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UK-based Sainsbury’s has entered a partnership with recycler ReFood to power several of its supermarkets with sustainable green gas.

Last year, power generated entirely from waste food was enough to supply 5,000 homes, which is equivalent to 10% of Sainsbury’s annual national consumption. ReFood have so far supplied nearly 50 million kWh of biomethane gas.

Under the partnership, waste is collected from two depots of the retail company in Haydock and Sherburn-in-Elmet. This is then converted into heat, gas, and fertiliser at ReFood’s latest anaerobic digestion (AD) processing facilities.

Green gas is then exported to the national grid, which is imported through a third-party to Sainsbury’s stores across the country.

“Working in partnership with ReFood allows us to effectively recycle our food waste, creating renewable energy in result.”

The supermarket chain’s utilities buyer Paul Densham said: “Increasing the sustainability of our UK stores is a key corporate priority and we’re making great progress in our drive to reduce food waste across the business.

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“Working in partnership with ReFood allows us to effectively recycle our food waste, creating renewable energy in result.”

This power is used by the retailer to generate carbon-neutral electricity for lighting and heating, lowering its utility bills, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

ReFood commercial director Philip Simpson said: “What’s more, with a highly effective sustainable biofertiliser also generated via the AD process, stores nationwide are working together to effectively close the food supply chain from farm to fork and back again.”

Image: Food waste is collected from Sainsbury’s depots and converted into renewable energy at ReFood’s anaerobic digestion processing facilities. Photo: courtesy of J Sainsbury plc.