Sainsbury’s teams up with Biffa to become UK’s largest AD retailer

Sainsbury's has joined forces with Biffa to send all food waste from its distribution centres to anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities, making AD the retailer's preferred recovery route for this material stream.

Under the three-year deal, Biffa will collect the food waste and some of it will be sent to the company’s AD plant in Staffordshire, which has capacity to process up to 120,000 tonnes every year.

The facility, which opened in June, has already started to produce energy. At full capacity it is expected to produce renewable energy to power up to 10,000 homes.

Sainsbury’s claims the deal with Biffa makes it the UK’s largest retail user of AD. The company’s property director, Neil Sachdev, said: “This new contract means our food waste is being put to the best possible use. It has taken quite some time for us to get into a position where we are able to send all of our food waste to AD due to a lack of facilities in the UK.”

Sainsbury’s limits the amount of food waste it produces through stock control and accurate sales forecasting. Any surplus food which isn’t sold but is still fit for consumption is sent to local charities and organisations such as FareShare, who redistribute the supplies.

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie