Sophia Haywood Director of Advocacy & Communications, Chair of Advanced Biofuels Coalition Dimeta
Promoting renewable carbon DME and advancing biofuels, Sophia Haywood drives impactful campaigns and industry collaboration

Describe your current role at your company.

As the director of advocacy and communications, I lead the strategy and implementation of public affairs campaigns, stakeholder engagement and external communications to promote, position and secure support for renewable and recycled carbon DME [dimethyl ether]. This includes engaging with politicians and policymakers from national to international levels, including the U.K. and EU, as well as working closely with the LPG industry’s associations to influence policy and perception when it comes to DME. Simultaneously, my team and I deliver impactful communications to raise awareness about the benefits of renewable and recycled carbon DME and how it contributes to meeting the global climate targets, as well as Dimeta’s latest developments and thought leadership.

What do you hope to accomplish as the new chair for the European Advanced Biofuels Coalition?

I was honored to be elected as chair this year. It is a critical period for the advanced biofuels sector. Now more than ever we need to accelerate the ambition to scale production, increase investor confidence and reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors. A key accomplishment I want to achieve is working closely with our coalition members to get the necessary and fair support in place. I also look forward to collaborating across the sustainable fuels industry and end-use sectors to help promote the critical role advanced biofuels can play.

Can you describe the work you’ve done to advance Dimeta’s partnerships and the future of DME?

I genuinely believe that partnerships and collaboration are at the heart of a successful transition to renewable fuels. During my time at Dimeta, I have built and contributed to many partnerships. Some of these are brand new for me [after] joining Dimeta and some have been a long-term process. For example, as a director at the U.K. Propane Association, I recognized the need for better engagement with heating technology manufacturers. In 2020, I brought on Rinnai U.K. and Europe as members. Together, we showcased the importance of full value chain alignment and collaboration on advocacy. Fast forward to 2023 at Dimeta, I was able to organize an official visit to Rinnai Group’s headquarters in Nagoya, Japan, and as a result facilitate the signing of a memorandum of understanding based on exploring DME/propane blended and 100% DME appliances, with a focus on U.K., Europe and U.S. geographies. Through partnerships and by working together, whether on advocacy, innovation or project development, we can get us all where we need to be.

Can you describe some of your biggest professional wins and challenges?


One of my earlier career wins, of which I was extremely proud, was winning the Rising Star Award from Energy U.K. within less than a year of joining the propane sector. I was extremely honored, especially because I was competing with natural gas and electricity suppliers, and I was so proud to represent propane! Another thing I’m hugely proud of from my career was the “2040 Vision” and subsequent campaign I lead in the U.K. to promote the role for propane and renewable liquid gases. The campaign was a huge effort in bringing the industry together and showcased to policymakers, sector bodies and consumer groups that the U.K. propane industry has a critical role to play in the future energy mix. One of the challenges we consistently face in the off-grid energy sector and a “just transition” to net zero is the idea that a one-size-fits-all electrification approach is the way forward. Data, consumer views, and the practical and economic challenges of doing this showcase the need for renewable liquid gases in the future energy mix. We just have to keep championing this!

In your visits to the States, what have been the most interesting coffee flavors you’ve come across?

As a frequent traveler, I can’t live without my coffee! I’ve discovered many different traditional ways to have coffee and weird and wonderful ways too! Especially in the U.S., I’ve been exploring a wide range of different flavors, from pumpkin pie to fancy flowery ones such as lavender! I must be honest though — a cappuccino is still my go-to!

Trailblazing Women Share Their Journeys in Propane