainability in 2019. Image: Fonterra

The global sustainability director for Fonterra, Carolyn Mortland, is moving on from the role after 19 years with the New Zealand-headquartered multinational dairy company.

There will be no replacement for Mortland as sustainability is integrated into the business, with many of the company’s functions now with sustainability capabilities.

The company’s sustainability programmes are to be aligned through a regular forum chaired by Fonterra’s chief operations officer, Fraser Whineray. Fonterra’s head of corporate sustainability is Lee Stewart.

A spokesperson told Eco-Business: “Carolyn Mortland’s decision to pursue her own family business came at an exciting time for the co-operative as sustainability becomes more mainstreamed across our operations.”

Mortland joined the company in 2002, and was appointed global director of sustainability in 2019. She started out as an in-house lawyer and has also worked in government relations, trade and advocacy roles during her time with the company.

In a LinkedIn post, Mortland said she planned to create “a flexible career” for herself, using her sustainability, business and stakeholder skills to work with other organisations “which want to be purpose-led”.

Fonterra recently announced a new strategy, which includes an investment of NZ$1 billion (US$693,000) in sustainability over the next decade, including stopping using coal boilers by 2037 and upgrades to wastewater treatment systems.

Fonterra told Eco-Business: “We’re now at the execution phase of this plan and it [sustainability] sits within a number of different teams throughout the co-operative. It’s pleasing to be at a point where sustainability is at a stage where it is an integral part of our business-as-usual.”

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