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Funeral industry enough to turn green over

Friday, 10 June 2011 | By Michelle Hammond
Green funeralsFuneral services that appeal to the green consumer are slowing becoming a niche in the funeral industry, worth nearly $1 billion.

 

For example, Victoria-based business Upright Burials buries the deceased in an upright position, with the body contained in a biodegradable bag rather than a coffin.

 

The service is designed as a cheaper, more eco-friendly alternative to traditional funerals, which can cost more than $4,000.

 

Robert Bryant, of market research company IBISWorld, believes Upright Burials’ cost-saving and sustainability will boost demand in coming years.

 

While it is still early days, green funerals that include upright burials, biodegradable caskets and minimal caskets for cremations could carve a niche in the industry.

 

Another trend that has been gaining momentum in recent years is the climbing ratio of cremations to burials. Increasing costs, growing secularisation and environmental concerns are behind this change.

 

“With land for burial plots in short supply in many cities, we anticipate the price of burials will continue to increase and the number of cremations will climb,” Bryant says.

 

While it may not the most cheerful sector, there certainly appears to be plenty of promise within the green funeral business.