Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion for Supermarkets

SEaB Energy (Greenovate! sprl)                           


Address: 41 Luke Street,
London, EC2A 4DB UK                                 
Phone: +44 2380 111 909                  

References: more information you can find here.



WHERE: Portugal
WHEN: 01/09/2013 to 30/04/2016
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Recycling: Reuse – Reprocessing
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising; Voluntary/promotional, Infrastructure
WASTE STREAMS: Municipal waste, Organic residues (garden waste), Agricultural waste, Food and organic waste

About: The practice is a pioneering pilot implemented by Continente (large retailer) for on-site transformation of organic waste from one of its hypermarket stores into energy and fertilizer – it is the first retail company in the world to implement this solution in a hypermarket.

The Waste 2 Energy system uses a compact solution– a modular Anaerobic Digestion unit installed inside standard containers – that is placed at the Gaia Shopping Centre service parking.

The used technology will convert approximately 600kg per day of inedible supermarket food waste into around 80 MWh of electricity each year, as well as 180 tons of fertiliser per.

The electricity will be used on site whilst the fertiliser will be sold on, creating an additional revenue stream for the supermarket.
The total offset savings for the first year is projected to be around €27,000 which includes income from the generation of energy from waste and cost savings from the elimination of waste transport and landfill costs as well as other operational expenses.

Modelo Continente had a strong focus on resource recovery including the recycling of product and transport packaging and the implementation of bins at its stores so that consumers can recycle items such as batteries, clothing, consumables and electrical.

SEABenergy equipment graphic

Photo Source: SEABenergy


This practice aim on encouraging the development of innovative actions in the field of waste management, to reward actions that have a high potential for improving environmental conditions and to make these usable actions known among private companies, authorities and the general public.

Photo Source: OEWAV


1. Knowhow: the groups applying for the prize are experts in the fields of Eco efficiency, energy efficiency and climate friendly technologies.
2. Funding; budget: for 5 projects the total sum of money awarded is 11 000 €, further budget necessary for staff.
3. Material resources: venue for award ceremony
4.Human resources: jury for selection, staff dedicated to organizational issues, PR, award ceremony
5. Period of implementation: since 1999


Since 1999 until now, there have been encouraged and supported many initiatives with a positive effect on the environment and the health of the population.

Photo Source: OEWAV

Urban metabolism relevance

The results of the practice make reference to outcomes going beyond waste prevention and management, such as: improving air quality within the city (by reducing the organic waste disposal in landfills, encouraging product sharing solutions etc.), and reducing the use of natural resources (by encouraging bulk acquisitions, repair initiatives etc.).

All implemented actions have an integrative approach being oriented towards all the basic characteristics of the urban metabolism.

The practice is contributing to circular economy approaches by enhancing the circularity of materials (via upcycling, remanufacture, resale, repair actions), by aiming to „close the loop” and/or by showing the valorization approaches for waste valorization.


The practice follows an innovative approach in terms of awarding criteria that is more flexible and can be adjusted easily to „special local conditions”. Innovative criteria is always selected to further stimulate eco-efficient and energy efficient, socially attractive projects and business cases.

Engaged participatory processes

The award was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT) and the NGO Austrian Water and Waste Management Association (ÖWAV).

Considering all the beneficiaries of this practice (innovative businesses in industry, trade and waste management, startups, associations, corporations, municipalities, campaign and event organizers, university institutes, students, school projects and private citizens), the practice has a high participatory rate.

Sustainability and replicability

The awards that come as a result of the implementation of this practice, confirm the project’s/company’s success in the area of innovations for sustainable production and consumption and can be used for PR. They enhance visibility of the project/company and might trigger further activities in this area.

The idea is simple, might be compared to other similar initiatives already existing on regional or national level and be implemented in the target area with comparatively little effort.

Success Factors

The Practice has an increasing value, along with the number of projects it supports and encourages. The success factors might be considered the quality and efficiency of the environmental projects that run for awards annually.


Waste, Resources, Innovation.

Key Challenges

While the key aspects of environmental sustainability dominate, some awarded projects also have a significant social sustainability aspect.


The information presented above was taken from public sources, and assessed by UrbanWINS experts according to the project requirements, field research, deductions and analytical process. Key assumptions and projections may deviate from the opinions presented by author, this may typically be the result of differing time horizons, methodologies, contexts or other factors.

We do not assume any rights or guarantees, the sources of all data can be found in the „References” section, in the document. At the time of publishing, we did not received a point of view from the owners/beneficiaries of the practice (although have been requested an official position to the authors, via e-mail), and it can be withdrawn simply by email notification.

Any investor must particularly ensure the suitability of an investment as regards his/her financial and fiscal situation and investment objectives.

For more information, please check the deliverable, or contact the implementing body.

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