The UK's Carbon Trust Enterprises has teamed up with an energy company to boost the conversion of industrial food waste into ethanol.
Carbon Trust, along with Scottish and Southern Energy created a joint venture to support InSource Energy Ltd., a bio-waste to energy business. InSource was originally created by the Carbon Trust.
InSource Energy will initially focus on six sectors of the UK food industry, which currently produce around 5.6m tonnes of biodegradable waste a year.
The service will provide a way for processors and others to convert food waste into a sellable product, rather than sending it to landfill. UK waste regulations have targeted the reduction of food waste going to landfill as a major goal.
InSource Energy offers to develop, build, finance, own and operate waste to energy systems, claiming the service will allowing businesses to outsource waste and energy processes whilst benefiting from financial and carbon savings.
It also offers an independent service that assesses the best fit technology for each customer's needs. The initial projects will provide on-site anaerobic digesters to break down the food waste into methane, which will be captured and used to generate electricity and heat.
Scottish and Southern Energy will invest up to £2.7m to acquire up to 40 per cent of InSource Energy and will add a further £10m to fund the company's projects as it enters its next phase of development.
Carbon Trust Enterprises is a subsidiary of the Carbon Trust and was created to drive forward the development of the commercial waste to energy market in the UK.
Tom Delay, the Carbon Trust's chief executive, said: "Waste to energy technology offers great potential to cut carbon emissions and our aim is to accelerate the deployment of on-site facilities across the UK."
Ian Marchant, the SSE's chief executive said waste disposal in the UK remains increasingly difficult for companies.
"At the same time, waste provides an alternative and localised source of UK-derived fuel," he stated. "This investment will enable SSE to become an active participant in a new, sustainable and opportunity-rich sector of the UK's energy industry."
The Carbon Trust is a private company set up by government in response to a policy of reducing CO2 output in response to the threat of climate change.
The Carbon Trust is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest Northern Ireland.
Earlier this week four major processors, including Cadbury Schweppes and Coca-Cola, signed up to a UK scheme to measure the carbon emitted in making some of their key products.
Cadbury Schweppes,, Coca-Cola, Muller Dairy (UK) Ltd., Scottish & Newcastle, and the Co-operative Group, along with four other non-food companies said they would use a CO2 measuring scheme run by the Carbon Trust.
The move by the companies is a sign of the increasing weight being given to the environmental impact of manufacturing products, from the raw ingredient stage, packaging and to disposal.
It would require processors and their suppliers to measure and keep track of the entire supply chain using a common method of calculating CO2 emissions.
The "carbon footprint" scheme is part of a plan to eventually introduce a common label that will allow consumers to compare similar products in relation to their CO2 emissions.
Other countries have also been looking at the development of the Carbon Trust's scheme, first proposed almost a year ago. It could become the basis of other schemes that could be launched worldwide, and would especially affect multinationals.