Dignity has announced its aim to be net zero across its network by 2038 in a mission to become the UK’s “most sustainable end-of-life services provider”.
The pledge, outlined at the group’s AGM on 9 June 2022, is said to be underpinned by the organisation’s new ‘guiding principles’ that include a “dedicated value focused on protecting the environment and prioritising sustainable practices”.
Dignity has also undertaken measures throughout 2021 to reduce its carbon footprint through launching a project to investigate the installation of EV charging points at crematory and depot sites as part of a strategy to change replacement fleet and company vehicles from petrol and diesel to hybrid and electric.
The company has this year reported in line with the formal climate disclosures mandated for listed firms through the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Dignity added it has elected to take a pragmatic step completing a voluntary disclosure in the belief that TCFD provides a strong framework for its climate pledge and strategy to develop.
Dignity is using the findings from 2021’s TCFD voluntary submission as the baseline for Scope 1 and 2 reporting and a platform to understand Scope 3 emissions in more detail. Last year the business established an Environmental and Sustainability Committee with a primary purpose to define a three year Environmental and Sustainability Strategy.
Kate Davidson, chief executive at Dignity, said: “Our ambition at Dignity to be net zero by 2038 covers reducing carbon emissions from all of our owned operations, funeral branches, crematoria and care centres, to our fleet and a view to mitigating our impact through our supply chain. Social and environmental factors are firmly integrated into our business operations and interactions with stakeholders.
“Being socially and environmentally accountable matters to us because we are a responsible end of life service provider that cares about the environment in which we operate and for the communities we serve. It’s something that people are making more active choices about when looking for a service provider; it affects investment decisions among shareholders, and it helps to attract and retain great talent who feel proud of who they work for.”
She added: “The funeral and crematoria sector has an important role to play in minimising it’s impact on our environment as a provider of a key public service. We know our aim is ambitious, but we are committed to leading the way and setting the standard in our sector.”