NFDA Launches Green Funeral Practices Certificate Program

September 3, 2010
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Program will recognize funeral homes that meet strict criteria in the area of green funeral practices

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has launched an exclusive new Green Funeral Practices™ Certificate Program that will allow association members to distinguish their funeral homes as leading providers of green funeral services in their community and demonstrate their commitment to environmentally-responsible business practices. NFDA is the first national funeral service association to offer such a program.

According to James M. Olson, CPC, chair of NFDA’s Green Funeral Work Group and owner of the Lippert-Olson Funeral Home in Sheboygan, Wis., NFDA’s certificate program is unique from other green funeral recognition programs for a number of reasons.

“NFDA’s Green Funeral Practices Certificate Program provides national recognition from a well-established, globally respected funeral service association,” he said. ?It is the only such program created exclusively by NFDA-member funeral directors for member funeral homes. It is a comprehensive green recognition program that encompasses both service to families and green business practices.”

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According to a poll by Harris Interactive, almost three-quarters (72 percent) of U.S. adults believe their personal actions are significant on the environment. Further, just over half (53 percent) of Americans report that they have done something to change their lifestyle to make it more environmentally sustainable. In response, funeral directors have begun learning how they can accommodate the needs of these families and are offering green services, products and funeral packages at their firms.

“As a funeral home serving fewer than 125 families every year, it’s logical to conclude that green funerals wouldn’t be a factor for me, but that is absolutely not the case,” said Olson. “I have conducted several green funerals in the last year, including services for families from outside of my community who did not have access to a local funeral home that offered eco-friendly funeral services and products. Green services and products appeal to people from all walks of life, in communities large and small. While people in your community may not be asking about green funerals now, you must be prepared to explain and offer these types of services to families, or someone else will. NFDA’s Green Funeral Practices Certificate Program allows those of us who are offering green funerals to be recognized for our efforts. It will also help us educate our communities about the local availability of these services.”

NFDA-member funeral homes must meet specific criteria in order to earn an NFDA Green Funeral Practices Certificate. Applicants must:

  • Reaffirm their commitment to NFDA’s Code of Professional Conduct.

  • Share copies of all Federal Trade Commission-compliant prices lists which show evidence that the firm offers: itemized green funeral goods and services, as well as one or more green funeral packages; one or more sustainable, biodegradable caskets; one or more sustainable, biodegradable urns; and one or more temporary preservation options.

  • Attest that all funeral home employees have received training related to the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule, and that at least two employees of the funeral home have participated in educational programs related to green funerals, burials or business practices.

  • Affirm that the funeral home is in compliance with applicable OSHA standards and all applicable federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations.

  • Share with NFDA a green responsibility plan for the funeral home which outlines the firm’s commitment to actively working with employers, customers and the community it serves to create a healthier environment. Minimally, the plan must address the reduction of waste and energy use, water conservation, recycling, and the use of environmentally friendly products.

Applicants who earn a Green Funeral Practices Certificate will receive a certificate, suitable for display in their funeral home, and a suite of community relations tools that can be used to promote the funeral home?s achievement and educate the community about green funeral options.

The application fee for an NFDA Green Funeral Practices Certificate is $150; once the certificate is earned, it is valid for one year. NFDA member funeral homes can apply at a special introductory rate of $95 ? a $55 savings ? by using discount code “GFPINTRO“.

Certificate-holders must continue to meet program standards and update their profiles to renew their certificate on an annual basis; the renewal fee is $75 per year.

Funeral professionals can learn more about the NFDA Green Funeral Practices Certificate Program by visiting www.nfda.org/greenresources. This webpage also contains information and resources to help funeral directors better understand green funerals and green business practices.

NFDA is the worlds leading funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent more than 9,900 funeral homes in the United States and internationally. From its headquarters in Brookfield, Wis., and its Advocacy Division office in Washington, D.C., NFDA informs, educates and advocates to help members enhance the quality of service they provide to families. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.

CDFuneralNews

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