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Ecoffins opens 'green' warehouse

Fairtrade coffin supplier Ecoffins has unveiled a state-of-the-art eco-friendly warehouse and offices.

The new facilities, at Milstead in Kent, were opened by Charles Cowling, author of the Good Funeral Guide, who unveiled a plaque and planted a tree. 

Managing partner William Wainman said the opening was an important milestone for the company: “The aim was to create a sustainable building which our team and customers could enjoy with minimum harm to the environment. The architect and builders have clearly demonstrated what can be done to bring sustainability into the design of commercial premises.”

The carbon-neutral building, which is on the site of a derelict nursery, was designed by William Matthews, the site architect for, London’s cutting edge building The Shard. 

Key features include solar panels, which generate more electricity than is used making the premises carbon negative and LED lighting based on motion sensors, which switch on only when needed.

Cedar logs from the Royal British Legion Industries clad the outside of the warehouse, with the scrap being used to make desktops and a boardroom table, all handmade by the Ecoffins team.

The building has a heat exchanger, which works in tandem with a ground source heat pump, while rainwater is channelled into a tank for irrigation, vehicle cleaning and cin case of fire.

Over 500 trees have been planted on site and a local beekeeper has installed several hives. 

The building was four years in the making and Ecoffins won a grant award from the South East Development Agency. 

The company has made every effort to use local materials and suppliers, including constructing the driveway using materials from the old nursery so that very little waste material had to be taken off site. 

Ecoffins is the first coffin manufacturer to become a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation. 

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