Sainsbury’s and Wyke Farms form green gas partnership

Two sustainable behemoths have formed a partnership which will see renowned cheese producers Wyke Farms generate green biogas to be used by Sainsbury's stores.

The new 12-month partnership will see Wyke Farms supply a ‘large proportion’ of the supermarket chain’s green gas, which currently accounts for 6% of Sainsbury’s total gas use.

As a result Sainsbury’s will reduce store carbon emissions by 24,000 tonnes over the course of the year – this equates to more than 5,000 cars being removed from UK roads.

Wyke Farms managing director Richard Clothier said: “We are delighted to be supplying Sainsbury with green gas for their stores. Supplying customers with gas as well as cheese, taking waste back in return, all forms part of the type of circular approach where everyone is a winner – especially the environment.”

Wyke Farms has a glowing track record for producing clean, renewable energy onsite across its farming portfolio.

Based in Summerset Wyke Farms has created a sustainable mantra to run on 100% renewable energy as part of its £10m, long-term sustainability plan – ‘100% Green’. The plan which includes reduced waste packaging, organic fertiliser and filtered water reuse sees the company generate up to £2m of upgraded biogas per year – meaning that no gas is purchased from the grid.

Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, engineering & energy said: “We are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Our partnership with Wyke Farms shows the commitment we have to drive down our carbon footprint in what we are sure will be an efficient and sustainable way.”

Organic growth

Sainsbury’s is no stranger to using biogas. Two years ago a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Cannock become the UK’s first supermarket to run on electricity generated solely from food waste.

Sainsbury’s stores from across the UK would send food waste to waste management firm Biffa to be turned into bio-methane gas, which is then used to generate electricity at the Biffa plant in Cannock and fed to the store via a 1.5km-long electricity cable.

The Cannock store picked up an award for best sustainable building at edie’s exclusive Sustainability Leaders Awards in 2014. Wyke Farms was also nominated for a variety of awards.

According to figures from the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), growth in the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) sector has seen electricity generation from bioenergy surge by 40% from 2013-14 – operating at a new capacity threshold of 216MW.

Matt Mace

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