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Funeral business builds eco-funeral parlour with green technology
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What happens after we die is often a rather environmentally unfriendly business; but one funeral home in particular is helping to ‘green’ death with solar power and other eco-friendly practices. Our death can be an energy-intensive, toxic and wasteful process – the embalming, ornate coffins, elaborate funerals and cremation. None of these things are particularly beneficial to the dearly departed, but they can certainly help with the grieving process for those of us left behind. But it doesn’t have to be so environmentally destructive and increasingly, funeral homes are offering eco-friendly options.
Ian Hazel Funerals also offers eco-friendly caskets and woodland burials.

The family-run business of Ian Hazel Funerals has recently installed a solar power system consisting of 78 solar panels, which should supply enough power to meet 70% of the funeral home’s electricity needs. It expects payback on the investment within 6 years, which is quite impressive as the UK isn’t really renowned for sunny days like Australia is.

As part of a major redevelopment of their premises, the company has also added rainwater harvesting capabilities, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, energy efficient LED lighting with motion sensors and underfloor heating.
As a result the firm has just been awarded the highest possible Energy Performance Certificate from the BRE (A) – a great achievement for any commercial building, let alone one with significant power consumption such as a funeral home.

“Our aim is to support families in whatever way we can at a difficult time in their lives, but also to offer a sustainable service – so that families can feel comfortable that the funeral they arrange with us respects the environment and leaves the smallest possible carbon footprint,” said owner Ian Hazel according to an article on Sutton Coldfield Local.
The funeral industry is one of many sectors becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of solar. Commercial solar isn’t just a way for companies to demonstrate solid environmental stewardship. Installing solar either as an outright purchase or under a solar PPA (power purchase agreement) can have a very positive impact on a firm’s bottom line.

Ian Hazel has opened a new funeral home in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, which can boast state-of-the-art eco-friendly status, with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems, rainwater harvesting, LED lighting and under-floor heating. The building took more than four years to plan but was completed in just eight months, and he praised builders and architects for achieving a funeral home of such high standards. They fully understood the brief I gave them and interpreted it to produce a modern state-of-the-art, eco friendly funeral home,” he said. “We have offered green funerals for many years – providing ethically-sourced coffins made of natural materials, woodland burials and other products and services that have become increasingly important to bereaved families. However a couple of years ago we also started work to ensure that the operation of our business was as sensitive to the environment as the services we offer.

“When our newly built premises in Four Oaks were completed two years ago, we invested in energy-saving systems and we’ve reduced our energy requirements as much as we can, we’re harnessing solar technology to help us generate the power that we do need as naturally as possible. It is a huge investment for our family but will pay itself back in less than six years.”

The firm will also shortly complete its two-year transition from petrol hearses and limousines to a diesel powered Jaguar funeral fleet. The new vehicles are not only elegant, respectful and comfortable for families – they are also more fuel-efficient and emit lower emissions.

“We know from the many comments we receive that the local community in Four Oaks appreciates our commitment to offering Sutton Coldfield an environmentally responsible funeral home. Our aim is to support families in whatever way we can at a difficult time in their lives, but also to offer a sustainable service – so that families can feel comfortable that the funeral they arrange with us respects the environment and leaves the smallest possible carbon footprint.”




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