AstraZeneca plans to further boost US renewable natural gas productivity through an expanded collaboration with Vanguard Renewables.
AstraZeneca’s Newark site was the first to benefit from the program that feeds renewable gas into pipelines. The site south of the college town also has a large solar array used in powering its logistics and packaging operations.
Pam Cheng, executive vice president of Global Operations & IT and Chief Sustainability Officer, AstraZeneca, said: “The reality is that there are many challenges in adopting new energy sources and bold action is needed if we are going to successfully transition to green energy. Our collaboration with Vanguard Renewables is another important milestone on our path to net zero by driving deep decarbonization, not just across AstraZeneca’s own operations but across the healthcare sector and beyond.”
The collaboration will pursue capacity and design improvements to Vanguard Renewables’ Farm Powered process via controls and chemistry to more quickly produce RNG using farm-based anaerobic digestion from food and farm waste. It also aims to develop Digital Twins for the AD process to enable rapid experimentation and modeling including the potential integration of artificial intelligence, while enhancing supply chain robustness to scale manufacturing and supply.
Neil H. Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Vanguard Renewables stated: “As our partnership with AstraZeneca continues to develop, we believe this cross-collaboration will help us achieve our joint mission of forging a path to net zero.”
This announcement builds on the sector-first collaboration announced in June between AstraZeneca and Vanguard Renewables to deliver RNG to all of AstraZeneca’s US research and manufacturing sites by the end of 2026.
The company is on track to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global operations by 98% by 2026 from a 2015 baseline and be on the way to becoming science-based net zero by 2045 at the latest.
Renewable gas is not universally accepted as an option to reduce greenhouse gas.
A diegester project in southern Delaware that would use chicken waste was fiercely opposed by Food and Water Watch, which mobilized local opposition, citing methane emissions and the alleged dangers of the digester process.
The Delaware project went on to get the green light from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.