Funerals the Co-op way

The Co-op is committed to a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Here’s what we’ve achieved so far:

  • Together, Co-op Members have helped raise an amazing £20 million for local causes

  • We offer simple, affordable funerals, as well as fully guaranteed funeral plan

  • We’ve enrolled over 2,000 new recruits onto a funeral apprenticeship

  • All of our electricity comes from renewable sources, including from our own wind farms

  • We’ve been carbon neutral since 2011

  • We’ve helped take care of the world’s forests by using FSC® certified (FSC® C008811) and other controlled materials in the production of our coffins

Fully guaranteed funeral plans

Unlike some funeral plan providers, we cover all the costs of the services included in our burial or cremation plans. Some providers only provide a contribution towards third party costs. We don’t think this is fair, which is why our funeral plans are fully guaranteed.

Co-op Commitment

If someone chooses to pay for their funeral plan in instalments over 2 – 25 years, the plan will include the Co-op Commitment. If the plan holder dies after the first 12 months of the plan, but before all the instalments have been paid, Co-op will still deliver all the services provided in the plan, with no more to pay. All other funeral plan providers ask for the family to make up the shortfall if the plan hasn't been paid for in full.

Funeral affordability

We have increased our efforts to combat the rising cost of funerals by launching a range of measures on affordability:

  • Improved our Simple Funeral offer and reduced average costs by approximately £140, or 7%

  • We were the first business to sign Fair Funerals’ enhanced pledge to tackle funeral poverty

  • Introduced new lower payment options for funeral plans from under £15 per month

  • Encouraging the shift towards planning ahead financially for a funeral, helping to potentially save families £6,500 over 25 years

Apprentice scheme

In 2012 we introduced our Apprenticeship scheme and we are currently the only national funeral director in the UK that have apprentices.

Since we launched this industry leading development programme, over 2000 new recruits have started a funeral apprenticeship with the business, with more roles expected over the coming years.

Apprentice Keighley

Supporting bereaved parents

Dealing with the death of a child is a devastating experience for any parent. We provide as much support as possible to parents following a bereavement, and as part of this commitment, the funeral service we provide for children up to the age of 18 years old is free of charge.

Supporting bereaved children

Supporting a child who has experienced bereavement can be extremely difficult. We have a number of resources available to help, including four animated videos aimed at helping children who are 7 to 16 years of age.

Helping to take care of the world's forests

Almost all of our coffins which we manufacture are made from material from well-managed, FSC® certified forests and other controlled sources. In 2017, that accounted for 95% of our coffins.

Fairtrade coffins 

We are working in partnership with our existing suppliers and Traidcraft – the UK’s leading independent fair trade organisation – to provide fairly-traded bamboo and willow coffins. The coffins are manufactured in Bangladesh, where the raw materials are grown. Local people directly benefit from the endorsed fairly-traded product through decent working conditions, and payment of a fair price.

Carbon reduction and offset

Between 2006 and 2017 across the Co-op we reduced our direct carbon emissions by more than half (54%) and since 2011 Co-op Funeralcare has been carbon neutral, making us the first UK-wide funeral business to do so. We do this by funding a number of carbon reduction projects in the developing world which have additional social benefits.

Find out more about how we minimise our environmental impacts in our Co-op Way report.

Woodland burials

We offer woodland burials as an alternative to traditional cemeteries or graveyards. To reverse the decline of UK bee and pollinator populations, we have also created 10 acres of wildflower meadows at our three woodland burial grounds at Poole & Wimborne and Hinton Park in Dorset, and Mayfields Rememberance Park in the Wirral,