THANOS magazine

September 27, 2023

Embracing Sustainability in the Funeral Industry

By Nuria Capdevila, Founder & CEO Circle Corporation, Spain

At the Annual Meeting of FIAT-IFTA in Varna, Bulgaria, I had the great opportunity to present on the topic of "Green Farewell: The Adoption of Sustainable Practices in the Funeral Industry and Thanatopraxy”. My main objective was to raise awareness and promote the integration of sustainability strategies in the funeral and thanatopraxy sectors, aligning with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. I emphasized the importance of embracing these values from within organizations, starting with the CEO or leader and extending throughout the entire company.

The conference shed light on the fact that even small changes can have a profound impact on transitioning organizations towards a more resilient and people-centered business model. It reaffirmed the continuing relevance of ESG principles and the need to align our efforts with the 17 Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations to create a sustainable and equitable world by 2030. By adopting the SDGs as part of our corporate strategy, innovation, and decision-making, we can drive immediate gains in efficiency, resilience, and increased value for all stakeholders.

What we should consider?
The role of governance is paramount in any organization, be it a business, government, non-profit, or institution. It encompasses the rules, processes, and practices that direct, control, and hold the organization accountable. Prioritizing governance ensures alignment with sustainability principles, encompassing anti-corruption, human rights, and transparency, while working towards the Economic, Social, and Environmental goals in harmony with the SDGs.

The journey towards a more sustainable funeral industry and thanatopraxy sector is an ambitious yet rewarding endeavor. By prioritizing sustainability, aligning with the SDGs, and implementing robust governance, we can ensure that our organizations become agents of positive change, leaving a legacy that extends far beyond our immediate operations. Together, we can forge a path towards a greener, more compassionate future for all.

During the conference I highlighted the urgent need for business models that enable long-term success for humanity within the ecological limits of our planet. Addressing climate change requires significant changes in consumption and production patterns across all sectors, including essential areas such as cemeteries, funeral homes, thanatopraxy, and repatriation services. Collaboration and improvements across the board are necessary to achieve sustainability goals and net-zero emissions.

To effectively combat climate change, a collective effort is required. We can't look at one solution or one industry in isolation. It is crucial to work together, making improvements across various sectors such as buildings, cities, industries, and infrastructure. The aim is to collectively reduce CO2 emissions by 50% over the next 20 years and embrace circularity as a central pillar of sustainability.

Read whole article in the autumn issue of THANOS magazine - you can read online at pages 28-32

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