Environmental case study – JC Atkinson
JC Atkinson and Son (JCA) are a family-run business with three generations of sons making coffins since 1936, they manufacture and distribute over 60,000 coffins a year.

In 2020, Newable acquired JCA and we’re proud that the largest independent manufacturer of coffins and caskets to the UK funeral market are now part of the Newable family. This acquisition was driven by a proactive decision by Newable to invest in environmentally focused business, to which JCA is a market leader, alongside their business performance and strong management team.

JC Atkinson has a demonstrable track record in being pragmatic in their approach to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. In order to reduce their carbon footprint, JCA have made several changes.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

One of the practices that the business aspires to follow is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, be that in the reduction of packaging by blanket wrapping coffins out for delivery, reusing rainwater for non-human consumption applications or recycling off-cuts of wood.

JCA produce around 800 tonnes of wood waste a year, which consists of off cuts and saw dust. All is recycled on site, processed to give JCA heat used in process and ambient heating. Surplus in the warmer summer months is made into wood pellet, BSL certified for use as a Biomass fuel. No wood is sent to landfill.

JCA have developed a range of single use plastic free products and are working on replacing as much packaging as possible with more sustainable options, such as paper packaging tape, biodegradable and eco-friendly bubble wrap and packaging.

Electricity Generation

JC Atkinson generates its own electricity, on site and it has installed 400 kw of Solar Panels on the roof of the main factory The team also utilise a rainwater harvesting system in place which collects rain water in 20,000 litre tanks and which is used for the toilet flushing and van washing saving 3000 litres of drinking water each day, saving energy and helping to protect sewers from flooding during heavy rain.

Supporting Environmental Causes

JC Atkinson supports environmental good causes. Each year, JCA sponsors local and national environmental initiatives such as education and local community projects. The company use about 6000 tonnes of chipboard a year and it is cut in such a way to minimise waste.

Recognition

It is no surprise that JCA is award winning for its environmental initiative. Voted Sunday Times most “green” environmental company in 2008, Won Green Apple Award in 2009, British Chamber of Commerce best Green Company and locally North East Business Awards.

In 2017, the team were also presented with the Responsible Business Champion award presented by our local MP Sharon Hodgson.

JC Atkinson is accredited to 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.

Looking forward

As a pragmatic and eco-friendly company, JC Atkinson’s aspiration is to ensure that they can provide customers with most environmentally conscious and responsible options and with a view to reducing their overall impact on the environment.

As well as having an extensive range of green credentials the team also have aspirations to further improve standards. In 2019 they pulled together all the appropriate products from various product ranges to help customers make informed choices if they wanted to opt for Plastic Free. It is of note that no new products were developed for this initiative as all had existed previously but had not been marketed as a plastic free option for consumers.

JCA are also working on making their packaging as single use plastic free as possible and are working hard to achieve this as an ongoing goal and commitment.