We work alongside farms to solve manure and nutrient management challenges and provide a diversified income stream. A typical farm in our Farm Powered program has 350 to 1,500 milking head and approximately 1,800 acres. Hosting a Farm Powered facility minimizes on-farm methane emissions by recycling farm manure, combining it with food and beverage waste in an anaerobic digester, and producing renewable energy and low carbon fertilizer. Farms receive an additional income stream for hosting the digester, reduced expense for fertilizer and bedding, methane emissions reduction, enhanced nutrient management, and improved herd health.

Farms can be secure knowing that the anaerobic digester on their farm is owned and professionally operated by Vanguard personnel with 24/7/365 monitoring. Farmers can do what they do best: farm their land.

Regenerative agriculture and sustainability take center stage in the operations of Vanguard’s farm partners.

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Methane from manure: An income stream to consider

For all the challenges associated with manure, there’s a positive side to this organic substance, as a source of renewable energy that goes well beyond its traditional use as a fertilizer.
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Dairy Farm

Farmers are proud stewards of the land — concerned neighbors striving to do what is best for the herd, their farms, and the community — and we are proud to call them our partners. 

Farm Powered Projects


We work with food and beverage producers and retailers to regenerate all organic waste that is no longer edible as we strive to do better for people, planet, and profit. Together with our partners, we offer a pathway to repurposing that waste into renewable energy

Food and beverage partners get a customized, reliable, and cost-competitive food waste recycling solution that complies with state organics recycling mandates and sustains an American farm. And, the opportunity to decarbonize their thermal load with renewable natural gas procurement.

Feedstock suppliers get a cost-effective, customized, and scalable food waste collection and recycling plan. And, help sustain a family farm.

  • Diverts food waste from landfills
  • Complies with organics to landfill bans
  • Compliments composting solutions
  • Reliable, customizable, and scalable
  • Depackaging available to pre-process waste streams
  • Works with your current hauler or we can provide one
  • Renewable natural gas procurement opportunity
  • Farm Powered-branding elevates brand credibility and customer loyalty

Major Farm Powered food manufacturers, producers, retailers, and institutions include Middlebury College, Gorton’s Seafood, Polar Beverages, Whole Foods, Cabot Creamery, Polar Beverages, Harpoon Brewing Company, New England Natural Bakers, Cape Cod Chips, and Hillebrand.

Vanguard’s Farm Powered Strategic Alliance supports decarbonization and corporate and institutional ESG goals, while providing the transparency and traceability of waste streams customers demand.

Vanguard currently collects and recycles more than 500 tons of organic waste per day into clean, renewable energy. That’s greater than the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

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74 percent of Americans would rather shop and spend money at a business that recycles and reuses materials according to a study by The Recycling Partnership.
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Major food industry leaders are joining forces alongside Vanguard Renewables to launch the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance (FPSA) aimed at accelerating long-term commitments to avoid or eliminate food waste first and repurpose what can’t be eliminated into renewable energy. FPSA first movers include Unilever, Starbucks, and Dairy Farmers of America. The Farm Powered Strategic Alliance commits to reducing food waste from manufacturing and the supply chain and repurposing any unavoidable waste that cannot be eliminated into renewable energy via Vanguard Renewables farm-based anaerobic digesters. The FPSA members also commit to begin exploring the process of decarbonizing their thermal energy usage by converting to farm-derived renewable natural gas.

Vanguard’s Farm Powered Strategic Alliance supports decarbonization and corporate and institutional ESG goals, while providing the transparency and traceability of waste streams customers demand. The FPSA members commit to begin the process of decarbonizing their thermal energy usage by switching over to farm-derived Renewable Natural Gas whenever possible. The renewable natural gas produced from co-digested food and farm waste has a -45 Carbon Intensity score providing the final boost to achieve aggressive decarbonization mandates.

