Last week, we were delighted to welcome the Exeter City Council Net Zero team for a tour of our Gorst Energy anaerobic digestion (AD) plant. This visit was a valuable opportunity to discuss AD’s key role in helping decarbonise Exeter and the South West.  

Our Gorst Energy plant is helping to make Exeter more sustainable in two main ways; by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and by decarbonising agriculture.  

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels 

 AD generates renewable energy through the breakdown of organic waste and sustainably grown crops, providing an alternative to fossil fuels. The green gas and electricity from our Gorst Energy plant directly supplies local homes and businesses. We produce enough green gas to power 2,389 homes each year, and enough electricity for over 900 homes, making us one of the largest renewable energy generators in Exeter. 

Decarbonising agriculture 

We work in close partnership with local East Devon farmers to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture. For example, the organic by-product of AD, known as digestate, is high in nutrients and makes a great natural fertiliser. Farmers who supply crops to our Gorst Energy plant receive digestate in return. They can use this as a replacement for expensive and environmentally damaging artificial fertilisers, which account for over 10% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. 

“We all learnt an incredible amount about what Ixora are doing to reduce their own business carbon emissions, as well as reducing carbon emissions for residents living in Exeter and East Devon”.Victoria Hatfield, Net Zero Lead at Exeter City Council 

 During the visit, we also discussed Exeter council’s recent launch of the Green Accord, an accreditation for local businesses who are committed to reducing their environmental impact. This is a fantastic scheme for all organisations, whether they want to take the first steps towards decreasing emissions or evidence the sustainability of their supply chain.  

We look forward to continuing to work with Exeter City Council towards our shared goal of reaching Net Zero.