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Dalradian reduces carbon footprint by 67% and achieves carbon neutral plus status

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Dalradian reduces carbon footprint by 67% and achieves carbon neutral plus status

We have reduced our total carbon footprint by 67% from our 2019 baseline. This achievement and other proactive measures have helped us secure Carbon Neutral Plus status for 2021, the third year running.

Between 2020 and 2021, carbon output was reduced by 17% due to our carbon management plan. Above and beyond that, further reductions were achieved by switching to renewable electricity. We also offset our emissions by supporting an internationally certified project and secured ‘Plus’ status by planting trees in Northern Ireland.

For 2021, Dalradian chose to support a project in Bulgaria that reduced methane emissions and produces energy to off-set emissions. Methane produced in Kubratovo wastewater treatment plant is captured in common methane tanks and then supplied to the installed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) gas engines for electricity and heat production, which in turn substitutes both the plant’s electricity purchases from the grid and fossil fuel usage. Excess electricity is supplied to the grid.

The main purpose of the project is to transform the existing low tech sludge treatment process at Kubratovo that existed before implementation of the project into a modern advanced treatment process matching the best sludge treatment practice available in Western Europe. This transformation has a major effect on the environment through dramatically reducing the existing methane gas emissions at the plant while also reducing the volume of sludge (to as much as 50%) that needs to be transported, hence reducing GHG emissions from transportation as well (not included in GHG abatement calculations). The project aims to provide an environmentally friendly sludge treatment process reducing methane and carbon dioxide emissions that – without the project – would have continued.

Our accreditation was provided by Carbon Footprint Ltd, a leading sustainability & climate change solutions provider. Dr. Wendy Buckley from Carbon Footprint said:

“It’s great to see Dalradian’s progress over the three years we have worked with them. Every year they strive to find new ways to reduce carbon emissions across all scopes of activity, something which gets more challenging after the initial, easier reductions are made.

“Combined with their support for the scheme in Bulgaria, which is an internationally certified Gold Standard offset project, and local tree-planting, Dalradian has been recognised as a Carbon Neutral Plus organisation.”

Oonagh McKenna, our Sustainability & Community Relations Officer, commented on the company’s achievement:

“Congratulations are due to everyone at Dalradian for their work on this project. Each year, we bring together people from across the company, working together to identify areas for improvement.

“The driving force behind the substantial decrease in carbon since 2019 has been the constant effort to increase energy efficiency across all operations. We’ve upgraded lighting, started the process of replacing our diesel-fueled vehicles with electric and switched to 100% renewable electricity across all our offices.

“Further enhancements for 2022, including improving the efficiency of how we manage our exploration site, are already ongoing. We’re also continuing to research alternative energy sources such as hydrogenated vegetable oil and biodiesel as well as electric vehicles for the mining operation, post-planning. Our teams are in discussions with suppliers, including visits to their plants and mining operations using the latest technology, to discover the best solutions for our existing and future operations.”

The calculation of our carbon footprint for 2021 was assessed by Carbon Footprint following the exacting requirements of ISO 14064-1, an international standard for businesses and other organisations to quantify, monitor, report and assess greenhouse gas emissions. By doing this, we have achieved the status of Carbon Footprint Standard – Assessed for 2021. This process has followed the stringent requirements of BSI PAS 2060, a specification produced and published by the British Standards Institution with the objective of increasing transparency of carbon neutrality claims by providing a common definition and recognised method of achieving carbon neutral status.

Carbon Neutral Plus status means that in addition to reducing our emissions and supporting an internationally recognised offsetting project, we have gone one step further by supporting tree planting. The trees will be planted in Northern Ireland for the third year in a row, benefiting the local area.

We have also begun a native tree nursery project as part of our long-term plans for offsetting and progressive restoration at the proposed mine site. Seeds from a variety of local native tree species have been collected and sown in seed beds, in preparation for planting as saplings.

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