Greener Goodbyes is a web-based application that helps you to model a funeral and calculate its carbon footprint. From the results, you can then choose to offset the emissions by supporting several established and accredited projects.
If one thing is offset by another, the effect of the first thing is reduced by the second, so that any advantage or disadvantage is cancelled out. In this case, the carbon associated with options of a funeral arrangement can be reduced by paying for credits towards an accredited environmental project.
A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or the equivalent. Carbon credits are a component of national and international attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases.
A carbon offset is a way of paying others to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made elsewhere. This is often done by planting or adopting trees or buying carbon credits for an ongoing project. A purchased carbon credit is a monetary allocation for the reduction of Co2 emissions in the atmosphere towards a project that has already taken place, helping towards mitigating the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases.
Carbon (in an environmental context) refers to the different greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. A footprint refers to the total impact that an activity has; in this case the various elements that make up a funeral such as burial or cremation, transport, flowers, and numbers of guests at a reception. The Co2e calculated by our app is an abbreviation of carbon dioxide equivalent, a measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases based on their global-warming potential.
The Greener Goodbyes web-based application, enables an individual or family to enter the details of a planned funeral service and using independent accredited data, calculate the CO2e impact it would have. If desired, choices within the arrangement can then be modified and refined to lower the overall CO2e impact and design a greener funeral.
All data used to calculate the values have been determined independently by leading environmental experts, Giraffe Innovation, using life cycle analysis into coffins, caskets, differing forms of human disposition and funeral services offered in the UK.
The research complies with the international accepted principles, framework, methodology and practices for LCA established by ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 the international standards governing the investigation and evaluation of the environmental impacts of a given product over their life cycle:
We are confident in the environmental claims regarding Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions including operational impacts, product design, materials and manufacture.
The average funeral arrangement emits 2-3 tonnes of Co2e. The lower the figure at the end of your arrangement, the greener the funeral will be. For every choice you make within the application, a calculation is made of the carbon associated with that choice. For simplicity, an at-a-glance image of a tree indicates how green each option is. The larger the tree, the more environmentally friendly that option is. Once you’ve answered all the questions, the total carbon footprint of the funeral arrangement will be displayed, as well as a breakdown of the results.
A tree living 100 years will remove around 350kg of CO2 (please note – this is an indicative figure and depends on ground conditions, tree species and location).
Forest Carbon are responsible for the projects you can offset your funeral arrangement against. They lead the way in developing woodland creation and peatland restoration projects for carbon capture and ecosystem services. They have been responsible for planting of over 9.5 million new trees in 200+ new woodlands in the UK since 2006 removing over 2.000,000 tonnes of CO2 from the global atmosphere, as well as providing a host of other benefits to society, including flood mitigation, river improvement and public access. Their schemes are assured by the UK government’s Woodland Carbon Code and the IUCN's Peatland Code, both of which certify our projects in important areas like additionality, permanence, risk management and carbon capture measurement.
The Greener Goodbyes application allows you to go back and forth to amend a funeral arrangement until it suits your needs. If you are not happy with the amount of Co2e your arrangement emits once you get to the results breakdown, you can go back and adjust your plan which will automatically amend your Co2e results.