Image credit: Ecotricity
As I wrote last week, just because bio-gas is made from biodegradable sources doesn't mean it has no impact—and some activists are increasingly worried that demand for biogas will eventually lead to deforestation and other resource depletion issues. So they'll be pleased to know that Ecotricity, the folks who are now selling biogas direct to British consumers, have made a public commitment to only buy gas made from resources that would otherwise go to landfill. Heck, they've gone even further than that—they've committed to keeping their gas sourcing vegan too! As part of the PR surrounding the launch of Ecotricity's green gas product, the company explained that it has very strict ethical criteria for sourcing biogas:
"As part of its ethical policy, Ecotricity has pledged that all of its green gas will come from existing organic waste sources that would otherwise be put into landfill, and will not include livestock waste or material from potentially damaging sources such as palm oil."
The avoidance of livestock waste may come as surprise to some, but Ecotricity CEO Dale Vince is a committed vegan who has spoken out many times about the impact of livestock farming on the environment.
For now, the company is purchasing biogas made from sugar beets as a natural by-product of the sugar-making process, and as with its wind-power policies—it is not focusing on supplying 100% green power. The company is actually purchasing just 10% of its gas supply from green sources to begin with. Instead, the company argues, it's more important to look at what it does with its profits—in this case taking them and investing them directly in building more, new biogas plants.