MARKS & SPENCER has agreed a landmark deal with Future Biogas for the purchase of 35,000 Mega-Watt hours of biomethane certificates, a move which will reduce its carbon footprint by over 6,400 tonnes and source the equivalent amount of energy to heat 15 M&S Simply Food stores all year round.
Biomethane gas is 50 per cent more carbon efficient than average gas supplies and is generated by anaerobic digestion, fuelled by farm waste. The biomethane gas will be produced at the Vulcan Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant near Doncaster using break crops (non-commercial crops used for soil regeneration) from farms across Yorkshire and the North East. The gas is then pumped into the national grid. M&S’ deal with Future Biogas funds the production and M&S benefits from the carbon reduction through the certification scheme.
It also provides significant revenues for farmers, giving break crops a commercial route to market not previously available. Gio Patellaro, M&S Head of Energy Supply & Risk said: “Over the past couple of years, M&S has worked tirelessly to improve its carbon efficiency and innovate in sustainability. As the first UK retailer to buy biomethane to use in this way, we are blazing a trail in the market place that we hope others will follow. With the help of Future Biogas, this deal takes us one step further in our commitment to ensure 50% of the energy used in M&S buildings comes from certified green biomethane sources by 2020.”
Since the inception of its “Plan A” programme, M&S has been a leader and innovator in supporting a renewable energy generation, including contracting directly with renewable generators under its award winning Price Guarantee Agreement structure. Philipp Lukas, Future Biogas Managing Director said: “We are thrilled to be working with Marks & Spencer on this exciting and new venture. We look forward to supplying biomethane to M&S to help them deliver their market leading commitment to carbon reduction.”