The nature and global reach of our work means issues brought on by climate change are very real to us. Our working practices are evolving to meet ‘new normals’ for example - regular drought and flooding where once there was little or none.
Photo: Gregory Verfaillie
CWGC is committed to becoming a sustainable organisation cutting waste and emissions with a focus on the following areas:
- Combating climate change
- Protecting biodiversity
- Promoting a circular economy
We aim to achieve these goals by constantly reviewing and refining how we work and trialling promising new ways to help reduce our impact on the environment. This may mean some changes to how our cemeteries and memorials may look, but the changes are measured and carefully thought out to meet the current and future challenges we face and we remain committed to caring for our cemeteries and memorials worldwide.
Our mission will always remain the same, to honour those who lost their lives during the World Wars.
Photo: Drought and flooding are becoming a common occurrence.
We launched our Environmental Sustainability Plan in February 2022 outlining our strategy and commitment to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050. In this plan, we have outlined our sustainability objectives including:
- Enhancing biodiversity – we aim to improve biodiversity across our sites through reduced use of pesticides, using planting to encourage pollination and insect life, and also being more tolerant of weeds in our lawns.
- Measuring the water we use for irrigation of our sites and also taking steps to use more plantings that are tolerant of drought
- Investing in low emission fleets to reduce our impact when travelling to sites
- Transitioning to renewable energy suppliers
How this will affect our work
- Headstones will have a more natural look, in line with their original appearance when many of the cemeteries were first created.
- Manual gardening requires more time and harder work, we will be aiming for greater tolerance of small leaved weeds in turf and a lot more work on keeping the lawn grasses as healthy as possible, as well as more work on improving the soil and, as a result, improving plant growth
- Plants and wildlife may change – you might start to see more insects and birds on our sites as we encourage pollinators and nesting of a wide range of species
- We will be constantly looking to improve our environmental performance – this is a long-term commitment.
New developments are constantly taking place as we transition to more sustainable ways of working - we aim to post updates on how our teams around the world are identifying and implementing changes to help meet local needs and our overall goals.
See how we care for our headstones