‘Green’ conversion of funeral homes: Electric horses, biodegradable urns and efficient cremations

According to the latest data published by the National Association of Funeral Services (Panacef) in its annual report on the sector, funerals were held in Spain in 2020. 493,776 Services This type of. The sector, which had a turnover of about 1,700 million euros—representing about 0.15% of Spanish GDP—develops with society and incorporates technologies and environmental solutions. However, he also faces the challenge of doing it hands-on with his clients, with whom he must manage the taboos that surround duality and death.

“Beyond the funeral area, I believe that practically in any area today the client is sensitive to everything with respect to the environment”, explains Rafael Euro, CEO of Parcesa. The firm, which operates in Madrid, has a fleet of hybrid or electric vehicles (the latter, for employees who give advice or walk around its cemetery park; in long distances they still suffer from their autonomy), LED lighting With photovoltaic panels and even systems to take advantage of the heat generated by the funeral home or conversion units—crematorium ovens—from air condition facilities,

francisco enarchez, Panacef’s vice president, agrees with Uro: “All eco-sustainability developments are delivered or promoted by the companies themselves because we are demanding of society in general, whether they explicitly ask us or not.” And it is that, unlike practically any other field, the funeral is one with which, from the very beginning, no one wants to deal, but the entire population must sooner or later do so. Therefore, everything should be approached with respect to the planet, but always also with the dead man and duality.

“At the level of products, most of those that are being incorporated and all innovations fall into the ecological realm: treasures are already mostly ecological, there is a very strong trend in polls towards biodegradableAll polluting products are being eliminated (especially those services whose ultimate destination is incineration) and, as a general rule, efforts are being made to reduce all polluting components, such as plastics, in all secondary products. Enerkez explains.

Thus, for example, shrouds are already made with this material and in waterproof coffins, which are mainly used in long-distance transport, the zinc of the inner boxes is called biodegradable bags “absolutely ecological and with all the safety properties.” is replaced by “. required by law”.

an ecological final

In recent years, cremation in Spain has been gaining momentum over burials in Spain, where there are 487 ovens that perform 611 cremations each day. In fact, the sector predicts that in 2025 it will be the preferred choice in 60% of cases (in 2020 it was 45.18%, about 30 points higher than 16%) in 2005.

Its main problem from an environmental point of view is polluting emissions This is essential, especially when consuming gas. However, an analysis by the Funeral Services Foundation of Paris claims that, due to the carbon footprint, when they use materials such as imported concrete or granite, it is, in fact, more environmentally friendly than traditional burials. favorable option. which is produced and transported. ,

La Paz Cemetery Park.
La Paz Cemetery Park.Peresa

In any case, both have evolved where possible. “All of Parsesa’s coffins are ecological”, details its general director. “This means we don’t use dyes and we mostly use non-polluting ingredients for the interior lining”, he explains. Same goes for the ballot box.

Meanwhile, at the cremation, some Filters that reduce their effect And that means its emissions, according to Ura, are “far below” maximum emissions standards. Enrquez also avoids this technique, with which contamination is minimized and “fairly strict” Spanish law is complied with.

celebrate life

Perhaps the measure that best reflects this point of convergence between environment and mourning is something many firms in the region resort to: the giving of small trees that serve as a memory of the deceased. In the case of Parcesa, the program is called ‘One Tree, One Memory’, it has been in existence since 2009 and each year it represents something 50,000 trees2,000 of them on All Saints Day alone.

“In my specific case, my father died three years ago and I have planted a small tree in my garden that I got from Peresa and I take care of it carefully because it means a lot,” Uro admits, This is what the family believes: “One life goes, but another takes birth“I think we are experiencing a development that some countries have already overcome: the taboo to talk about death,” explains the director.

Trees from the program ‘One Tree, One Memory’.

“Gradually we moved from the concept of death which is the pain of losing a loved one and to the landscape of celebrating the life of the loved one,” he highlights. And he believes the concept that this area involves in the process of caring for the environment helps: “It’s helping to bring out the positive things, which They will also help with grief management., Celebrating life and what a loved one has given us is not the same as trying to manage the pain it creates.

Thus, they are starting to see people specifically requesting ecumenical funeral service, although this is not yet a widespread demand. For its part, Enerkez believes it is a “reflection of society”. “Society is changing and young people have raised ecological issues from a very young age,” he argues. “Ultimately, we are a field that adapts to what is around us, we tend to see new trends that go along a permanent line, and we put all the creativity to make an effort and incorporate it. Trying to make that possible,” summarizes Enerkez.

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