We are pleased to announce Tops Day Nurseries are now a certified green gas company!
Our nurseries are now running entirely on Biogas. But what is Biogas, find out all about it below…
What is Biogas?
Biogas (biomethane) is an environmentally-friendly, renewable energy source. It is produced from a range of organic materials including maize, rye, food waste and landfill gas. The bioreactor is in an oxygen-free environment so that the anaerobic digestion process can start. Organic waste is converted by microbes to get the desired Biogas. This allows the bacteria to break down waste products into a useful form of alternative energy. Once the biogas has been produced, it is refined and can be injected into the gas transport network in much the same way as natural gas. It can be used as a substitute for natural gas as it has the same characteristics and specifications as fossil gas.
Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels
Burning gas from fossil fuels introduces carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that has been locked away for millions of years, this then causes climate damage, whereas biomethane is produced solely from organic materials that absorbed carbon dioxide whilst they grew. This means when biogas is burned, it only releases that same amount of carbon dioxide, therefore since it doesn’t add more CO2 to the earth’s atmosphere, it’s carbon neutral.
Changing our reliance on fossil fuels to virtually carbon neutral biogas can help the earth recover and stop us burning fossil fuels. Agricultural crops, food waste and animal waste are a continuously created products and can be used to create biogas, thus reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Biogas opens a new opportunity for British farmers as biogas is a fresh alternative to traditional farming methods, such as dairy and meat – which currently accounts for 60% of farming greenhouse gas emissions. Growing crops for Anaerobic Digestion will help farming businesses achieve a neutral or even negative carbon footprint. The waste from bioreactors that cannot be converted is used for compost, as fertilizer for plants. This will help encourage healthier soils, improve biodiversity, increase the output of all crops grown on the farm and accelerate the increase of carbon stored in soils.
WRAP estimates that UK households, hospitality and food service, food manufacture, retail and wholesale sectors produce around 10 million tonnes of food waste per year. If this was all treated through anaerobic digestion, the industry could generate 11 TWh of biogas – enough to heat 830,000 homes – and cut emissions by 8.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 2% of the UK’s annual emissions.
In the Christmas season alone, the UK wastes 270,000 tonnes of food. These leftover mince pies, roast vegetables and Christmas puddings would generate 300 GWh of biogas – enough to heat 25,000 homes – and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 236,000 tonnes.
The Green Gas Certification Scheme currently governs the process for all biogas. The certification scheme tracks all gas from production through to consumption. Once biogas is purchased, a certificate can be viewed to find out information such as the location and method of extraction of your biogas. This certificate is framed and placed inside each of our nurseries.
To find out more about our sustainability goals and what we do to be sustainable in practice click here.
To find out more about our new energy supplier click here.