Greener Globe Funeral Awards by Brendan and Carolyn Day

It’s always heartening to see people working towards a greener, more sustainable future, so we were delighted to hear about the Greener Globe Funeral Awards. Here, we find out more about why husband and wife founders, Brendan and Carolyn Day, started this scheme.

“How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew what was happening to the world and did nothing.”

David Attenborough

About the Greener Globe Funeral Awards

Greener Globe Funeral Awards (GGFA) was created by husband and wife Brendan and Carolyn Day. They have always loved the countryside and appreciated nature, and since the birth of their granddaughters, have been even more passionate about preserving the planet for their future.

Brendan is a second generation cemetery and crematorium manager who began 40 years ago when industrial pesticides and herbicides were commonly used, whilst cremation was polluting and inefficiently using fossil fuels. Throughout his career, Brendan has been influential in introducing environmental improvements.   He submitted his MBA Dissertation to Birmingham University on ‘The impact of the Environmental Protection Act on Cremation in the United Kingdom’. He was one of the pioneers to introduce wildlife and heritage trails and woodland burial in the 1990’s. He has helped Bereavement Services transition away from the use of industrial chemicals, led on the installation of filtration and energy efficient cremators whilst developing a national burden sharing scheme to enable crematoria to support each other in the removal of mercury from emissions.

Carolyn worked in a commercial insurance brokers for 30 years.   She nurtured relationships with the businesses she looked after to gain a greater understanding of how individuals operated and better meet their insurance needs.  Regulation in Financial Services greatly increased, however guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority could often seem complex and intended for larger corporations.  Carolyn rose to the challenge by cutting through the official jargon to deliver compliance better suited to a smaller business.  Since finishing in insurance, Carolyn has successfully completed the ISO 14001:2015 Internal Auditor Course to transfer her skills to supporting funeral directors, sector suppliers and crematoria on their environmental journey. Carolyn is keen to ensure that no one within the funeral sector should get left behind as they transition to more sustainable ways of working.

Protecting the Environment Whilst Serving the Bereaved

“No one person or organisation or government policy will solve the issue of the climate emergency….You know your businesses better than anyone so it’s imperative ….(you)  create bespoke practical plans to ensure the continued sustainability and success of your sector.”

Lee Rawlinson – Environment Agency Director of Regulated Industry

The founders believe that supporting the environment should not have to be scary, difficult, or costly. It should simply be part and parcel of the way a funeral business goes about delivering their everyday services. If every funeral business starts by making a small contribution, together they will produce a massive benefit for the environment. 

Brendan and Carolyn have combined their knowledge to produce bespoke pragmatic sustainability audits for the different sections of the funeral sector. With the support of an ISO14001 Lead Auditor, Gaynor Williams, and talented graphic designer, Jeff Lewis, they have created a scheme which enables funeral directors, their suppliers and crematoria to quickly examine all parts of their business to identify the areas which are already sustainable and those where further work is required.  Greener Globe Funeral Awards has been developed to guide and support funeral businesses to continually improve and review their impact on the environment and show clients through genuine third-party certification that they care about leaving a positive legacy for future generations.

How it Works

The scheme aims to provide an environmental standard for the entire funeral sector, a pragmatic process to support all parts of the sector to transition to more sustainable ways of working. 

Developed with sector input, the scheme provides a suite of straight forward online audits designed for individual parts of the sector i.e. bespoke audits for Funeral Directors, Suppliers to the Funeral Sector, and the latest audit for crematoria is currently being piloted.

The awards are in the form of a 2 step process. The first step is to demonstrate commitment to sustainability by confirming that an Environmental Policy is in place.  GGFA have an oven ready one for each sector, which they are happy for businesses to adopt.  Businesses simply sign, date it and upload it to their audit and then tell GGFA how they will advise the rest of their organisation of the policy. They will then be awarded the Bronze Level.

The second step is to complete the sustainability audit questionnaire. For the results to remain robust, each answer is required to be evidenced with photos from a smart phone or other evidence such as invoices uploaded as PDFs. Working through the audit allows each business to recognise what they are already doing well and areas they may not have previously considered. The audit for each sector contains both generic and questions recognising the specific challenges of that sector. The supplier’s questionnaire, for example, covers Organisational Culture, Administration, Energy Supply, Premises, Manufacture/Supply, Waste, Transport and Community Engagement.  For each question, GGFA explains why they ask the question, examples of answers and suggestions of evidence.

Once the questionnaire has been completed, it is signed off by their ISO 14001 qualified auditors and an Aspect Score generated.  Scores up to 60% will result in a Silver Award, 61-80% a Gold Award and 81% and above a Platinum Award.

The most important part of the process is that the completed audit will generate a bespoke Improvement Plan, which the business can use to plan what steps they take next on their environmental journey. At the same time, working through the Greener Globe Funeral Awards will help businesses reduce their use of resources, water, electricity, paper and fuel, increasing sustainability, reducing costs and demonstrating to customers their environmental commitment.

Thank you Greener Globe for telling us about this important initiative.

To find out more, please go to the Greener Globe Funeral Awards website.

Scroll to Top