From goat embryos to reuseable bottles

15 Nov 2022

From overseeing $10,000 exotic goat embryos being harvested in Zimbabwe and born in France, to low-value high-volume bottled water, Old Boy and entrepreneur Richard Macdonald (7858) thrives on new and varied challenges.

In 1988 during his three-year joint CEO contract in Europe, he imported a trial of the Kaiapoi bottled water brand NZ Natural for distribution in Amsterdam and London. This triggered a 32-year love of bottled water, and the 1991 purchase of one of the world’s oldest brands, Alexanders, which was established in 1861.

A move to Auckland in 2011 was the catalyst for new thinking. In 2022, his brand AWA subsequently was nominated as a finalist in the prestigious Sustainable Business Awards in the Going Circular category. Since March 2022, he has been donating 10c per bottle to Save the Children Ukraine.

Richard’s bottling factory does not contain one single-use bottle or bag. Every bottle is returned for steam cleaning and refilling. Because 98% of his brands are being used in Auckland city, the carbon footprint is extremely low.

Since early 2019, Richard has visited the United States every four months where his concept is being licensed. This has involved visiting about 20 states and driving 35,000 kilometres.

He says he found the empty planes and airports during 2020-21 a positive and unique experience.