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M&S to close food waste loop

Shanks and Energen Biogas have been contracted by Marks & Spencer to provide energy from food waste created by the supermarket giant.

M&S has signed up to receive the total energy output of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Cumbernauld, Glasgow, a joint venture between Shanks and Energen Biogas, which opened in October 2011.

M&S sends its food waste from all of its Scottish outlets to the plant, where it is converted to biogas for energy generation and digestate.

The supermarket will be buying around 19,000MWh per year from the AD plant, which processes 60 kilotonnes of food waste per year. This is equivalent to the power for 33 M&S Simply Food stores.

Giacinto Patellaro, head of energy supply and risk at M&S said: “Having advocated the use of AD technology since the launch of our sustainability programme, Plan A, back in 2007, we’re now seeing in practice how the plant at Cumbernauld is helping M&S to maintain two of our targets: to procure 100% renewable electricity and send zero waste to landfill.”

Ian Goodfellow, UK Managing Director at Shanks, said: “This agreement will take full advantage of our state-of-the-art AD plant in Cumbernauld. Not only does this reinforce our strategy to make more from waste, it also reflects Shanks‟ strong and growing presence in organics recycling and recovery.”

The John Lewis Partnership is a signatory of the Courtauld Commitment and among the targets in the group’s Sustainability Report this year is a pledge to keep all Waitrose shop waste from landfill by the end of the current financial year.

Supermarket giant J Sainsbury already sends no food waste to landfill from its stores and depots. Most goes to charities or AD.

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