Skip to content

PRESS RELEASE: ADBA launches pioneering AD Certification Scheme at annual conference

  • Scheme will support AD industry in improving plant performance 
  • Scheme is most comprehensive of its type 
  • ADBA National Conference 2017 took place yesterday in Westminster 

UK trade body the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) yesterday launched its pioneering AD Certification Scheme at the ADBA National Conference 2017 in London. 

The voluntary, industry-led scheme is designed to support operators of AD plants to improve their operational, environmental, and health and safety performance, in particular in terms of energy generation and digestate quality. 

ADBA has developed the scheme, working closely with industry stakeholders including operators, developers, consultants, suppliers, insurers, regulators and other trade bodies related to the sector, who have all voiced their support for such a certification process.

The scheme includes detailed assessment criteria that will allow third-party certification bodies to verify the achievement&nbsnbsp;of good practice at AD plants, and is the most comprehensive of its type. 

The scheme pilot was completed in September this year, with one on-farm plant, one food waste plant, and one on-site plant for a food manufacturer taking part. 

ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said: 

ADBA’s new AD Certification Scheme defines good practice and enables AD plants to be recognised as meeting it. A certification process is essential to ensuring that regulators, insurers and investors have confidence in the scheme, which offers AD operators a range of financial and regulatory benefits.


Through our existing work with the AD industry, it is clear that operators, engineers, technology suppliers and developers are constantly seeking ways to optimise their performance. Through this new scheme, we hope to reflect industry developments, provide information on how plants and suppliers can improve, and help them overcome the key barriers to good performance. 


We look forward to working with AD operators to support them in building and running their AD plants to high standards.

Marie Fallon, Director of Regulated Industry at the Environment Agency, said: 

The Environment Agency welcomes the AD Certification Scheme as a positive intervention by the industry to improve performance in the anaerobic digestion sector. We share the determination in reducing pollution incidents which is a risk to the reputation of the industry. We will continue to work with ADBA to share evidence and information to achieving that goal. 

Rick Brunt, Head of Vulnerable Workers, Agriculture, Waste and Recycling Unit at the Health & Safety Executive, said: 

Seeing ADBA’s AD Certification Scheme progress to the next stage is an excellent example of the industry working together driving improvement of its own standards and expectations. It clearly demonstrates what can be achieved through the collaboration of a diverse range of organisations spanning operators, insurers and regulators, and has resulted in a scheme that will not only improve health and safety but also environmental and operational performance. I hope that we will see the remainder of the AD industry embracing the scheme with the same level of enthusiasm as those that have worked on its development. 

John Kenny, Chief Officer, Circular Economy at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency said: 

Well-designed and well-operated plants are good for the environment, the economy and for neighbouring communities and we’re supportive of the work being carried out by ADBA to achieve this. 


Our Regulatory Strategy, 'One Planet Prosperity', highlights that it is those businesses striving to go beyond compliance that will ultimately be the most successful and resilient in future. Through direct collaboration with industry and associations such as ADBA, we can drive and deliver the highest environmental standards and start to explore what beyond compliance means for the sector as a whole. 

Susan Relf, Compliance Director at Agrivert, one of the operators involved in the pilot phase of the scheme, said:  

As the owners and operators of five AD plants recycling over a quarter of a million tonnes of food waste across the UK, we found our involvement in the pilot phase of the AD Certification Scheme to be very useful in providing a check and reassurance that our plants were meeting consistent, high operational standards across the board. The fact that the scheme reflects existing ISO standards also allows straightforward integration with existing standards and schemes. Agrivert welcomes the launch of the AD Certification Scheme and supports its aim to drive up operational, health and safety, and environmental standards across the UK AD industry. 

Carl Gurney, Renewable Energy Director at insurance brokers Jelf, said: 

It has been fantastic to be part of this project for the last two years, seeing stakeholders coming together with the same common goal to improve standards in this brilliant sector. I would implore all operators to look to undertake this process as I am confident this will only assist in improving their plant and mitigating any losses or incidents. This coupled with tangible insurance benefits in terms of cover and pricing only adds to the reasons why this should be undertaken. Having a standard to reach truly benefits the wider industry, which will only assist in giving confidence to regulators and investors. This in turn will hopefully lead to a more hands-off approach, continuity in regulator assessments and continued investment which, finally, means sector growth. This is a hugely positive move for the AD sector and I urge those interested to get involved. 

Tina Benfield, Technical Manager at the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM), said: 

CIWM is pleased to see that ADBA, working with others in the AD sector, has produced a scheme that will enable operators of AD facilities to show improved professional standards of operation. Operators of AD plants should look to continuously improve both individually and operationally, and CIWM believes that anything which demonstrates this is a positive step forward. 

Phil Gerrard, Chief Executive at Privilege Finance, said: 

Privilege specialises in providing finance for AD projects. We’re very keen to see improvements in both environmental and health and safety risk management at AD plants, and the ability to easily understand the level of risk and performance of these plants through an independent accreditation process is incredibly helpful. 


The AD Certification Scheme provides an independent process for operators to demonstrate their credibility when seeking finance, supporting them in securing the optimum terms in the marketplace. 

For more information see or contact PR & Parliamentary Affairs Executive Chris Noyce on 020 3176 5441 or at

Back To Top