You may already have seen it silently gliding around the streets of Birmingham this year – but in case you haven’t – let us introduce you to our second electric Nissan Leaf hearse.
Five years ago, in 2017, we were one of the first funeral directors in the UK to buy an electric hearse and in 2023 with the purchase of the new and updated (more hearsy-looking) Nissan Leaf hearse, we remain the only independent funeral director in Birmingham to offer an electric alternative. It was a big investment for us as a small business, but one we felt would be appreciated by families and communities alike.
Not only has our first Nissan Leaf turned heads with its super compact space-agey type design; but it turns out we’ve likely saved around 5 tonnes of carbon emissions in the 5 years that we’ve had it.
With the introduction of the new hearse this could be more than 10 tonnes of carbon over the next 5 years.
What it all means
Putting this into context: 10 tonnes is the equivalent of the weight of around 2 African elephants, and in carbon terms is the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 14 average households in a year.
As a small business we can only do so much, but if every small business took steps like this the overall impact on the air quality for our local communities would be significant.
Sadly no car is 100% pollution free but when you live and work in one of the most polluted cities in the UK you undoubtedly have a greater awareness of the risks that diesel and petrol cars pose to our health: anything we can do to make the air cleaner for our community has got to be a bonus for everyone. So a huge thanks go to Wilcox Limousines for working on the new design.
In line with our ethos both hearses are white, and of course we still offer black hearses, limousines and other alternative hearses to families as part of their bespoke funerals if they wish.
Part of a bigger green plan
The electric hearses are only a part of a bigger green initiative that we are working on. Since we started the business 9 years ago we have always offered the people of Birmingham natural burials, eco-friendly coffins and beautiful seasonal flowers as part of our core offer, but we know there is more that we can do. Earlier this year Fran participated in the sustainability short course Green Advantage Course run by Aston University – a course aimed at helping small businesses of all sizes and sectors consider and achieve their Social and Environmental goals. We’re currently going through the Greener Globe process – a scheme which assesses funeral businesses’ efforts in the area of sustainability; and we’re just embarking on a holistic approach to reducing emissions in all aspects of our premises.
It’s going to be a long process but one that we’re committed to and keen to do thoroughly – we’ll definitely be keeping everyone updated.