Working with Supermarkets

If food waste were a country, it would be the 3rd largest emitter of carbon in the world.  One third of the world's food supply is lost or wasted whilst as many as 811 million people worldwide (1-in 10) go to bed hungry each night.  

Increasingly supermarkets are working to be part of the solution, donating food that is perfectly edible but past its sell by date to charities and shelters for example.  The "ugly fruit and veg" movement is gaining popularity as completely edible (but not aesthetically pleasing) products are sold at discounted rates, keeping food out of landfill and making healthy food more affordable.  

Inevitably though, despite these steps, supermarkets will find themselves with food that has spoiled before delivery, is damaged upon arrival or spoils before being sold.  In this scenario, food waste can be transformed into compost onsite or at a central premises, helping supermarkets towards NetZero targets and potentially creating a new income stream from the sale of compost.  Compost could be donated to the local agriculture sector as part of a wider corporate responsibility programme, you will effectively be buying better quality products as they will require less chemicals and give better yield. 

Supermarkets with onsite kitchens and restaurants can choose to transform food waste into biogas, effectively powering their kitchens with their own waste and significantly reducing energy bills.  


For supermarkets that don't require gas, the biodigester can be easily connected to the GreenLifePro which will convert the gas into electricity and hot water.  

Put food waste to better use and support your local agriculture sector

Image by nrd
Image by Eduardo Soares
Image by Benigno Hoyuela

There are many opportunities for supermarkets to comply with legislation on preventing and better managing food waste 

 

  • Commit to not disposing of unsold goods that are near their sell-by date

  • Invite suppliers to provide "ugly fruit and veg" and sell it at a discounted rate (helping farmers and poorer members of society)

  • Implement the segregation of organic waste and ensure it is destined for a composting or biogas

  • Undertake composting on site, this programme can be extended to local cafes and restaurants for an even wider reach and increased corporate responsibility reach.

  • Transform food waste with biogas and connect directly to onsite kitchens or convert to electricity 

  • Sell or donate liquid fertilizer that is produced as a bi-product of biogas

The Benefits of Compost

According to Compost Magazine, there are 23 benefits of compost that are backed by science.  Add to this the benefits of community cohesion, the creation of green jobs and compliance with legislation - it's easy to see why composting is such an effective answer to overcrowded landfills and a much better solution than incineration. 

Benefits for soil structure include moisture retention, improved aeration and fewer pests and diseases.  Good soil leads to healthy plants which are more resistant to disease and damage, meaning less reliance on harmful chemicals.  This is not only good for soil health and the environment, but for everyone working in the agriculture sector and for the fresh produce that you sell to your customers.  Fewer chemicals, fewer diseas, less staff time off work, a healthier and happier customer!

Composting creates jobs, it supports a green infrastructure and on a per-ton basis, making compost alone employs 2x more works than landfills and 4x more than incinerators.

Every year, 1.8 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted, that is a third of the world's food supply, much of which can be turned into compost and sold or traded.  Many countries import compost, which in turn creates emissions associated with shipping compost around the world yet EVERY country has food waste, there is a lost opportunity in terms of economic and environmental benefits if food waste is not composted within a short distance of where it is actually created.  Supermarkets can create and sell their own compost and / or liquid fertilizer as a new income stream.

K-Ryole picking up bio waste.JPG

Collect organic waste from other sites with a K-Ryole, reducing the emissions associated with transporting waste to compost or biogas sites. 

Landfill Management

Divert organic waste from landfill or incineration, comply with legislation, reduce costs associated with waste collection and lead by example

Image by Seth Cottle

Improve soil health, protect environments and increase the yield of fruits and vegetables without the need for toxic chemicals, a fantastic way to drive customer loyalty.

The Benefits of Biogas

Biogas is a renewable clean source of energy.  It reduces greenhouse gas as there is no combustion during the process of its creation and it helps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels which are also very likely to soar in price in the coming years.  

 

Whilst reducing food waste at source is a vital part of sustainability strategies and Net Zero objectives, there will inevitably always be organic waste.  This renewable feedstock mades biogas a very sustainable option.  

 

Keeping food waste out of landfill also avoids drainage of toxic liquids into water sources and prevents the release of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon.  

 

Biodigesters work best at a decentralized scale and are therefore perfect for supermarkets and food service businesses to use on site, the added benefit of this is it eliminates costs and emissions associated with waste collection.  Where businesses are small in size, a biodigester can be shared between a group of businesses, the gas bottled and used by all participating premises. 

 

Biodigesters also work well on farms, the waste product of just one cow can provide enough energy to power a lightbulb for an entire day.  Supermarkets may choose to collaborate with small-holding farmers and growers, either by collecting biowaste and bottling gas to give back to farmers and growers, or perhaps sponsoring or providing micro-loans for their suppliers to rent or purchase biodigesters themselves, helping supermarkets track and reduce their Scope 3 emissions.  

The possibilites are endless, contact us today to find out how to get started