Sustainability has become a major concern for consumers in many areas of their lives, and it seems that funerals are no exception. As we mentioned in our blog last December, independent research and consultancy business Funeral Solution Expert (FSE) found that around 80% of consumers wanted more environmentally friendly funerals. Now, in conjunction with FSE and their research partner Trajectory Partnership, we have conducted our own consumer insight to explore this topic further.
We asked a nationally representative group of 1,500 UK adults how important it would be to them to have coffin options that are environmentally friendly if they were arranging a funeral or planning for their own funeral. The results were clear: two thirds (66%) of consumers said that it is important to them to have such options available.
This suggests that there is a significant demand for more sustainable funeral practices, including eco-friendly coffins. But what factors are consumers considering when it comes to choosing an environmentally friendly coffin?
One key consideration is the materials used to make the coffin. Traditional coffins are often made from materials that are not sustainably sourced, that can contribute to deforestation or materials such as MDF (with nasty glues), which when cremated can be harmful to the air we breathe. In contrast, eco-friendly coffins are typically made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo, willow, or recycled wood chippings/fibre, or cardboard. These materials are more sustainable and have a smaller environmental footprint.
Lifelia uses a material called Pro-Origin board for our coffins. Pro-Origin board is a strong, lightweight, and biodegradable material made from wood fibres, which is sustainably sourced from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The coffins are constructed without the use of harmful glues and resins. They are beautifully created, can be personalised using green inks, and can look very much like a traditional coffin.
Past research has found that often it's unclear how environmentally friendly a coffin is, and our research showed that this is a fact that can't be ignored anymore, people need to know, with more than two thirds (68%) of consumers saying that it is important to have clear and consistent labelling to show how environmentally friendly coffins are.
Overall, the message to those in the industry providing funeral services and funeral plans is clear. Consumers are keen to make positive changes for the good of the environment. Less and less of us want our lasting act in leaving our planet to do more environmental damage.
February 8, 2024