A FOOD waste recycling firm in Newton Aycliffe has been shortlisted for a top accolade for driving change in its sector.

The County Durham based business, wholly-owned subsidiary of BioCapital Ltd, has been shortlisted in the Net Zero Now Award for Decarbonisation Strategy of the Year category, in the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2020, for helping customers assess operations and identify efficiency savings.

Kevin Quigley, commercial director at Warrens Group, said: “Whilst our fundamental purpose is to collect food waste and convert it into energy, our passion is to strengthen ties with all organisations and communities in our local area to address the UK Government’s Net Zero target by 2050.

“Our solution is one with longevity and reduced impact in comparison to environmental issues caused by traditional methods of food waste disposal.”

The firm has worked with local authorities, schools and businesses from a wide range of sectors, assisting them with ideas on best practice, providing practical recommendations for operational improvement and helping to achieve efficiencies.

Mr Quigley added: “We are absolutely delighted Warrens Group has again been recognised for its role in identifying new ways of working.

“Our objectives have always been to remain industry leaders, driving change from traditional fossil fuel to biogas, minimising our carbon footprint through prevention and redistribution and catering to the UK Government’s Net Zero goals.”

As early adopters of the latest technologies and methods, Warrens recognised that natural gas is the future, leading them to explore possibilities around compressed natural gas (CNG).

Clean transportation is one part of the solution and, through acquisition and strategic partnerships over 18 months, the firm has designed a robust fleet replacement policy.

"We identified that our fleet would deliver the most impact from use of biogas. From inception, we carried out in-depth research into the best available technology, fuel comparisons, vehicle expenditure and evaluation of vehicle longevity as a result of low carbon emitting fuels," the boss said.

"This has given a strong rationale to use biomethane gas in our HGVs. It has increased vehicle longevity by four years and reduced carbon emissions by 84 per cent, aligning with our wider corporate strategy of sustainability.

“To be shortlisted for this award is a fantastic endorsement of our approach and the expertise we have at Warrens Group. It shows that the vision we had to improve services for our customers is being recognised.”

The team has also committed to achieve a target of six CNG vehicle replacements per year for the next six years, enabling them to replace all of their diesel vehicles by 2025.

The firm has also installed a biomethane filling station, capable of fuelling 200 vehicles per day, which guarantees no losses in transmissions of gas from conversion.