Tesco is supplying energy to customers in a new venture recycling all meat waste into heat and electricity. As part of the supermarket giant's ongoing commitment to sustainability, the 5,000 tonnes of out-of-date meat are generating enough 'green' electricity to power more than 600 homes for a year.
Finding a sustainable solution for waste meat is helping Tesco work towards a key part of its business strategy – to be diverting 95 per cent of its waste from landfill by the end of 2009 .
The supermarket has appointed the PDM Group, the UK's leading food waste recycler, to handle all its meat waste. The fact that PDM not only diverts the waste from landfill but also generates renewable energy in its biomass-to-energy plants is a double environmental win for Tesco. As a result, waste from the supermarket could eventually be heating its customers' homes as the renewable energy is either sold to the National Grid or used in PDM's plants.
Sion Stanfield, head of waste & recycling, at Tesco said: “As renewable energy technologies now become mainstream, there is no excuse for sending waste to landfill that could actually be put to positive use. Working with PDM provides Tesco with a nationwide solution that operates across all our stores and allows us to fulfil our environmental objectives by maximising our resources to reduce our carbon footprint.”
The Tesco deal is one of a number of contracts that PDM already has with retailers, food manufacturers and caterers, bringing the amount of food waste that the company converts into renewable energy to more than 1.5 million tonnes. Each week, PDM collects meat waste from Tesco's 11 regional recycling service units, which is then recycled at one of five facilities in the UK.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at PDM commented: “Diverting waste from landfill has become a principal objective for leading retailers and generating renewable energy from a resource that used to end up in landfill is extremely positive. Increasing the UK's renewable energy capacity is an important Government objective and the fact that out-of-date food can be used to power customers' homes is a very powerful environmental message and one that is going to win hearts with an increasingly environmentally-conscious customer base.”
To find out more about PDM, visit www.pdm-group.co.uk