BlackRock fund buys organics-to-energy recycler

Vanguard Renewables says it has mitigated about 500,000 tons of emissions since 2014

A BlackRock institutional fund has acquired a US firm Vanguard Renewables, which specializes in transforming agricultural and food waste into energy, the companies recently announced.

Vanguard Renewables, which is not related to the similarly named asset manager, was previously owned by Vision Ridge Partners. The deal, disclosed July 20, will provide funds to help the organics recycler expand its operations, the firms stated.

BlackRock’s real assets team, which manages about $60bn, will work with Vanguard Renewables to “drive its next phase of growth, including its plans to commission more than 100 anaerobic digesters to produce renewable natural gas across the country by 2026,” according to the announcement.

The organics recycler was founded in 2014 and is based in Massachusetts.

“Renewable natural gas is an attractive and fast-growing market that provides decarbonization solutions for both the provider of the waste, as well as the natural gas consumer,” said Mark Florian, dead of diversified infrastructure, BlackRock Real Assets, in the announcement. “We look forward to partnering with Vanguard Renewables’ experienced management team to support the company’s strong growth momentum.”

As of April, Vanguard Renewables had mitigated at total about 500,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and recycled more than 800,000 tons of organic waste, according to the firm. The company has two business lines – one for food waste and another for agricultural waste. It uses an anaerobic “codigestion” process to convert food and beverage byproducts, as well as dairy manure, into natural gas and low-carbon fertilizer. The agriculture division developed a process with Dominion Energy to convert manure into natural gas.