Sustainability and Funerals

Robert Prout Funeral Home

3. Good Health and Well-Being 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 15. Life on Land 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Overview

Robert Prout’s funeral home is doing a lot when it comes to sustainability. At the funeral home there are solar panels that they have been using since 2005. They have additional solar panels around the funeral home aside from the ones on the roof. There are 150 panels in total and this makes up for about 95 percent of the electricity at the funeral home. Aside from doing these things to help the environment the main innovation here is the Green Funeral and Natural Funeral that they organize and perform. In addition to everything that they are doing to contribute to the sustainability movement they also have a Tesla that is their work car and is used daily.

Author

Orlando Quiroz

Orlando Quiroz

School

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)

Professor

Kent Fairfield

Kent Fairfield

Innovation

Green funeral: this funeral process is for those who are environmentally conscious. With this process there is no embalming, manufactured caskets, or concrete vaults. This natural burial process ensures the deceased will return to the elements as naturally as possible. You can be interred in a shroud, quilt, blanket, or a biodegradable and sustainably grown casket.

This has been a family-owned business throughout the years. It was handed down from Grandfather to Father to now Son, Robert Prout. They have always been in the business of being environmentally friendly and this was a step to keep that tradition going. As it is good for business and it is good for the environment as well.

Everyone in the family was involved in making this decision and it was not a hard decision to make. It is helping the environmental as well as bringing closure to families and friends. This practice also is making a difference in the world and caring about the environment.

Robert Prout mentioned that it related to all three: sense of mission, purpose and meaning. When a family uses this service of having a green funeral, there is a lasting impression that they are leaving on this world. And everything that they are doing to be sustainable as a company and just in the world. It is a sense of accomplishment that he can make a difference.

Sustainability and Funerals

Inspiration

Robert Prout has a passion for the funeral business and also for the environment as well. With the love for the two things he decided to incorporate them with each other and this is how the idea of Green Funerals came into being for his funeral home.

Again, the motivation and purpose behind this innovation is Robert Prout’s passion for the environment and his funeral home. You can see how motivated and how much he cares for the environment and sustainability from everything that he has done with his funeral home and all the things he has changed in order to help the environment. The motivation was to integrate (sustainability and the funeral home) to make it work. He is very passionate about both and there is not a day that he does not enjoy going to work and doing what he loves.

Overall impact

The impact of this innovation was very positive for the company. Robert Prout’s funeral home was one of the first to bring Green Funerals to New Jersey. Newspapers were also beginning to write articles about this and he was gaining some press from this too. When you think of Green Funerals in New Jersey you think of Robert Prout. This also brought awareness to people about the environment. People who are environmentally friendly now have a place to go to if they ever need this service.

The evidence that suggests that this impact has occurred is what is happening in this world. There needs to be a change and it begins with all the industries. Robert Prout has found a way to connect this with sustainability. He has discovered a way to help the environment as well as to help his business succeed. More and more funeral homes are starting to start this process. The Prout Funeral Home’s commitment to sustainability has led them to become the premier provider of green funerals in the Northern New Jersey area.

Business benefit

When Robert Prout started to get written up about this, people from all over the country were calling him and asking him to perform and set up this type of funeral service for them. This has had a positive impact on society as well and is spreading the word with the help of the newspaper also shining light on what he is doing. He has scheduled green funerals ranging from New York to California.

Because he started to arrange funerals, this has impacted his business in a positive way. People became educated on the subject and this led him to arrange more of these types of funerals and also benefit his business as well.

Social and environmental benefit

With no embalming, manufactured caskets, or concrete vaults, the natural burial process ensures you will return to the elements as naturally as possible. You can be buried in a shroud, quilt, blanket, or a biodegradable and sustainably grown casket. These are things that will have a positive impact on the environment and will naturally decay and go back into the earth. This is also a safer alternative to cremation, since cremation requires putting toxins in the air. On the other hand a natural burial process based on using materials that will go right back to the earth.

A short term effect is that families are going to get closure with the loss of their loved ones while being environmentally sound. In the long term this practice helps the body get back to the earth as naturally as possible without harming the earth and the environment.

Interview

Robert Prout, Director

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Robert Prout Funeral Home

Robert Prout Funeral Home

Verona, New Jersey, US

Business Website: proutfuneralhome.com

Year Founded: 1924

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Prout Funeral Home is serving our neighbors in North Jersey during some of life's most difficult moments. And while helping our neighbors they are also helping our planet with their work in sustainability.