In addition to our corporate FPSA partners, we are proud to help some of the nation’s top colleges and universities including Middlebury College to meet decarbonization and renewable energy targets by purchasing Farm Powered renewable energy.

This is just the beginning. We expect the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance to grow and to include all the leading U.S. food manufacturers that are committed to decarbonization and climate change mitigation as Vanguard expands our recycling facilities’ footprint to all the major metro areas in the U.S. And, expand to include colleges and universities, healthcare, and other organizations interested in recycling food waste and purchasing renewable energy to decarbonize their thermal energy usage.

“This unprecedented commitment by food industry leaders to the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance is a call to action for others to follow to impact climate change and shape a sustainable future for America and the planet. This transformative movement will repurpose food waste that cannot be eliminated into renewable energy and low carbon fertilizer for farm use. Working with our Farm Powered Strategic Alliance partners, we plan to expand our organics recycling facility footprint to all major metro areas nationwide.”

John Hanselman, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Vanguard Renewables

“The Farm Powered Strategic Alliance is an impactful solution to tackling both food waste and carbon emissions. We’ve made great strides in eliminating food waste at the store level with our Starbucks Foodshare program, which has helped divert 25 million meals from landfills. The Farm Powered Strategic Alliance offers an innovative solution for our supply chain, and brings us one step closer to our goal of a resource positive future.”

Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer, Starbucks

“Unilever is accelerating action to fight climate change, regenerate nature, and preserve resources. We are excited to join the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance and are inspired by their vision to repurpose our unavoidable food waste to support renewable energy production and regenerative agriculture practice on farms across America. We cannot transition to a low carbon economy alone and encourage other businesses to join us in this crucial alliance.”

Ale Eboli, Head of Supply Chain Operations, Unilever North America

“Dairy Farmers of America has been working with Vanguard Renewables for more than six years to empower family farms and support a more circular economy. Anaerobic digestion can change the economics and carbon footprint of a farm, allowing generational sustainability and energy independence. We are excited to see many more of our farms and dairy processing facilities taking advantage of the new carbon economy to make a positive impact on America.”

David Darr, Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Dairy Farmers of America

“If you’re just going to milk cows or grow lettuce, that’s really hard because it’s cyclical; you need to be diversified and not depend upon just one income stream. A lot of dairies have been really struggling; the Farm Powered anaerobic digester has been an important part of making our farm sustainable.”

Peter Melnik, Bar-Way Farm in Deerfield, Massachusetts, DFA Member

The Renewable Natural Gas Advantage

Carbon Intensity by Fuel Type[gCO2e/MJ]

Carbon Intensity by Fuel Type

For every 1 megajoule of energy produced…

Farm Powered RNG derived from DAIRY MANURE OFFSETS 234 CO2 equivalent grams of GHG emissions

Farm Powered RNG derived from FOOD WASTE OFFSETS 45 CO2 equivalent grams of GHG emissions

*Carbon intensity estimates provided by EcoEngineers 11/8/2018 utilizing the CA-GREET 3.0 model issued by the California Air and Resources Board (effective 1/4/2019).
**Avoided emissions assume CNG is used as a California transportation fuel, displacing conventional diesel fuel in heavy duty applications. Avoided emissions from organic waste based on landfill diversion and 90% decomposition of degradable organic carbon (DOC) during the AD process.


Corporations and institutions can purchase renewable natural gas to decarbonize their thermal load and meet sustainability mandates. Renewable natural gas produced from co-digestion of food waste and farm waste has a -45 Carbon Intensity Score, which is significantly better than natural gas, landfill RNG, solar, or wind.

For gas providers, renewable natural gas procurement provides an increase to the green supply that can be marketed to retain key account customers such as large corporations with aggressive decarbonization goals. Gas utilities can also offer RNG in voluntary retail programs to customers who are willing to pay a premium for a renewable energy source.

Renewable natural gas can also provide an option for utilities in service territories promoting electrification, i.e. banning natural gas distribution pipes to new buildings.