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ADBA launches pioneering AD Certification Scheme at annual conference

UK trade body the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) will today launch its pioneering AD Certification Scheme at the ADBA National Conference 2017 in London.


UK trade body the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) will today launch its pioneering AD Certification Scheme at the ADBA National Conference 2017 in London.

The voluntary, industry-led scheme is designed to support operators of AD plants, including those based on farms, to improve their operational, environmental, and health and safety performance, in particular in terms of energy generation and digestate quality.

ADBA has developed the scheme, working closely with industry stakeholders including operators, developers, consultants, suppliers, insurers, regulators and other trade bodies related to the sector, who have all voiced their support for such a certification process. The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and CLA have contributed to ensuring the scheme is suitable for farmers who operate AD plants.

The scheme includes detailed assessment criteria that will allow third-party certification bodies to verify the achievement of good practice at AD plants, and is the most comprehensive of its type.

The scheme pilot was completed in September this year, with one on-farm plant, one food waste plant, and one on-site plant for a food manufacturer taking part.

ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said:

“Investing in an AD plant is a great way for farmers to diversify their income in the context of uncertainty over future support from government post Brexit. AD offers a treatment option for organic wastes such as manures, slurries, and vegetable off-cuts, producing on-site renewable heat and power, transport fuel for farm vehicles, and nutrient-rich biofertiliser. AD crops also give farmers a great option for crop rotation, helping to keep soils healthy and avoid the spread of blackgrass and nematodes.

“ADBA’s new AD Certification Scheme defines good practice and enables on-farm AD plants to be recognised as meeting it. A certification process is essential to ensuring that regulators, insurers and investors have confidence in the scheme, which offers AD operators a range of financial and regulatory benefits.

“We look forward to working with farmers on our AD Certification Scheme to support them in building and running their AD plants to high standards.”

Marie Fallon, Director of Regulated Industry at the Environment Agency, said:

“The Environment Agency welcomes the AD Certification Scheme as a positive intervention by the industry to improve performance in the anaerobic digestion sector. We share the determination in reducing pollution incidents which is a risk to the reputation of the industry. We will continue to work with ADBA to share evidence and information to achieving that goal.”

Rick Brunt, Head of Vulnerable Workers, Agriculture, Waste and Recycling Unit at the Health & Safety Executive, said:

“Seeing ADBA’s AD Certification Scheme progress to the next stage is an excellent example of the industry working together driving improvement of its own standards and expectations. It clearly demonstrates what can be achieved through the collaboration of a diverse range of organisations spanning operators, insurers and regulators, and has resulted in a scheme that will not only improve health and safety but also environmental and operational performance. I hope that we will see the remainder of the AD industry embracing the scheme with the same level of enthusiasm as those that have worked on its development.”

Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Adviser on Renewable Energy and Climate Change at the NFU, said:

“The NFU recognises the unique role that AD can play in generating on-farm energy while helping to improve nutrient and soil management. The ADBA AD Certification Scheme is an important tool in helping operators of on-farm AD plants meet high environmental, health and safety, and operational standards.  It has been great to see a wide variety of stakeholders coming together to develop voluntary accreditation of good practice, helping to raise confidence and drive better performance in what is an important industry for British farmers.”

Simon Blades, AD Manager at Beeswax Dyson Farming, one of the operators involved in the pilot phase of the scheme, said:

“At Beeswax Dyson Farming we believe the ADBA AD Certification Scheme will help AD owners and operators identify key areas for improvement. It will enable them to maintain safety and operational standards, which in turn will help improve the industry as a whole. Being involved in the pilot scheme and mock assessment has helped our business identify areas for improvement.”

Stefan Jimenez Wisler, Land Use Policy Adviser at the CLA, said:

“The CLA is pleased to see the launch of ADBA’s AD Certification Scheme. AD is an important tool for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, driving more efficient resource use and enabling a range of other on-farm environmental benefits.

“This new certification scheme sets out good practice and allows on-farm AD plants to be recognised for meeting it. This will crucially provide operators, regulators and the public with the confidence to support AD for the financial and environmental benefits it can provide.”

Carl Gurney, Renewable Energy Director at insurance brokers Jelf, said:

“It has been fantastic to be part of this project for the last two years, seeing stakeholders coming together with the same common goal to improve standards in this brilliant sector. I would implore all operators to look to undertake this process as I am confident this will only assist in improving their plant and mitigating any losses or incidents. This coupled with tangible insurance benefits in terms of cover and pricing only adds to the reasons why this should be undertaken. Having a standard to reach truly benefits the wider industry, which will only assist in giving confidence to regulators and investors. This in turn will hopefully lead to a more hands-off approach, continuity in regulator assessments and continued investment which, finally, means sector growth. This is a hugely positive move for the AD sector and I urge those interested to get involved.”

Phil Gerrard, Chief Executive at Privilege Finance, said:

“Privilege specialises in providing finance for AD projects. We’re very keen to see improvements in both environmental and health and safety risk management at AD plants, and the ability to easily understand the level of risk and performance of these plants through an independent accreditation process is incredibly helpful.

“The AD Certification Scheme provides an independent process for operators to demonstrate their credibility when seeking finance, supporting them in securing the optimum terms in the marketplace.”

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