EVG Group have been making major investments into sustainable energy solutions and renewable energies for more than a decade.
Ensuring the most sustainable environmental practice is at the heart of our business, we take a sustainable approach to food production, utilising crop residues as energy, reducing water consumption, and crop protection inputs.
We manage our land in a manner which protects and enhances the environment and biodiversity. This includes replantation of native trees and hedgerows, managing soil health through crop rotations, supporting pollinators through wildflower and grass planting in field borders, and using an integrated pest management approach to production that combines different strategies to grow healthy crops whilst minimising pesticide use.
Vale Green Energy is our energy business, uniquely wholly owned, and consists of a 40 hectare solar farm, 2 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, and 3 combined heat and power (CHP) engines.
Our solar farm generates over 19,000 MW of renewable energy – this is enough to power 5,800 homes a year, saving over 8,300 tonnes of CO2 being released to the atmosphere! Our AD plants produce over 10 million cubic meters of green gas, all from plant-based sources.
In a nutshell, the anaerobic digesters use microorganisms to break down arable crops and food waste into three products; digestate, biogas, and biomethane. Both a liquid and solid digestate is produced and used as soil conditioner and fertiliser. The biogas and upgraded biomethane are injected into the National Grid. Furthermore, we capture CO2 and that is pumped to La Serra where it is directly fed into the greenhouse, aiding efficient plant growth. Any crop waste is fed back into the AD plants, thus diverting waste from landfill.
We have a unique energy model in that VGE produces the renewable energy La Serra requires to produce tomatoes, ensuring that we provide low-carbon and sustainable, British tomatoes to all our customers.
Road to Net Zero
EVG Group aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our investments into sustainability so far have helped us lay the foundations for our operations, but we are committed to bettering our long-term commitment to sustainable growing.
Our future investments into sustainability include:
- Biomethane reception and filling station which will power biomethane vehicles
- La Serra greenhouse extension
- Large scale battery storage for electricity produced from solar farm
- Research into autonomous growing system to reduce energy input without decreasing crop yields