Local funeral director William Purves has a way to create carbon neutral funerals.

The company has devised an app – Greener Goodbyes – which will calculate the carbon footprint of any funeral, aiming to help families make plans which are more environmentally friendly.

The app has been developed with UK coffin supplier JC Atkinson and will work out the carbon emissions associated with any decisions on type of coffins, transport and the number of people who attend. If necessary then those organising the funeral can buy carbon credits or change their choices.

The Greener Goodbyes app estimates the average UK funeral will require £35 in carbon credits to achieve a net-zero value. Credits are then paid to accredited and established green projects. William Purves promises to cap the charge at £30 and donate any difference from the whole funeral cost themselves.  

Tim Purves, chairman of William Purves said: “Increasingly, the families we work with are looking for more sustainable options when it comes to funeral arranging and we are delighted to support anyone wishing to make a greener choice.  

“We are rolling the new app out across Lothian to help those interested in going green to arrange a carbon net-zero funeral. We hope greener funerals will become the gold standard for future funeral services.” 

UK-wide research arranged by Ipsos Mori reveals 33% of over 50s in the UK have thought about or started planning a funeral, while 55% of people expect to be offered eco-friendly coffins by their funeral director. 

Julian Atkinson, Managing Director of JC Atkinson, said: “With sustainability high on the global agenda, we believe that the funeral sector needs to also play its part. With Greener Goodbyes we can help families make informed funeral choices and leave a lasting positive legacy that will play its part in supporting our environment.” 

This move is the latest in a series of steps William Purves has taken to help reduce the impact of the funerals it arranges on climate change.  

The Edinburgh-headquartered firm installed solar panels last year, has introduced EV ports and has added electric vehicles to its fleet. It is also exploring resomation, a new type of water-based cremation that will soon be trialled in Scotland. Greener Goodbyes will be rolled out across the rest of Scotland and in North East England in 2022. 

Telephone 0131 447 5858 or email info@williampurves.co.uk