Funeral directors Dela are building a crematorium run on electricity instead of gas in Groningen, in a move to become more environmentally friendly, broadcaster NOS reported on Monday.
The crematorium, which is expected to be operational at the end of 2019, will be the first of its kind in the Netherlands and other funeral services companies have already announced they will follow suit.
‘We are aiming to make all cremations climate-neutral by 2030, Dela director Chris Beaulen told the broadcaster. With around 800 cremations a year in Groningen and each cremation consuming the amount of gas needed for 140 showers, savings will be ‘massive’, Beaulen said.
The fact that the new crematorium will be built in Groningen, which is struggling with earthquakes caused by gas extraction, is not a publicity stunt, Beaulen claims.
‘The problems surrounding gas extraction are in the news at the moment but the technology has now become available and Groningen simply happens to the place where we are building.’
More people in the Netherlands are choosing cremation over burial, according to figures from statistics office CBS. In 2001 about 50% of people opted for cremation. In 2016 the number had risen to 65% and the trend is expected to continue.