Adelaide Cemeteries awarded environmental accreditation

Thursday, 27 August, 2020

Adelaide Cemeteries awarded environmental accreditation

Adelaide Cemeteries has gained internationally recognised ISO 14001 environmental certification, reportedly becoming the first cemetery operator in Australia to do so.

Adelaide Cemeteries CEO Robert Pitt said significant work had been undertaken over several years to improve environmental performance.

“Environmental sustainability is a key pillar of Adelaide Cemeteries’ commitment to our community,” he said.

Accreditation was awarded after auditors approved Adelaide Cemeteries’ environmental management system covering Enfield Memorial Park, Smithfield Memorial Park, Cheltenham Cemetery and West Terrace Cemetery.

“Our flagship cemetery at Enfield is set on 29 hectares of open parkland and we have sought to minimise its environmental footprint, and that of all our cemeteries, for the benefit of the environment and the wider community,” Pitt said.

“Our efforts to achieve this Australian-first accreditation have included new procurement policies, recycling, diverting as much waste from landfill as possible and reviewing water usage.

“More than half of waste from administration and grounds maintenance is now diverted away from landfill and we hope to improve on this in the future.”

Other sustainability measures include the introduction of solar panels at all of Adelaide Cemeteries’ sites and procurement policies favouring energy-efficient equipment. Pitt explained that electric-powered equipment and vehicles will be introduced and there are plans to upgrade cremators at Enfield to European standard equipment in the coming years.

Pitt said substantial water savings had been achieved through the use of drones to identify areas of park that were being overwatered, as well as identifying leaks and blockages in irrigation systems.

“The gardens at Enfield and Smithfield Memorial Parks use significant amounts of water and the drones have enabled us to adjust our irrigation practices to minimise any waste,” he said.

“Single-use plastics used by staff and visitors are being phased out and work is ongoing to find further environmental savings.”

Pitt said one of the conditions for retaining ISO 14001 accreditation was continuous environmental improvement.

“This accreditation sets a benchmark for Adelaide Cemeteries to measure, monitor and continuously improve our environmental outcomes,” he said.

“All our staff have been involved and engaged in the process and we expect to make further progress in coming years.

“It’s a rigorous process and one that we take seriously as part of our social responsibility efforts.

“We are pleased to be the first cemetery authority in Australia to achieve this environmental milestone for our community.”

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