Renewables ups lobby clout with ‘superbrand’ merger

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has strengthened its lobbying position following a vote by members to integrate the Association for Organics Recycling (AfOR) into its operations.

The merger will be completed by the end of this year and will see REA’s membership in the UK exceed 1,000 companies and individuals for the first time.

The AfOR, which has seen its position weakened with the rapid expansion of the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Association (ADBA), will see its activities paired off to various parts of the REA outfit.

Its certification activities, covering compost and biodegradable packaging, will move to REA’s subsidiary Renewable Energy Assurance while its training programmes will continue as part of REA’s programme of training courses for members and non-members.

Meanwhile AfOR’s managing director Jeremy Jacobs become the REA’s technical director. Commenting on the merger, he said that many AfOR members were increasingly active in anaerobic digestion and the supply of renewable fuels.

“This move will bring tangible benefits to existing members of both associations. In addition, our certification activity has natural synergies with the two existing biogas certification schemes run by the REA’s subsidiary company,” he said.

AfOR was set up in 1994 and comprises around 300 members. It is a leading trade organisation for the UK’s biodegradable waste management industry in the UK including composting, anaerobic and aerobic digestion, and the provision of fuels for biomass heat and power.

The news has been welcomed by key stakeholders in the UK waste and energy landscape. Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “It’s good to see the REA and AFOR being brought together under one roof, bringing AfOR’s expertise on anaerobic digestion and waste management to the table.”

NNFCC CEO Dr Jeremy Tomkinson added that the consolidation should give the anaerobic digestion and composting industries a “greater voice” going into the future.

“[They] are two of the most respected names in the sector, by merging they are creating a ‘superbrand’ to boost green growth,” he said.

Maxine Perella

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