Vanguard’s six facilities, located on dairy farms across Massachusetts and in Vermont, convert a combination of food waste and manure from farms into natural gas using a process called anaerobic digestion.
The promise of renewable natural gas is a sustainability win that has been financially and logistically out of reach for even the largest companies. Vanguard Renewables created the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance to start delivering on this promise for its founding members Unilever, Starbucks and Dairy Farmers of America.
A survey carried out after the November election found that 66 percent of respondents said that developing sources of clean energy should be a high or very high priority.
While zero-waste initiatives in the US gained momentum in 2019 and early 2020, myriad complications related to the pandemic brought many to a screeching halt. But as we transition from emergency mode, there have been restarts.
Vanguard Renewables is investing in both dairy manure only to renewable natural gas and co-digestion of food waste and dairy manure to renewable natural gas market options, At projects under construction nationwide they will make either electricity, heat, or transportation fuel. And it’s growing its network to pump up its feedstock supply while helping farmers cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Vanguard Renewables officially opened its Organics Recycling Facility in a private ceremony December 3, 2020 that included remarks from Chairman and CEO John Hanselman, Agawam Mayor William Sapelli, MA Senator John Velis, and MA Representative Nicholas Boldyga. Malaina Hudson, Director of Supply Chain Systems at Hillebrand Keg Pros, contributed remarks virtually.
Vanguard Renewables held a private outdoor ceremony Thursday morning to officially open its new Organics Recycling Facility. The advanced recycling facility will process expired goods, off-spec batches and any other food and beverages deemed unsafe to eat. The product is then moved to one of the company’s farm powered anaerobic digesters. The product is combined with farm waste and converted into renewable energy.
Farmers talk about the benefits of hosting a Farm Powered anaerobic digester on their farm including a diversified income stream to sustain the farm for future generations. They also reflect on overall benefits to the farm including regenerative agriculture best practices, increased crop yields and milk production, herd health, greenhouse gas reduction, manure management, and community relations.
The immediate future offers a financial challenge for most brewers and distributors; but everyone from craft brewers to large factories can increase sustainability and protect their bottom lines through process efficiencies, more nimble supply chains and smart recycling solutions.
After a growth trial in 2019, a Massachusetts CBD oil producer contracted with dairy farm in 2020 to grow 44 acres of hemp, fertilized with digestate.