ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton receives her OBE from Princess Anne
- Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association was recognised for her services to the development of the biogas industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022
- She received her OBE from the Princess Royal at an Investiture held at Windsor Castle on 21st February 2023
- The Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury Estate in West Dorset, owned by the Prince of Wales, features an anaerobic digestion plant.
Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), travelled to Windsor Castle on 21st February to receive her OBE from Princess Anne.
She had been awarded the honour for services to the development of the biogas industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022.
“I was delighted to receive this OBE from the Princess Royal, who is very knowledgeable about the biogas industry,” commented Charlotte. “I took the opportunity to highlight the huge contribution recycling the 105bn tonnes of methane emitting organic wastes humans produce annually through biogas can make to the Global Methane Pledge, and the support her brother King Charles made to the industry by helping to establish the first commercial scale gas to grid plant on the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury Estate in West Dorset in 2012.”
The AD plant at Poundbury Estate now produces enough renewable gas for 7,500 houses mid-winter and 100,000 houses mid-summer.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a process by which organic matter such as food waste, sewage, manure, and other agricultural wastes are recycled into a green gas (biogas/biomethane), a biofertiliser (digestate), bioCO2 and other valuable bioproducts. AD is currently credited with reducing the UK’s total annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 1%. If all organic wastes were treated through AD, this figure could increase to 6%, which, with the right government support, is achievable by 2030. This would increase the number employed by the industry to 60,000 from the c4,800 employed today.
Additionally, the sector can produce 2-3 times the amount of gas currently imported from Russia, as well as all the CO2 used in the UK. Fully deployed, it could deliver 50% of the UK’s Global Methane Pledge targets and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2030.
Charlotte Morton has served as ADBA Chief Executive since it was founded in 2009. Since its launch, ADBA has facilitated a growth of nearly 400% in the anaerobic digestion (AD) sector in the UK.
Following the appointment of Chris Huhne as Chairman of ADBA, she has been able to spend more time on her other role as Chief Executive of the World Biogas Association (WBA).
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Notes to editors
- Charlotte Morton biography
- Early years
Born in Southampton, she grew up in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire, and attended Peter Symonds’ College in Winchester.
- Higher Education
- Degree in English and French Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (1986-1990)
- Diplôme d’Études Juridiques Françaises, Université de Strasbourg – 1989
- Law Society Finals, Guildford College of Law – 1991
- MBA from London Business School (2001-2003)
- Career path
Following a gap year in Guatemala leading a weaving programme for Highland Indians, Charlotte started legal training to become a solicitor in the UK in 1992.
In 2004, after practicing as a solicitor for 10 years, latterly for US law firm Bryan Cave, and completing an MBA at the London Business School, she set up her first business, WhizzGo, which offered cars for hire by the hour to reduce car ownership and CO2 emissions.
Following the acquisition of WhizzGo in 2008, she was invited by Lord Redesdale, former energy spokesman for the Liberal Democrats for the House of Lords (2000-2008), to set up the business side of the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA)*. The association was officially launched in September 2009, with the objective to develop standards and best practice, to help remove the barriers to the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry’s growth and to support its members. ADBA’s principal aim was to enable and facilitate the development of a mature AD industry in the UK.Since 2009, Charlotte Morton has overseen ADBA facilitating a growth in the sector of nearly 400%. The UK AD industry counted over 700 plants generating an estimated 19.6 TWh of biogas each year (enough to heat 1.5m homes), employed around 4,800 people and contributed to over 1% reduction in the UK’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fully deployed, the industry could deliver 50% of the UK Global Methane Pledge targets, and globally, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10%.
Now at the helm of WBA alongside her role at ADBA, she continues to be a strong and dedicated campaigner for the development of the AD and biogas industry both in the UK and worldwide.
*renamed Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association in 2014
- Early years
- The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) is the trade association for the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry. ADBA’s vision is to see the full potential of the UK AD industry realised by 2030 so it can help the UK achieve its emissions targets, energy and food security and other policy goals, creating a truly circular economy. www.adbioresources.org
- How AD works
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the natural breakdown of organic matter when deprived of oxygen in a container called a digester. The process produces biogas and a biofertiliser called digestate. The graphic below shows the applications of biogas and digestate and circularity of the AD process.
- About the AD industry
- There are currently 702 AD plants operational in the UK.
- The entire industry digests approximately 46 million tonnes of organic material each year – organic material that would otherwise emit greenhouse gas if left untreated in landfill.
- An estimated 19.6 TWh of biogas is produced each year by the AD industry – this green gas is either used to generate electricity and heat via a combined heat and power (CHP) unit or upgraded to biomethane and injected directly into the national gas grid. This is enough to heat 1.5 million UK homes.
- The industry currently delivers 1% greenhouse gas savings in the UK every year.
- An estimated 4,800 people are currently employed in the AD and biogas industry in the UK.
- Fully deployed, which is feasible by 2030 given the right support, the UK AD and biogas industry would:
- create 30,000 direct and 30,000 indirect jobs.
- save the UK 27m t of CO2 equivalent = taking 1/3rd of all cars off the road, by 2030.
- heat 4.5-6.4 million UK homes with the 8 billion m3 of biomethane generated.