Submitted by Vanguard Renewables
BOSTON, June 14, 2023 /CSRwire/ - In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, AstraZeneca (AZN) is partnering with Vanguard Renewables to enable the delivery of renewable natural gas (RNG) to all of its sites in the United States by the end of 2026.
From June 2023, AstraZeneca will begin purchasing RNG produced by Vanguard Renewables for its Newark Campus in Delaware, where the Company packages 26 medicines for distribution across the U.S. and makes medicine formulations for global supply. By 2026, this collaboration will enable as much as 650,000 million British thermal units (MMBtu), or 190,500 megawatt hours (MWh), per year of RNG to be used across AstraZeneca’s U.S. sites, equivalent to the energy required to heat more than 17,800 U.S. homes for a year.
Pam Cheng, Executive Vice President of Global Operations & IT and Chief Sustainability Officer at AstraZeneca, said: “We recognize the interconnection between the health of people and the planet, and are committed to driving deep decarbonization across our operations and value chain. Our innovative partnership with Vanguard Renewables in the U.S. is an illustration of how we are collaborating at scale to deliver sustainable science and medicines, as part of the transition to net zero health systems and a circular economy.”
AstraZeneca is taking a science-led, patient-centric approach to deliver improved health outcomes with a lower environmental footprint. As heat and power are critical to the manufacture of medicines, the decarbonization of healthcare requires access to clean sources of heat, such as renewable natural gas. This new partnership with Vanguard Renewables is an important milestone in delivering emissions reductions in line with AstraZeneca’s flagship Ambition Zero Carbon program. The Company is on track to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 98% by 2026 from a 2015 baseline, and by 2030, AstraZeneca aims to halve its entire value chain footprint on the way to becoming science-based net zero by 2045 at the latest. The use of RNG at AstraZeneca sites in the U.S. will further enable the company’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy for heat and power.
This agreement will utilize Vanguard Renewables Farm Powered® process, allowing Vanguard Renewables to work with dairy farmers and food and beverage manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to produce RNG using farm-based anaerobic digestion (AD) from food and dairy cow manure. Once the RNG is produced and captured through AD, it will be injected into existing natural gas infrastructure for use in AstraZeneca medicines research and manufacturing processes.
Through the partnership with Vanguard Renewables, AstraZeneca will access high quality RNG from three on-farm anaerobic digester facilities across the U.S. for the next 15 years or more.
Neil H. Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Vanguard Renewables stated: “Vanguard Renewables is excited to be partnering with AstraZeneca on this transformative business-to-business clean energy solution. AstraZeneca has set a very ambitious and challenging net zero target, which is a benchmark for their sector and other global corporations. We strongly believe this partnership will provide a path for other like-minded companies to join us on the journey towards global decarbonization.”
This collaboration will utilize food and beverage waste from the manufacturing sector and cow manure from local and family-owned farms, supporting rural communities across the U.S. By capturing methane from dairy operations that would have otherwise ended up in the atmosphere, this partnership also reduces pollution from the farming sector.
John Hanselman, Chief Strategy Officer at Vanguard Renewables shared: “We have been working with multi-generational farms and food and beverage manufacturers since 2014 to provide sustainable solutions to greenhouse gas emissions challenges by diverting food waste from landfills and sequestering on-farm emissions. Vanguard’s Farm Powered process provides farmers across the U.S. with additional revenue streams, supports regenerative agriculture practices, and helps to ensure that these farms will be operating for years to come – thanks in part to change-making partnerships like this with AstraZeneca.”
Inedible or unsaleable food and beverage waste from the manufacturing and retail sectors is collected, sorted, depackaged on-site, and combined with dairy farm manure in a sealed biodigester tank. Once combined in the biodigester, microorganisms that naturally occur in manure digest the waste, converting sugars, fats, and other compounds into biogas. Harnessing the waste’s energy captures as much as 95 percent of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result if food and beverage waste was sent to a landfill or if the farm manure was field applied. The process produces biogas that is upgraded to pipeline-quality renewable natural gas (RNG) that is injected into the existing pipeline infrastructure on-site displacing traditional fossil fuels. The RNG is then used for heating and cooling or can be used to make compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles. The by-products of the anaerobic digestion process include a low-carbon and nutrient dense fertilizer (digestate) that reduces the farm’s dependency on chemical fertilizers and a dry by-product that is used for animal bedding. When food and beverage manufacturers send their organic waste to a Farm Powered site and purchase the RNG created by their waste to power their plants, they are creating a closed-loop solution that helps to address Scope 1 and 3 emissions in their business practices.
About Vanguard Renewables
Vanguard Renewables, based in Massachusetts, is a national leader in developing food and dairy waste-to-renewable energy projects. The Company owns and operates on-farm anaerobic digester facilities in the northeast and currently operates manure-only digesters in the south and west for Dominion Energy. Vanguard Renewables plans to expand nationwide to more than 120+ anaerobic digestion facilities by 2026. Vanguard Renewables is committed to advancing decarbonization by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farms and food waste, generating renewable energy, and supporting regenerative agriculture on partner farms via Farm Powered® anaerobic digestion. The Company is a member of The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas. Vanguard Renewables is a portfolio company of BlackRock Real Assets. To learn more visit www.vanguardrenewables.com.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.
Vanguard Renewables, based in Weston, Massachusetts, is a national leader in developing food and dairy waste-to-renewable energy projects. The Company owns and operates on-farm anaerobic digester facilities in the northeast and currently operates manure-only digesters in the south and west for Dominion Energy. The Company plans to expand to more than 150 anaerobic digestion facilities by 2026. Vanguard Renewables is committed to advancing decarbonization by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farms and food waste and supporting regenerative agriculture on partner farms through anaerobic digestion. Vanguard Renewables is a portfolio company of BlackRock Real Assets. To learn more about the Company, its energy partners, and the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, visit www.vanguardrenewables.com
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