JC Atkinson is very conscious of the environment and the impact our activities have upon it. As such over the last fifteen years we have implemented many changes to significantly improve the way we procure materials and manage our production.
We produce in excess of 60,000 coffins a year, the sheer volume of which holds significant implications for the world around us. We continually strive to better our working practice, reducing its impact on the environment and
improve the reputation of our industry.
What we do to reduce our impact on the environment
As a manufacturer we have evolved our business to be market leaders adopting best practice, including being accredited with the ISO 14001 standard. All our manufactured products are made in our award winning factory with the vast majority produced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood, proven to be from sustainable sources. We incinerate our waste material on site to produce heat and we recycle rain water for use in our washrooms. We have also fitted energy efficient lighting and motion sensors to reduce energy usage in unoccupied areas.
JC Atkinson has been accredited with the ISO 14001 standard which is the internationally recognised standard for the environmental management of businesses. It prescribes controls for those activities that have an effect on the environment. These include the use of natural resources, handling and treatment of waste and energy consumption.
JC Atkinson and the Carbon Trust
In 2008 JC Atkinson began the process of obtaining the Carbon Trust Standard. The Carbon Trust Standard was introduced as a way that companies could monitor and work toward reducing carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust Standard is widely considered as the world’s leading certifier of organisational carbon footprint reduction. Carbon Trust standard bearers have achieved over 3.6Mt CO2e certified reductions – equivalent to £165m in cost savings.
JC Atkinson and the FSC
Not only do we source Forestry Stewardship Council raw material, we went a further step forward and obtained FSC accreditation for our production facility this enables us to put the FSC logo onto the products we produce and gives our customers the assurance that the products they get from us have come from sources that do not further damage the environment.
We have for some time now had a policy of planting a tree for every solid coffin that we have sold. Thus far we have planted in excess of 10,000 trees! We are very proud of our tree planting initiative and we believe that planting trees is good way to show our commitment to improving the environment that we share.
In 2010 we launched our Greener Goodbyes funeral package; it is the only truly greener funeral product package available on the market today. Please click here to find out more.
Our Environmental Policy
JC Atkinson cares about the environment, we actively manage and progress our systems to reduce our impact on the planet and endeavour to trade fairly with all our suppliers and all our customers, the funeral trade.
We have worked to redesign our coffins to focus on reducing waste, utilising raw materials and making use of new more eco friendly materials.
Working with our Suppliers
We engage regularly with all or suppliers, we manage quality, price and also engage on assessing what the effects may be on the environment and we look to see if we can make improvements which will lessen any impact.
Improving our Efficiency
As an organisation we manage our resources, reduce our energy consumption and focus on our delivery mileage which is key, year on year we have made reductions in these areas, in absolute and relative terms. In recognition of this JC Atkinson holds the Carbon Trust Standard.
Social and Ethical
JC Atkinson understands that our trading has a potential direct and indirect effect on others, be it suppliers, employees or our local community. We are careful to consider others in our trading and business decisions and the effects and consequences that these decisions may mean. We trade overseas in America, Europe, India and Asia, we only trade directly with those we have personally visited and deal only with factories which have a proven track record and have standards comparable to our own. We work with our suppliers on the same basis and we support the ideals of trade not aid.
JC Atkinson understands our activities have a Carbon Footprint, we understand the greater the carbon footprint the greater contribution we have towards climate change. JC Atkinson manages the causes of these emissions and pledges to reduce this year on year.
We use mains grid “Green” tariff electricity, we use less energy, year on year, our electricity usage has improved by 22% over the last 5 years, and last year we have cut our usage by 4% relatively to the coffins we made and 2% in absolute terms thus Saving 15tonne of Co2.
From the roof, we collect our own rain water, this is stored in a 10,000 litre storage tank in the car park, pumped inside it is used to supply all the toilet systems and vehicle wash hoses, we estimate this saves 200,000 litres of mains drinking water per annum. This use save 61kg of Co2 and leaves this water in the supply network saving infrastructure and distribution resource.
Using specialist heaters we use our wood off cuts to supply the heat we need to warm the factory during winter months and supply the heated line we use to dry our coffins after polishing.
Transport and Travel
Our coffins are delivered using our own fleet of vehicles, these are managed firstly to provide the service required but are managed to maximise load capacity and journey efficiency. On return we collect clinical waste to help mitigate the cost of the vans running empty on their return.
Our cars are converted to use LPG instead of petrol, saving car exhaust emissions.
Travel by car is monitored and restricted, train travel is encouraged, and plane travel is discouraged unless absolutely required.
We operate a bike to work scheme and encourage travel by public transport.
Tree Tribute is an initiative in recent years we have planted over 10,000 sapling trees. We will plant or provide the tree for planting a tree for every coffin sold in our Country Range of products. In addition to help re balance the carbon used in their manufacture we donate £5.00 for every coffin sold to Groundwork UK. The money will go towards projects to help with energy conservation for those in need.
We recycle our waste
Mostly generated in the office, all paper is shredded, removed upstairs and in the coffins for pillows.
The card used in packaging is disposed of in a dedicated skip on the loading bay, this is emptied once a month and re processed locally and sent to be made into more paper or card in Bishop Auckland...
Empty paint tins, Fizzy drinks cans, tin, steal banding and any scrap metal is collected in the dedicated skip, this is collected once full and professionally recycled.
JC Atkinson is accredited to ISO1401, this is an accreditation for environmental management standards, and it does not state specific performance criteria but is considered a corner stone requirement towards best practice.
JC Atkinson only uses wood from sustainable sources, All 99% our veneer and wood effect coffins are made from F.S.C. Accredited wood and are certified by the F.S.C. as compliant. The pressed panel coffins remain un-certified as the supplier who presses the board is not FSC accredited; however we still ensure the wood used is sustainable and correctly sourced.
The Carbon Trust Standard have audited our carbon emissions, we have proved to them we are cutting these year on year. In 2011 we were re assessed and re certified.