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The importance of being green – A Q&A with Finance Director Darren Mills

We were lucky enough to prise Darren Mills, our Finance Director/Company Secretary, away from his desk and get him to sit down with us over a cup of tea and discuss the recent measures the company implemented in its ever-continuing quest to become greener for future generations. Read on and find out what we have done so far this year and have coming up.

Hello Darren, thank you for sitting down with us. Can we start by talking about the additional solar panels the company installed in Spring 2023 and can you tell us a bit more about this investment and how these have performed for you so far?

“We added 585 500 kW panels at the end of March this year to the 50 kW system already in place so we now have 342.5 kW peak power. This came just at the right time of year for us with Kent’s Spring and Summer sunshine. To date our solar panels produced some 60% of the Company’s total electricity consumption which is the equivalent of 34,700 kg of CO2 emissions saved or the equivalent of planting 2,100 trees.”

Another rather exciting milestone for DK Holdings was to achieve Ecovadis Silver Medal status – an accolade which means team DK is in the top 18% of companies undertaking the survey in 2022/23 – how did we achieve this?

“Firstly let me give a shoutout to our fantastic Compliance department who worked tirelessly with Ecovadis to achieve this accolade. I am so proud of them and what they’ve achieved in a short space of time. We improved in three Ecovadis sections, Environment, Labour & Human Rights and Sustainable Procurement. Actions we undertook included the installation of Solar Panels and LED Lights as well as the implementation of several policies, such as Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility as well as a Bullying and Harassment Policy, all of which can also be found on our website.”

What other causes does the company support and why those?

“We generally choose causes that are close to our employee’s hearts and who represent what we as a company stand for which is integrity. In November 2022 we activated Gold Membership with The Green Organisation, one of the world’s leading environment groups. The Green Organisation has up until September 2023 planted close to 300 trees in our name. We are also partnered with an organisation called Serious Tissues which supplies the UK’s first carbon-neutral toilet roll and plant a tree for every case sold. Keeping in with the theme of tree planting, we renewed our Life Assurance with Zurich and in return 10 Ceriops Tagal were planted on our behalf and are growing in Project Eden Reforestation Projects in Madagascar – truly global efforts!”

Looking ahead now, what other initiatives are in the pipeline Darren?

“In August 2023 we started working with DHL, trialling shipping via their GoGreen Plus Initiative which means shipments use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to reduce our Scope 3 emissions. Our Purchasing department is also continuing to look into the use of recyclable materials for our shipments and we substituted plastic bubble wrap with honeycombed paper as well as plastic bags with 30% recycled plastic. Our fleet of Diesel cars continues to be replaced with either hybrid or fully electric vehicles.

Looking further ahead into 2024, we are planning to replace some of our single-glazed windows in one of our buildings with double-glazed ones and add additional EV charging points as we continue investment across the company to further our green credentials.

We are proud of what we have achieved over the past year and as Paul Brown, Decarbonisation Advisor at Nextlevel Services put it: “These actions underscore DK Holdings’ dedication to environmental responsibility and establish the company as a leader in green energy usage within its industry. These proactive steps not only contribute to a greener future but also enhance DK Holdings’ reputation as an eco-conscious business entity.”

Feel free to contact us at info@dk-holdings.co.uk to find out more about our existing ISO accreditations and future projects.

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