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The quest to become Carbon Neutral and how to get there – A Q&A with Finance Director Darren Mills

Team DK has been busy over the past few months in their effort to become carbon neutral. We had the chance to sit down with our Finance Director/Company Secretary, Darren Mills and chat about what’s been happening in the company’s 65th Anniversary year so far and how he feels about his draw in the company’s EUROs 2024 sweepstake.

Hello Darren, really good to catch up with you. How has 2024 been so far?

“I’ve got to mention our 65th Anniversary which we celebrated in April this year. It’s such a milestone for us and all of the management team are incredibly grateful for the continued support of our customers, suppliers and first and foremost our staff. Without their dedication, resilience and continued drive to deliver the best possible Diamond Tooling solutions we would not be where we are now.

In terms of our continuous efforts to improve our green credentials and get closer to that Net Zero target everyone is aiming for, our partner Next Level Services recently carried out our 3rd Annual Low Carbon Audit and I’m pleased to say that we have managed to decrease our total carbon output (tCO2e) by 11% over two years.”

You mentioned the company’s recent Low Carbon Audit, what are the main takeaways from it and how are you planning to improve on it?

“The team continues to work on several initiatives we implemented and has done a tremendous job in doing so.

We replaced all legacy lighting with LED Lighting as well as phasing out fuel-powered vehicles with either hybrid or electric.

Our solar panels which we completed installing in 2023 now produce 40% of our required consumption which also translates into annual CO emission projection savings of some 60 tCO2e. We will continue to make changes across our buildings, including installing double-glazed windows and slowly removing our heating from legacy gas boilers.

2023 was a pretty momentous year for the company with achieving Ecovadis Silver Medal status and becoming a Platinum Member of The Green Organisation in 2023 – what’s in store for 2024?

“I always say that you can achieve anything with the right people and we are lucky enough to have a dedicated team as well as customers and suppliers who continuously challenge us to do better for the Environment.

In our quest to become Net Zero in the future, we have joined Carbon Neutral Britain, the UK’s Leading Carbon Offsetting Initiative.

As I mentioned before, we have reduced our tCO2E over the past two years by 11% and we are determined to continue working towards achieving more, but in the meantime can be proud to say we are carbon neutral for scope 1 & 2 emissions as of June 2024.

You mentioned Ecovadis, it is one of the proud moments of 2023 as the team worked very hard on achieving Silver Medal status and I can not praise them enough. Maintaining the status quo is what we are currently working towards with the aim of achieving Gold Medal status.

We are ISO 9001 and ISO 45001 certified via the British Assessment Bureau and the Compliance team will be looking at the ISO 14001 Environmental Management certification which we hope to achieve in the future.

We’ve talked a fair bit about how DK Holdings aims to reduce its carbon footprint further, what other initiatives are there?

“The team here is partnering with companies such as Natwest and Business Stream. It’s been widely reported that water, a vital resource to everyone, is still in crisis with reserves depleting faster than we like. The team decided that we as a company wanted to put our weight behind raising awareness so have joined The Business Stream’s Water Efficiency Pledge to save up to 20% of the water we use.

We are also continuing to gather information regarding Scope 3 emissions to better understand and deliver our Net Zero target.
Starting in April 2026 we will be purchasing our electricity (Gas from September 2025) from ENGIE, a renewable energy company.

Final question for you Darren, DK’s popular sweepstake returned for the EUROs this summer, did you draw England as you were hoping for?

“Sadly no, I’ve got Serbia and Scotland and I’m envious of one of my colleagues, who drew England, as it’s coming home, but it’s all good fun and we love a sweepstake here at DK.

Our Sports & Social Club does a marvellous job of organising these for us and who knows, Serbia might just surprise us all!

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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