Taking Steps Towards More Eco-friendly Funerals

There are undeniably aspects of funerals that are not particularly environmentally friendly, so at AB Walker we do what we can to reduce our carbon use and innovate solutions. We believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to take whatever steps we can towards sustainability.

Net Zero by 2026

Our target is to be net zero by 2026 – our 200th business anniversary.

People collecting plastic on a beach as part of a ClimatePartner project

Understanding our carbon footprint

To help us to meet our net zero target we are working with ClimatePartner, a leading solutions provider for climate action.

With their help, we calculate our corporate carbon footprint, reduce our carbon output wherever possible, and fund climate projects to offset our emissions.

Between 2021 and 2023, we reduced our carbon footprint by almost 35%.The work to reduce our emissions further continues.

We’ve already offset over 304,000kg of CO2 from supporting clean drinking water projects in Mozambique and a hydropower project in Virunga, DR Congo. For 2024 we supporting a combined climate project and ocean protection. For every tonne of CO2 saved through the contribution via a certified climate project, 10 kg of plastic is collected in coastal regions.

1 Our emissions reduced from 182,065 kg in 2021 to 118,462 in 2023.

A.B. Walker branded Minis

Reducing our use of carbon

We recognise there are aspects of the funeral that don’t lend themselves to a low carbon solution, but it’s increasingly obvious to us that we need to head in a more eco-friendly direction. We’re working on reducing our overall use of carbon.

This includes both changes to the business such as electric vehicles and renewable energy, and in how we support our staff, for example by implementing an effective bike to work scheme.

Selecting more sustainable products

We consistently select products that we believe can deliver the best, whilst staying in line with our beliefs.

Somerset willow coffin with flower garland and sheath

Coffin range

We’ve reduced our coffin range from overseas to reduce air miles – in fact, the willow coffins we use are made in Somerset and other coffins are made locally in Oxford. We also thoroughly research the materials we use – for example, cardboard coffins degrade well so initially appear a good sustainable option, but they take a lot of processing, so instead we have moved to use en√iroboard. These lightweight sheets made of wood fibres produce up to 87% less greenhouse gas emissions than cardboard, chipboard or MDF coffins.

Flower sheath of pinks and purples

Floral arrangements

The environment and sustainability are at the forefront of our floral arrangements. Biodegradable oasis and recyclable plastics and materials are used across all arrangements as standard. Where possible, we also offer options using Agra wool (a material made from renewable materials) and compostable bases, and others which are made without the use of plastics, tape or floral foam.

Green funerals

Our values also resonate with more and more of our customers, as green funerals are growing in popularity. We’re endeavouring to reduce the carbon footprint of all our funerals, but a green funeral is the ultimate choice for anyone with strong eco beliefs. We work hard to ensure all the choices are clear by providing all the information needed to help people make the decision that marries with their values – for example, we make it clear which coffins can be used for green funerals.

You can contact us 24/7

Email or call us with your questions, queries and requirements. For urgent assistance, call us on 0118 957 3650 24 hours a day, seven days a week.