Matthews Announces EarthSmart Cremation Services™ Pilot Project with Baldwin Brothers Cremation Society

June 25, 2014
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Matthews International is proud to announce an exciting new pilot project that brings together two industry pioneers, Baldwin Brothers Cremation Society and Matthews International.  The pilot also combines Matthews’ industry-leading environmental technologies with an innovative operating model for Baldwin Brothers as the crematory owner.

Long a part of the funeral service landscape in Central Florida, Baldwin Brothers operates under the leadership of industry veterans Rick Baldwin, Jerry Pullins and Skip Knopke.  The firm has been providing cremation and memorial services to area families since 1980. The pilot project will get its start in the new Baldwin location on the north side of Orlando, FL, just blocks away from the headquarters of Matthews Cremation.

A Higher Environmental Standard

“The core of our business has always been providing simple and easy cremation planning to our community,” says Rick Baldwin, Baldwin Brothers [CEO].  “Now adding our new EarthSmart™ cremation option positions us as the most environmentally responsible provider in the area, without compromising on our core mission.  This new technology will bring our environmental performance to a completely new standard.”

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EarthSmart Cremation Services™, a new offering from Matthews, features the company’s most environmentally advanced cremation technology.  Flame-based cremations will be performed using a Matthews Eco Cremation™ unit, which uses sophisticated filtration systems to dramatically reduce air emissions under even the most demanding conditions.

The new location will also feature a new Matthews second-generation Bio-Cremation® unit, which uses the flameless Alkaline Hydrolysis process that almost entirely eliminates air emissions.  This completely redesigned Alkaline Hydrolysis unit cuts energy consumption and greenhouse gas by up to 75%, compared to traditional cremation.

The following table compares the three approaches:

 

 

Matthews EarthSmart Cremation™

 

Basic Cremation

Eco-Cremation™

Bio-Cremation™

Core Technology

Flame-based

Flame-based with advanced filter systems

Flameless
(Alkaline Hydrolysis)

Control System

Matthews M-pyre® full automatic

Matthews M-pyre® full automatic

Matthews M-pyre® full automatic

Air Emissions

Standard

97% lower
than standard units

99% eliminated
compared to flame-based cremation

Energy Usage/
Carbon “footprint”

Standard

Standard

76% lower
than flame-based cremation

Price point

Basic

Enhanced

Premium

Source:  Matthews International

A New Operating Model

The Baldwin Brothers pilot location will also be the first test site for an innovative operating model.  Using this new approach, crematory owners can contract with Matthews to install, operate, monitor, and maintain its most advanced, efficient and environmentally friendly equipment at their sites and pay only a fixed fee per cremation.

“This could be a game-changing approach for our business and our valued clients,” says Steve Schaal, President of Matthews Cremation-North America.  “There are a lot of crematory operators in the market who would like to use this kind of technology to differentiate their businesses, but may not want to make these particular capital investments.  Using the EarthSmart approach, Matthews can provide the upgrades now so the crematory can have the environmental and operational advantages immediately.”

The new operating model also gives crematory owners another crucial benefit in today’s volatile economy – firm control of their operating costs.  Because the owners pay Matthews a fixed fee for each cremation during the life of the contract, managing retail prices and profitability becomes a much simpler job.  Unexpected costs, whether for labor, fuel or equipment repairs, are completely eliminated.

Reversing the Commodity Pricing Trend

The pilot project will also test a new service offering for crematories. Their core service, the cremation itself, has been in danger of becoming a commodity where competition is based solely on price.  This new crematory will be the first test of an alternative to that commodity model, based on Matthews advanced environmental technologies.  Under the new approach, all families will be offered a good-better-best progression of value (as shown in the included table) with each successive level offering added environmental performance and sustainability.

“There is a lot of evidence that consumers see more value in “green” products and services,” says Paul Seyler, an industry strategist and consultant working with Matthews Cremation. “And they’re clearly willing to pay a premium to get them.   Look at organic foods, hybrid cars, or even Starwood’s new Element™ hotel chain.  All three are successful examples of products that command a higher price point based on being “greener” than their competitors. Cremation can be another potential success story – where people’s personal environmental values guide their choice of services and providers.”

Matthews Cremation, a division of Matthews International, has been manufacturing advanced cremation equipment for more than 60 years.  Headquartered in Orlando, FL the division also has operations in Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom.  Matthews International, founded in 1850, is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and operates globally. 

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