Unilever, Starbucks join strategic alliance to reduce food waste, boost AD

Unilever, Starbucks, and the Dairy Farmers of America have joined forces with Vanguard Renewables to repurpose food waste via anaerobic digestion.

The major food industry leaders have teamed up to launch the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance (FPSA), pledging to avoid or eliminate food waste first and repurpose what cannot be eliminated into renewable energy using Vanguard Renewables’ farm-based anaerobic digesters.

Members have also committed to begin exploring the process of decarbonising their thermal energy usage by converting to farm-derived renewable natural gas (RNG).

John Hanselman, chairman and CEO of Vanguard Renewables, said: “This unprecedented commitment by food industry leaders to the FPSA is a call to action for others to follow to impact climate change and shape a sustainable future for the US and the planet.

“This transformative movement will repurpose food waste that cannot be eliminated into renewable energy and a low-carbon fertiliser for farm use.

“Working with our FPSA partners, we plan to expand our organics recycling facility footprint to all major metro areas nationwide.”

Hanselman expects the FPSA to grow to include other leading US food manufacturers and retailers and adds that the alliance has the potential to not only reduce the members’ direct climate changes but to also reduce the hard-to-move Scope 3 emissions from their supply chain partners – indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of the reporting company.

In the US, more than 40% of all food produced ends up being discarded. While eliminating that waste is a priority, some of this unavoidable waste is still sent to landfills or incinerators, rather than being repurposed to produce renewable energy.

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