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Nestlé collaborates with GreenGas AD Plant on furthering sustainability commitments

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Nestlé Development Centre (NDC) Nutrition, Askeaton, is building further on its commitment to sustainability, through an exciting new partnership that will redirect more than 95% of its dairy processing residue from incineration to anaerobic digestion.

Co-located with Wyeth Nutritionals Ltd., the NDC has been working with GreenGas AD Plant, Ireland’s first ever commercial anaerobic digestion plant, since March of this year, as part of its plans to provide an improved and more sustainable solution to the management of by-products created during dairy powder manufacturing.

Dairy processing residue created during the manufacturing process, and originally sent for incineration, is now being diverted to undergo anaerobic digestion. This involves microorganisms breaking down organic matter in the absence of oxygen. The process leads to the production of a biogas and a nutrient-rich liquid: the biogas is being used to generate electricity for GreenGas AD plant and Ireland’s electricity grid operator Eirgrid, and the remaining liquid is being used as organic fertiliser. 

A full life cycle assessment of the impact of the new process will take place once a sufficient volume of data has been collated.

GreenGas AD Plant was established in 2010 by local dairy farmer and entrepreneur David McDonnell and his father Micheal. This new partnership reflects Nestlé’s commitment to working with local communities and farmers. 

This latest announcement builds on Nestlé’s sustainability work, particularly in the local region, including the establishment of the first ever butterfly meadow by a business in Ireland as well Askeaton being the first factory in Ireland to achieve the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard Platinum Certification, in recognition of the site’s water stewardship initiatives.

Conor O’Brien, Engineering & Operations Manager at Nestlé Development Centre Nutrition, said: “The new partnership epitomises the commitment of Nestlé to contribute positively to enhance the lives of people, communities, and the planet. Sustainability is front of mind for all the team at Nestlé and this latest development builds on our work in areas such as water management and water stewardship as well as safeguarding biodiversity. 

“Working with GreenGas AD Plant will support several objectives of our site’s sustainability strategy. Namely, to provide a long-term sustainable solution to by-products created during manufacturing, reduce the impact on the environment and promote circular economy practices. 

“We’re also pleased to collaborate with the community on this project, working closely with local farmer, entrepreneur and founder of GreenGas AD Plant David McDonnell. David appreciates the significance of this project, shares our own commitment to sustainability and has a deep connection to this area.”

About Nestlé Development Centre (NDC) Nutrition Askeaton

Nestlé Development Centre (NDC) Nutrition comprises researchers and support staff based in Askeaton, Co. Limerick, Ireland, and co-located with Wyeth Nutritionals Ireland Ltd. manufacturing facility. As part of Nestlé Research and Development, the NDC focuses on scientific research to support innovations in the development of milk-based maternal and infant nutrition products for the global market. The site incorporates state-of-the-art lab facilities as well as a full pilot-scale manufacturing facility for developing and testing new products, from concept through to deployment worldwide.

In May 2023, NDC Askeaton received the prestigious IBEC KeepWell Mark in recognition of their commitment to workplace wellbeing.  IBEC is Ireland’s largest business representative group.