2022 has been a memorable year for Dulas in many ways, not least because it marked the 40th anniversary since the company was formed in 1982. In those early years, the climate change storm clouds that lay ahead of humanity were not widely known about or understood. Nonetheless, at that time, Dulas successfully established itself as a pioneer in renewable energy technologies that are now the cornerstone of the world’s strategy to eliminate carbon-based energy sources from being used.

With 40 years of significant contributions to the field of zero carbon energy under our belt, we decided that it was time to ensure our own ‘house’ was formally aligned with global goals to achieve net zero across operations. For that reason, in September last year Dulas joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and pledged to start the journey to becoming net zero. Joining the scheme means making the following commitments:

  1. Halving our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
  2. Achieve net zero emissions before 2050
  3. Disclose our progress on a yearly basis

In the spirit of openness and cooperation along this journey we will share our findings and future plans. And we are certainly open to helping, exchanging ideas with or learning from others making the same journey.

We have always considered it a core mission to limit our effect on the planet at Dulas however, since making the pledge to Net Zero, there has been a concerted, company-wide effort to reduce emissions where possible, with progress being made in the following areas:

  • Developing a pathway to reduce dependency on the company vehicle fleet of diesel vehicles and replacing with EV pool cars where practical
  • Implementing an EV charging point at our HQ and hosting a local community EV vehicle
  • Ensuring we are using green tariffs
  • Bringing back into service our onsite wind turbine for green energy generation
  • Reducing company mileage and transportation by air.


A line in the sand

To start this journey, Dulas undertook an assessment of its carbon emissions across 2019, 2020 and 2021. This was important because these figures will act as a mark in the sand against which we can measure incremental reductions in our emissions year on year, as we aim for net zero before 2050. Happily, we can report that our carbon intensity ratios have all decreased since 2019, although this is set against a backdrop of business growth which means that overall our total emissions across scope 1 and 2 classifications have remained similar in terms of the annual total. All assessments were undertaken using the methodology recommended by the GreenHouse Gas Protocol and with calculations based on government published emissions intensity ratios in each of the years measured.

The main culprit and a tough nut to crack!

The formal assessment threw up some interesting results. The largest emitter across the company, and probably the trickiest to solve at the moment, is the vehicle emissions of our fleet of 4×4 vehicles. Although Dulas is in the process of converting its day-to-day pool vehicles to EVs, our remote work requires heavy duty off-road vehicles, such as land-rovers or hi-lux transporters, to carry equipment to off-grid sites that are difficult to access. At the moment, there is no obvious non-fossil fuel alternative on the market that would suit the specifics of our work -they are heavy duty vehicles and we need them to pull trailers from time to time. We continue to survey the market for alternatives but the only way we can practically imagine eliminating emissions from our industrial vehicle chain at the moment would be to use hydrogen (not yet mature) as a fuel vector or to use carbon neutral biofuels (highly scarce supply). We are sure that similar companies on the same trajectory will probably be wrestling with this issue too – if you have found a solution we would love to hear from you!

In addition to the thorny challenge of fossil powered off-road vehicles, we discovered that, although our HQ was built to energy efficiency standards which were advanced at the time of its construction in the 1990s, there have since been technological advances and there is now room for more improvement. Measures under consideration include extending our roof top PV array and replacing the boiler with a heat pump system.

“Since its inception as a renewables cooperative back in the 1980s, Dulas has been a green company, working in a green industry, and it is natural, as well as ethical, for us to want to meet renewable expectations in our everyday working practices. We’ve always tried to limit our footprint and have a positive effect on the planet through what we do, but measuring our emissions in this way really sets the bar for future improvements – it’s not an easy exercise but it is very worthwhile. We now know where to focus our efforts and we can set and aim for targets that will take us incrementally to net zero, hopefully before 2050.” 

Donald Speirs, Business Development Manager, commented: