Heritage project

Guided by our values, the funeral cooperatives movement in Quebec has decided to take concrete action in Quebec and in one Southern country to reduce global warming and help protect the environment. Our aim with the Heritage project is to leave behind a healthier environment by planting trees and cancelling out the environmental impact of our activities.

Plant a tree so that memory may grow

The memorial component of the Heritage project is to plant a tree in memory of every deceased person we receive at the cooperative. In addition to marking the departure of a family member, this act has an environmental character which a growing number of persons find to be meaningful. In this way families can have the knowledge that the memory of their loved one continues to be honoured in the form of a lovely tree which will help to safeguard life.

Life beyond death

Like any economic activity, the operation of the cooperative generates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the use of vehicles, funeral services, board meetings, transport of the deceased, and so on. Our cooperative has taken various steps to reduce GHG at source in order to mitigate the impact of its activities on the environment. To fully offset that impact, we are contributing to tree planting that is sufficient to cover 100% of our ecological footprint. This is responsible action to clearly manifest our desire to see life unfold ,,, even beyond death.

Here and elsewhere... a project that is taking root

Values of intercooperation, international development and respect for the environment are part and parcel of the Heritage project. The project will support two reforestation projects. Half of the funds collected will be remitted to a cooperative in Guatemala involved in the forestry sector, and the other half to a forestry cooperative in Quebec. In both cases, the reforestation work will be carried out on lands explicitly identified to the Heritage project.

What are the target objectives?

The Heritage project is the first building block in our sustainable development policy. It will allow the network cooperatives to accomplish several things in one fell swoop:

  • plant a tree in memory of each deceased person who used the cooperative’s services;
  • conduct “carbon-neutral” funerals by planting enough trees to offset the emission of greenhouse gases from the entire automobile fleet used to deliver funeral services for a client;
  • promote intercooperation in Quebec through the support of a forestry cooperative in the Saguenay;
  • promote North-South intercooperation through the support of a forestry cooperative in Guatemala;
  • support a Guatemalan women’s group that is working in the predominantly male community of forestry cooperatives.

In short, in this way the funeral cooperatives want to do something very concrete in favour of the environment, intercooperation, and gender equality.

How many trees are planted?

In collaboration with SOCODEVI, the Quebec funeral cooperatives network conducted its first tree planting in June 2009.

Since then, every year half the trees are planted by a forestry cooperative in Guatemala and the other half by the Coopérative forestière Ferland-Boileau in the Saguenay.


YEAR

MEMORIAL
COMPONENT


GHG OFFSET


TOTAL

2009

4,453

997

5,450

2010

4,846

1,169

6,015

2011

4,997

1,135

6,132

2012

5,318

971

6,289

Total

19,614

4,085

23,699

Tree planting in Guatemala. In the photo, Mr. Carlos Pacay,
chairman of the board of the Cooperativa Chirrepec,
is pictured together with Alain Leclerc, president of SOCODEVI
and CEO of the Federation of Funeral Cooperatives.

The participating cooperatives

Here are the funeral cooperatives participating in the Heritage program in 2011:

    • Alliance funéraire du Royaume
    • Coopérative funéraire du Grand Montréal
    • Coopérative funéraire de l'Estrie
    • Coopérative funéraire de l'Outaouais
    • Coopérative funéraire des Deux Rives
    • Coopérative funéraire des Eaux Vives
    • Résidence funéraire de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue
    • Résidence funéraire Lac St-Jean
    • Résidence funéraire Maska
    • Coopérative funéraire Brunet