GWP Group invests in anaerobic digestion to help produce carbon neutral corrugated material

GWP Group

£5.5M Investment in world first sustainable energy setup

A manufacturer of corrugated cardboard material – part owned by Wiltshire packaging manufacturer GWP Group – has invested £5.5 million in the creation of a sustainable energy generation facility fuelled by organic waste.

The investment in CorrBoard Bioenergy (CB Bio) will facilitate the production of carbon neutral corrugated material for use at GWP’s manufacturing plant in Cricklade, Wiltshire.

There is also the potential for some of the waste needed for the 6,400 megawatt / annum energy plant to be sourced from GWP’s packaging users who require compliant food waste disposal. This, in turn, would create a robust circular economy.

Ruth Cook, Managing Director of GWP Group, said: “We believe this is the first anaerobic digester in the world that is being used in the manufacture of sustainable corrugated cardboard.

“As increasing numbers of businesses look to transition to more environmentally friendly packaging, being able to offer materials and solutions that are genuinely greener is of huge interest to them. We are already talking with a number of customers for whom having their packaging making up part of a circular, sustainable economy, is really appealing.”

The plant, which uses German BioConstruct Anaerobic Digester (AD) technology and was installed by British firm BioG-UK, has the capacity to divert 25,000 tonnes of biological waste from landfill. This would be able to provide more than twice CorrBoard UK’s energy consumption (currently 400KWh) or the equivalent electricity and heat to sustain 1,500 homes.

The by-product that the plant produces can also be used as a fertiliser, suitable for spreading on local farmland to aid crop growing. The plant is modular in construction too, and therefore output capacity can be increased in future if the opportunity arises.

The anaerobic digester is located adjacent to CorrBoard UK in Scunthorpe, the independent corrugated cardboard manufacturer of which GWP Packaging are part owners.

Ruth added: “As a company we have always looked to how we can be more sustainable, and how we can help our customers to be so too. Whether this is helping businesses eliminate unnecessary plastics from their packaging, providing reusable solutions instead of single use items, or even switching all of our lighting to LED, it can all have a positive impact on our environment. Using carbon neutral, truly sustainable materials seemed like the logical next step.”

Established in 1990, GWP became part owners of Corrboard in August 2015. They currently employ over 100 people at their two manufacturing sites in Salisbury and Cricklade.