Ecotricity logotype
/Our news/2021/Vegan Power - yes, we’re still cutting the crap!

Our news

Article tags
Article tags
  • lifestyle
  • nature
  • energy
Browse archives
Our news

Vegan Power - yes, we’re still cutting the crap!

Press enquiries

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact our Press Office on 01453 761 318 or you can email pressoffice@ecotricity.co.uk

For all other general enquiries, please call 01453 756 111 or email home@ecotricity.co.uk.

By Christopher Appleby
Jun 17, 2021
Make sure your energy supply is animal free

In 2018, we became the first energy company in the world to be certified as vegan by both The Vegan Society and Viva!.

This caused a bit of a stir at the time. In fact, a lot of people didn’t realise that animals are used in energy generation – for example, manure and even body parts from factory farms are burned as biomass or used in anaerobic digestion vats to produce biogas. In 2017, The Times exposed how “dead salmon from Scottish fish farms are being ‘recycled’ to generate energy”.

We took the initiative on vegan power because it was the right thing to do and in the hope it would start the ball rolling for other green power companies to do the same. Today, we remain the only energy company in the world with certified vegan energy but we’re still hopeful other suppliers will join us in doing the right thing.

We’re still hopeful because if you’re serious about fighting the climate crisis, as we are, then you have to make sure your energy is vegan – it’s as simple as that. This is because livestock farming is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in the UK and around the world. For instance, farm animals in Europe produce more greenhouse gases than all the cars and vans combined!

The impact of factory farming on the environment

Across the world, animal farming is an intensive, large-scale business. This affects the natural world and the climate in several ways. In total, agriculture and deforestation contribute a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions and animal farming is responsible for 60% of the emissions from agriculture. 

Rearing livestock uses 83 per cent of all farmland globally but provides just 18 per cent of the calories we eat. That’s a large disparity when there’s so much hunger and food insecurity in this and other countries.

By switching to a plant-based diet, we could easily free up enough land to have enough food for everyone. We could also rewild a significant amount of the countryside, rewetting peat bogs and boosting tree numbers in Britain, which are all valuable carbon stores for the planet.

“We can feed up to ten vegans or one meat eater with the same amount of plant food […] A plant-based diet would free up three-quarters of Britain’s farmland. Half the landmass of our country.”

Dale Vince, Founder of Ecotricity, wrote in his new book, Manifesto.

What’s more, the amount of land we’re using for livestock is still growing! Vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest are being cleared, sometimes by logging, sometimes by simply burning it down, to make space for huge factory farming operations. This deforestation isn’t confined to South America but it is where it’s most noticeable.

Livestock farming also uses around a third of the world’s fresh water supply and produces lots of different greenhouse gases, including huge amounts of methane. Runoffs from animal waste and the fertiliser needed to grow their feeds contaminate water supplies and damage the food chain in our oceans.

What is vegan energy made from?

Anaerobic digestion of green matter – certified by The Vegan Society and Viva! – is a genuinely vegan way to make biogas. This can be used to create electricity or further treated to make biomethane, which can be used as household gas.

The big problem comes when energy companies add animal by-products (body parts, manure etc) from the livestock factory farming industry to the mix.

The justification for this is the claim that the anaerobic digestion of the by-products is better for the environment than leaving them to decompose naturally, in terms of the harmful gases they give off.

This is missing the point. By generating energy from animal by-products, companies are supporting the factory farming industry, which in turn helps to make it more profitable and secure.

That’s why switching to vegan energy is so important – to make sure you’re not supporting factory farming or the climate and environmental havoc it’s wreaking on our planet.

Switch to Ecotricity and we’ll use your bill money to invest in new sources of renewable vegan energy and build a greener Britain.

Switch to vegan energy

Similar articles

Ecotricity & Ecovision team up to support multi-site solar generators

Ecovision are a specialist in the solar PV space and have installed over 5000 rooftop systems, with their asset management and O&M team now overseeing more than 12,000 installations

More

Why should I get a smart meter?

Smart meters send meter readings from your house direct to your energy supplier, so you don’t need to answer the door to a meter reader and your readings are always up to date, so you can wave goodbye estimated bills.

Our Latest Green Projects

We’re always conscious of this fact, that it’s our customers who make all this possible. We have a responsibility to choose projects that will make the biggest impact in creating a green Britain.

Get the book!

Manifesto out now

Shop

Zerocarbonista.com

Our founder Dale Vince shares his thoughts on the green revolution

Explore the site

Don’t just take our word for it…

Ecotricity is recommended by
  • Our story
  • Our mission
  • Our manifesto
  • 25 years of Ecotricity
  • Ecotricity innovation
  • Walking the talk
  • Our partners
  • Our news
Ecotricity logotype
Jobs

Climate Clock

The Climate Clock is a version of the Doomsday clock that has been running since 1947 - this tracks the risk of global man-made disaster, through man made technology (like nuclear weapons) - displaying the minutes and seconds left before midnight, when disaster strikes. The climate crisis is a small part of the calculations made.
The climate clock uses a similar approach, but, focuses only on the climate crisis - which is the biggest and most urgent existential threat we face.
"The Climate Clock is a countdown to the biggest man-made disaster we face - but also a measure by which we can track our progress - moving from fossil to renewable energy. It shows we have no time to lose - the clock is ticking…" Dale Vince, OBE.
Ecotricity is a sponsor of the Glasgow Climate Clock that will run every night until COP26.