Vanguard Renewables was awarded the 2022 Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award at NERC’s Fall Conference recently held in Connecticut. “Vanguard Renewables is changing the way that the country views food waste,” stated Neil H. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Vanguard Renewables. “We are honored that NERC has recognized our company for the vital role we are playing to help divert inedible food and beverage waste from landfills and incinerators and recycling that into something powerful for our planet – renewable natural gas.”

Vanguard Renewables was recognized by NERC for its impact on organics recycling. The company’s Farm Powered® solution captures greenhouse gas emissions from dairy manure and food and beverage waste to create renewable energy via anaerobic digestion. Since 2014, the company has recycled nearly 2 million tons of organic waste, mitigating more than 950 thousand tons of greenhouse gas emissions or the equivalent of planting more than 16 million trees.

“By repurposing organic waste into renewable energy, Vanguard Renewables’ innovative business model maximizes benefits realized by all partners along its closed-loop supply chain,” said Megan F. Fontes, Executive Director, Northeast Recycling Council. “Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) is proud to recognize Vanguard’s impact in communities and on the environment with the 2022 Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award.”

NERC is a multi-state non-profit whose programs emphasize source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP), and decreasing the toxicity of the solid waste stream in the 11-state region comprised of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Vanguard Renewables works with multi-generational dairy farms to build and operate anaerobic digesters to generate renewable energy. The process benefits the environment by mitigating greenhouse gases and provides farm partners with a diversified income stream, low-carbon and nutrient-dense fertilizer, and bedding for the herd. The company owns and operates seven facilities in New England, including an organics recycling facility in Massachusetts and six on-farm anaerobic digesters in Massachusetts and Vermont.  They also currently operate four manure-only digesters on behalf of their partner Dominion Energy.

Vanguard partners with food and beverage manufacturers to divert their food or beverage waste, which cannot be used to feed the hungry or to feed animals, to one of Vanguard’s on-farm digesters. The renewable natural gas that is created through the Farm Powered process is upgraded for injection into the existing natural gas infrastructure to power homes, businesses, and communities. Vanguard Renewables is growing and plans to expand its anaerobic digestion facilities to over 150 sites across the United States by 2026.

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