Sainsbury’s is powering a number of its UK stores with energy generated from anaerobic digestion (AD) through a partnership with food waste processor ReFood.
According to the supermarket chain, the equivalent to 10% of its national gas consumption is now generated via the partnership with the food waste processor having already supplied stores with almost 50 million KWh of biomethane gas.
Food waste is collected from Sainsbury’s Sherburn-in-Elmet and Haydock depots before being converted into gas, heat and fertiliser at one of ReFood’s two operating AD facilities in Doncaster and Widnes. The gas created is then exported by the food waste recycler to the national gas grid.
The agreement is claimed to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK with ten stores having already increased their use of renewable energy, according to the food retailer.
Paul Densham, utilities buyer at Sainsbury’s, said of the project: “Increasing the sustainability of our UK stores is a key corporate priority and we’re making great progress in our drive to reduce food waste across the business.
“Working in partnership with ReFood allows us to effectively recycle our food waste, creating renewable energy in result and ensuring that we send zero waste to landfill – a promise we’ve been able to make for some years now.”
Anaerobic Digestion is the process whereby organic materials are broken down by natural micro-organisms, creating biogas which can go on to be used for renewable heat and energy.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, added: “Using our national network of processing plants, we’ve provided a truly sustainable solution for stores across the UK.
“What’s more, with a highly effective sustainable biofertiliser also generated via the AD process, stores nationwide are working together to effectively close the food supply chain – from farm to fork and back again.”