About the Society

Why did we establish the Green Burial Society of Canada?

The purposes of the Green Burial Society of Canada are:

ADVOCATE for the adoption of environmentally responsible and ecologically sustainable interment, cremation, funeral service and bereavement care practices in every facet of death care delivery in Canada. 

ASSIST organizations, businesses, individuals and governments across Canada to adapt and implement green burial standards and best practices for the provision of environmentally responsible and ecologically sensitive death care practices in their local jurisdiction.  

ESTABLISH such standards and best practices as may permit the society to recognize place of interment operators, crematorium operators and funeral service providers and professionals in Canada who commit to providing their goods and services in accordance with the standards, goals and objectives of the Society. 

PROMOTE, at every opportunity, the values, goals and objectives of the society throughout Canada and, with other like-minded organizations foster the mutual exchange of ideas, discussion of issues of common concern and the study and advancement of green funeral, interment and cremation practices.

WORK in support of the goals and objectives of and in collaboration with international green burial organizations and advocates that desire in the global context to advance sustainable death care practices.


We also want to be clear…

  • This Society is about being inclusive and supportive, having all due respect for conventional death care practices, death care providers and the death care choices made by individual consumers.
  • This society is not about diminishing conventional modes of body preparation, disposition or memorialization that continue to represent meaningful family traditions for many. 
  • Our mission is to show how, advocate for and help make available green burial and green funeral practices as a part of the death care service options Canadians can select from. 
  • We welcome the opportunity to work with any existing or new cemetery operator or funeral service provider who wants to bring green burial and more sustainable green funeral practices to their operation.


The society was founded by a small but passionate group of people, working in disparate disciplines, but sharing a common cause in providing for those undergoing end-of-life, death and bereavement. 

On March 7, 2013 the Green Burial Society of Canada was incorporated in British Columbia and shortly after that, on April 23, 2014 the first Annual General Meeting of the society was held in Richmond, B.C. with 18 persons in attendance.

Guided by the urging of many individuals, seeing increasing call from consumers, business and the public for information about green burial, it became clear that Canadians need a credible, ‘go to’ organization for green burial and green funeral information. 

We know Canadian consumers want to not only learn more about green burial and green funeral services but also want and need the tools and information to bring green burial to their community. 


Board of Directors

As a young organization the Society’s Board of Directors is not yet fully formed. At this time the Board consists of:

Catriona Hearn

Vancouver, BC

Secretary Treasurer

Godwyn Young

Vancouver, BC

Erik Lees

Past President
Vancouver, BC

Mark Richardson

Niagara Falls, ON

Raymond Mattholie

Halifax, NS

Stephen Olson

Vice President
Victoria, BC

Ellen Newman

Brampton, ON



One of the purposes of the society is to establish a made-in-Canada defensible certification program that Canadian consumers can trust and death care service providers can meet. 

The certification program will ultimately help Canadian consumers identify service providers that have met defensible design and operations standards to acquire Green Burial Society of Canada “Approved Provider” status.

We respect the many differences between the provinces, territories and regions of Canada, including community traditions and prevailing legislation. The GBSC’s Approved Provider standards are based on the key elements of green burial, whatever the location.  

Every Approved Provider will be required to sign and post at their cemetery office a ‘GBSC Statement of Ethical Practices’

There is no reason why the plans we make around our own burial or cremation cannot be in keeping with practices that are supportive of nature and mindful of the environment.