2023 AWARD WINNER
Sponsored by Tax Management New Zealand
Scott Waddell has led a project to enable Mataura Valley Milk to operate entirely on electricity. It will become Aotearoa New Zealand’s first 100% electric dairy factory powered by renewable energy. The project has involved building the first high-pressure electric boiler at a milk powder factory in this country, replacing a coal-fired boiler.
The project’s success has been due to Scott’s determination, leadership and drive. He has led the project from concept through to completion. Initially, his electrical and operational background enabled him to see that full-site electrification was possible from a technological perspective. He then developed the business case, secured funding and got board and senior leadership approval. He brought together multiple complex elements to bring the project to life, including new technologies, commercial power agreements, internal stakeholders and EECA funding.
The project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by around 22,000 tonnes of CO2-e, equivalent to removing all vehicles in Gore off the road.
Scott openly shares his ideas to help others to follow suit. If the technology was implemented industry-wide it could play a pivotal role in Aotearoa New Zealand meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Scott has come a long way from starting his electrical trade 11 years ago, to successfully leading one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest process heat decarbonisation projects.
The project is a collaboration between Mataura Valley Milk and EECA. Mataura Valley Milk is 75% owned by the a2 Milk Company.
The judges said: “Scott Waddell has shown his heart and soul in reshaping New Zealand's dairy industry. He's set to create New Zealand’s first 100% electric dairy factory powered by renewable energy, challenging the slow-moving and risk-averse dairy sector. His mission is to reduce carbon emissions, champion sustainability, and decarbonise the industry.
“Scott's innovative approach has not only transformed his workplace but has influenced competitors to follow suit, making a significant impact on the industry. He's a dedicated and disruptive thinker who has taken risks to lead the way in achieving a greener future for New Zealand. Scott's pioneering work and unwavering commitment to sustainability set him apart from others in the field, leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.”