What is the Greener Goodbyes service?

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.

Planning a Green funeral

Organising a funeral can feel overwhelming and knowing where to start or what to cover can be confusing. Below is a brief guide to the key components of a funeral you may wish to consider prior to using the app

Funeral Type

Choosing the type of funeral that’s the right fit for a loved one’s values and beliefs. This could be a burial where the coffin is laid to rest in a cemetery or a cremation where the coffin is burnt, and the ashes collected. It might be a woodland burial, where the coffin is laid to rest in the grounds of a designated woodland burial site.

The Coffin

The coffin can play a central role at the funeral and there are a lot of different options available from personalised picture coffins to solid wood, wood veneer, willow, bamboo, or even wool coffins.


Some people choose to hold a viewing of a loved one, where mourners come to say goodbye ahead of the service.

The Service

This can be held at a place of worship, a funeral home, a family home or a private venue with just immediate family or extended family, friends, colleagues and members of the community present.


A traditional funeral procession begins at the funeral home or home of the deceased and usually includes a hearse and one limousine. There are other options available such as motorbikes, horse drawn or vintage car hearses as well as extra limousines.

After the funeral

Often families choose to have a funeral reception shortly after the service. It’s a chance for the friends and family of the deceased to share memories of their loved one and celebrate their life.

About Us

JC Atkinson is a three-generation family-run business and we’ve been making coffins since 1936. We are now the UK's leading independent manufacturer of environmentally sustainable coffins and caskets, including picture and coloured coffins. Voted The Sunday Times Best Green Company of all UK businesses in 2008, we are committed to providing exceptional quality with exceptional care and we hope this simple site, a summary of what we have learnt over the years, helps you during this difficult time.

Why Greener Goodbyes?

For over 15 years, our family business has embraced the environmental agenda for positive change and made it an inherent part of the company culture, our ‘purpose’ if you like. Investment in 2005 in a state-of-the-art factory resulted in an energy performance rating (EPC) of A+ awarded only to buildings that generate more energy than they consume. We’ve since installed additional green technology such as biomass boilers, solar panels and water harvesting to improve operational efficiency and mitigate the carbon emissions associated with manufacturing a coffin. We also fund research to understand the carbon emissions (CO2e) associated with various coffins from raw material to final disposition. .

Greener Goodbyes is our way of helping an ever more environmentally concerned public to navigate the numerous choices available when organising a funeral. By knowing the carbon emissions of each aspect of a funeral we can better understand the overall impact it has and what we need to do to offset it.

Our journey

1992 - Started a sapling tree planting initiative

JC Atkinson founded the Tree Tribute initiative, responsible for planting sapling trees for every solid coffin sold.

1997 – Our Commitment

To only use mahogany style wood coffins from a named, ethical and sustainable source.

1998 - Pioneered the use of waste wood in chipboard

Most coffins are made using veneered chipboard (processed wood). The chipboard JC Atkinson uses is made in the UK and certified globally as meeting the highest environmental standards. It has a negative global warming potential (GWP) and poses no risk to air, water or soil.

2002 – Achieved FSC certification of our coffins

JC Atkinson secured FSC accreditation for all its timber procurement of wood effect, veneered oak/mahogany/elm styles and solid mahogany coffins, making 99% of its current production of traditional coffins FSC certified.

2003 - Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater is collected in 20,000 litre tanks and used for flushing toilets and van washing, saving 3000 litres of drinking water each day and helping to protect our sewers from flooding during heavy rain.

2004 - Biomass heating and zero wood waste

JC Atkinson recycles all its 800 tonnes of wood waste a year on site. This is processed to give us ambient heating across all three sites with the surplus in the warmer summer months made into BSL certified wood pellet for use as a biomass fuel. No wood is sent to landfill.

2005 - Sunday Times Best Green Company Award

JC Atkinson wins The Sunday Times small business award for high environmental impact and is also named the overall winner of The Sunday Times Best Green Company Award. The award covering many market sectors and organisations is seen as the benchmark against how corporate environmental performance is judged in the UK.

2007 – Launched Greener Goodbyes

Greener Goodbyes was launched. A service that makes it easier for people to have a greener funeral, focusing on eco-coffin choices, natural memorials and leaving a community legacy.

2008 - 2012 Carbon Trust Standard Bearer

JC Atkinson becomes a Carbon Trust Standard Bearer for reducing its Co2 emissions year on year. The Carbon Trust Standard helps organisations develop and communicate their leadership in carbon, water and waste.

2010 - Solar PV Installed

JC Atkinson generates its own electricity, installing 400 kw of solar panels.

2012 - Tree planting number 10,000

JC Atkinson marks the 10,000th tree planted since 1992.

2015 - Zero plastic range launched

JC Atkinson pulls together all plastic-free products across its product ranges to help customers make informed choices to go plastic-free. These include our cardboard, willow, woven, picture and woodland coffins, caskets, and urns.

2016 – 2020 Community support for eco projects

JC Atkinson supports numerous environmental good causes and sponsors local and national environmental initiatives such as education and local community-based projects.

2021 and beyond – Greener Goodbyes relaunch

JC Atkinson launches their new and improved Greener Goodbyes service, helping to offset the environmental impact of a funeral.

Funeral Carbon Calculator

Press the link below to use the APP

Funeral Carbon Calculator

Understand a funerals environmental impact – Calculate its Carbon Footprint – Rebalance Climate Change