Latest news


The ICF highly values the promotion of sustainability. We are grateful to inform you with the following news shared by one of our members from Belgium, Mr. Tom Wustenberghs, representing PONTES and the United Network of Public Crematoria:

I refer to the OceanUrn, a project in which the Flemish crematoria together with Funico have had a sustainable urn developed from recycled waste from seas and oceans. This will become the standard urn used by crematoria in Flanders in the near future. Website:

General Council Meeting - 24-26 juni Blackpool UK


We wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

I am pleased to announce that the ICF General Council Meeting will be part of the CBCE 2024, to be held in Blackpool from Monday 24th to Wednesday 26th June. The conference itself takes place at the Winter Gardens Conference Centre in Blackpool. Accommodation is separately located. You will be informed with further details and registration options soon.

CBCE is a joint conference organised by the Cremation Society and the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities. This year the Cremation Society, one of the founding members of the ICF, is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities celebrates its 100th anniversary. We are grateful to join the conference in this very special year and look forward to honour the achievement of these milestones. We hope that many of you will attend this event with us!

During the conference, there will be the opportunity for ICF members to present a ‘country report’: a short presentation on the local developments in cremation. Your contribution in representation of your country is highly appreciated. Please let me know if you are able and willing to present your report as soon as possible to enable inclusion in the program.  

Finally, please share any relevant news you may have for publication on our website.

We will keep you updated and look very much forward to see you in June!


ICF GCM 2022

On 14 October 2022 the International Cremation Federation held its General Council Meeting in Panama City. The GCM formed part of the VI International Symposium, which was impressively well organized by ALPAR (Latin American Association of Cemeteries and Funeral Services). The symposium took place from 14 – 17 October. The event offered an interesting combination of learning, informing, networking and socializing.

The ICF warmly thanks ALPAR for providing the opportunity to include the GCM in their symposium and for their great cooperation and support. It was a perfect introduction for the ICF to the Latin American customs and ways of doing business. And what a great experience to come together in Panama City, a vibrant metropolis surrounded by beautiful nature.

Throughout the symposium, outside of the GCM, country reports were presented by ICF-delegates from the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the USA. The local (new) developments in cremation including statistics and the national cremation culture were addressed. The presentations were enthusiastically received and provided an interesting insight into the differences in tradition, legislation, environmental requirements and culture.

During the General Council Meeting it was announced that the President of the ICF for many years, Mr Gerald Sullivan, recently informed of his retirement from the Executive Committee. He has been of great value to the ICF for which we owe him a great debt of gratitude. Not only was Mr Sullivan a dedicated President, he also is a true friend. The Executive Committee is indebted to him for all of his efforts to the benefit of the ICF and all of the travels he made worldwide in this respect.

There were two vacancies within the Executive Committee concerning the position of Vice-president.

It is our pleasure to announce that the following representatives of ICF members have been  appointed as ICF Vice-presidents by the meeting:

Professor Hilary J Grainger OBE, nominated by The Cremation Society, UK
Mr Andrés Aguilar, nominated by ALPAR, Colombia

As communicated we are happy that three of our sub-committees have been re-established. The following members were formally appointed during the GCM.

Ethical Sub-Committee:

  • Mr Craig Caldwell, The Mazwell Group (UK)
  • Mr Svend-Jörk Sobolewski, CremTec (Germany)
  • Mr Xavier Thoumieux, La Société des Crématoriums de France

Legal Sub-Committee:

  • Mr Uwe Claußen, REMONDIS (Germany)
  • Professor Heather Conway, The Cremation Society (UK)Mr Hidde Verberne, Orthometals (The Netherlands)

Technical Sub-Committee:

  • Mr Brendan Day, Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (UK)
  • Mr Jeff Pickard, FT (UK)     
  • Mr Slobodan Stojanović, Cremation Association of Serbia ‘OGANJ’
  • Mr Stephen Wright, London Cremation Company plc (UK) 
  • Mr Tom Wustenberghs, VNOC (Belgium)   
  •  Mr Dieter Zahn, IFZW GmbH (Germany)

The purpose is to modernise the concepts and set general guidelines in order to enable relevant discussions that address for example the challenges concerning the environment, the technical specification of the equipment and the service to the bereaved. We are grateful for the many applications to take part and look forward to further developments and news. In our industry, urgent issues and inequalities are worth exploring and extensive knowledge is available to be shared in order to achieve a professional cooperation at an international level. 

The Minutes of the last GCM of 22 November 2019 held in Paris were taken as approved and the Annual Financial Report 2021 was adopted.   

The Executive Committee aims to increase the volume of activity within in our federation and intends to reconnect with the membership. If we all work together we trust that we can be capable of continuing the rich history that the ICF has. We are looking to the future.