OpusXenta Blog

The Environmental Stewardship Group

Leading the Bereavement Sector to Sustainability

3 minutes reading time (617 words)

On 17th February, The FBCA, (Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities) and OpusXenta held the first webinar in our environmental series highlighting the environmental impact of the bereavement services sector.

We opened the conversation and looked at what changes that funeral directors, crematoria and cemeteries alike can all make to protect our planet.

Following on from this introduction, our second webinar on the 17th March 2021, The Climate Emergency: Contributing to Change Locally and Strategically, will be looking at how we can contribute to change strategically and locally with the launch of The Environmental Stewardship Group earlier this month and explaining their core mission (read below).

The Environmental Stewardship Group 

The Environmental Stewardship Group was formed in late 2020 in response to Climate Emergency declarations and the recognition that the bereavement sector has a substantial part to play in addressing the overarching concerns affecting the UK as a whole.

Collaboration between two key membership organisations, an educational charity and a private company, all with many years' experience in the sector and a common purpose to respond to the current crisis, saw the group's formation.

The Cremation Society of Great Britain provides over 100 years of detailed knowledge, understanding and educational processes to help the sector and the general public understand what needs to be done.

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematoria Management (ICCM) and the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA) have over 200 years of meeting the needs of their members, which represent over 85% of the sector to date.

The CDS Group has a real passion for the environment and the Bereavement Sector. Responsible for designing and building Crematoria and Cemeteries, they place the environment at the heart of all their operations.

Each member of the group recognises and understands the nature of the challenge that encompasses the public and private sectors equally. Each can work with its members, supporters and clients to drive remedial activities to address the emergency forward to a mutually beneficial conclusion.

The first phase of this exciting but challenging activity will bring about a greater understanding of the nature of the emergency and where it impacts the sector. It will explore the interdependent relationships between each other and that of the environment and how together we can make the differences required.

The UK Bereavement Sector is a £2.5billion contributor to the UK economy, rarely discussed openly, but now in the spotlight concerning the Climate Emergency and its significant impact on the UK's Environment.

Operationally, it impacts the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the quality of our soil, and our flora and fauna's biodiversity. The Sector encompasses Owner Operators of Crematoria and Cemeteries, Funeral Directors, a vast array of Suppliers, and Government departments. Therefore there is a significant, but real, challenge to achieve a meaningful engagement with all of these, and quickly.

By stepping up to the challenge, The Environmental Stewardship Group will provide a focal point for the sector to lead it towards sustainability, and it has tasked itself with identifying the bigger picture before October 2021.

Recently published revised targets on reducing emissions have brought forward our 80% carbon reduction by 2050 on 1990 levels forward by 15 years! A mere 14 years in the future.

Before we can respond with confidence to the challenges, there is the real need to establish exactly where the sector currently sits, what does it know, is it up to date, is it really engaged with this agenda, or does it not believe it is their problem?…………. the journey has begun.

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Thursday, 21 October 2021

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