Greener than most by leaving a lighter footprint
Posted by Chloe Lloyd on 19 June 2017 at 3:01 pm
Have you ever considered the carbon footprint of a funeral? You may be thinking this is a bit of morbid topic for a YouGen blog, but believe it or not 0.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to a variety of modern day funeral methods. Although the environmental impact is likely to be the least of many people’s concerns, ‘eco-friendly’ funerals are on the rise and one firm in Sutton Coldfield not only offer these alternative funerals, but are set to become the UK’s greenest funeral home.
Ian Hazel Funeral directors have been praised for their efforts in reducing their company’s carbon footprint through investing in a number of renewable and energy saving technologies. Most notably, the business has installed 78 solar panels on their south facing garage roof, which will generate enough electricity to meet almost 70% of the buildings energy needs.
Other improvements have included under floor heating, a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system, LED lighting throughout and a rainwater harvesting system. As a result, the funeral home has been awarded the highest possible Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A, known to be difficult for commercial buildings to achieve (especially those that can use a large amount of energy such as a funeral directors). What’s even better, the payback period for all of these improvements will be less than six years!
The firm have also offered ‘green funeral’ packages for many years, which can include having ethically sourced coffins, woodland burials or even sustainable transport such as a bicycle hearse! In the nature of practicing what you preach, the business looked to ensure that their own operations were as sensitive to the environment as the alternative services they offer.
Speaking of transport, you may also be wondering what has been done about the gas-guzzling hearses that are used during many conventional funeral services. The firm has now completed a two year transition from petrol vehicles to a diesel powered Jaguar fleet. Not only do they meet the comfort and respect levels required for these types of vehicles, they are also more fuel efficient by using less than half the previous amount of fossil fuels.
As a result of all their hard work and commitment to the environment and energy saving, Ian Hazel Funeral directors won the 2016 Innovative Saver prize at the Love Energy Saving Awards. This is awarded to a business that show creativity and innovation in the quest to becoming greener.
Ian Hazel says that “Although our aim is to support families at a difficult time in their lives, we also want to offer a sustainable service. This means families can feel comfortable that the service they arrange with us will also respect the environment and leave the smallest carbon footprint”.
With 150,000 deaths globally a day, we need to start taking the environmental impact of funerals more seriously as just one of the many ways we hope to combat climate change.
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Image credit: Provided by Ian Hazel Funeral Directors.
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