Environment and Sustainability

Being the largest cemetery operator in South Australia, Adelaide Cemeteries is proud to be a national leader and innovator in sustainable and environmental initiatives. We were the first cemetery to open a Natural Burial Ground in Australia, the first Lawn Cemetery in Australia and soon to be the first in the Southern Hemisphere to install European Standard Full-Filtration systems on our Cremators.

Adelaide Cemeteries remains at the forefront of the cemetery industry when it comes to our commitment to driving improvement of our environmental performance, demonstrated through our ISO14001 Environmental Certification – the only cemetery in Australia to receive this certification. For more on our environmental initiatives, explore the headings below.

Adelaide Cemeteries are pleased to be the first cemetery operator in Australia to gain the internationally recognised ISO 14001 Environmental Certification. First awarded in June 2020, and having recently being recertified, this certification continues our commitment to the South Australian community, and is based on the Environmental Management System we established for Enfield Memorial Park, Cheltenham Cemetery, Smithfield Memorial Park and West Terrace Cemetery.

Being a key pillar of Adelaide Cemeteries, environmental sustainability is at the forefront of what we do on a daily basis. This certification not only recognises Adelaide Cemeteries for the improvements that have been made over the past few years as part of this program, but also puts in place the requirements to continually improve our environmental initiatives and minimise the impact of our cemeteries on the environment.

Being frequently and independently audited, this certification sets the benchmark for Adelaide Cemeteries to measure, monitor and continuously improve our environmental outcomes. We are proud to be the first Cemetery Operator in Australia to achieve this environmental milestone and look forward to continuing to evolve our cemeteries in the best interests of our community and the environment.

Environmental Management System – Certificate of Registration

At Adelaide Cemeteries we understand that family and friends may wish to sensitively decorate the graves of their loved ones. Many people choose to place floral and other tributes at burial and memorial sites for personal, cultural and religious reasons. This practice is available at Enfield Memorial Park, Cheltenham Cemetery, Smithfield Memorial Park and West Terrace Cemetery.

To ensure a safe, secure & sustainable environment, these guidelines set out our memorial tribute guidelines which allow visitors to remember as they choose and enable us to meet our duty of care to the community and staff.

Floral Tributes
When placing flowers in lawn areas we ask that they are kept in the free receptacles provided at Enfield Memorial Park and Smithfield Memorial Park. At West Terrace Cemetery and Cheltenham Cemetery, floral tributes must be placed within the vases built into the monumental work or placed neatly on the site. While fresh cut flowers are preferred, artifical flowers are also permitted in some areas of our cemeteries. We also encourage the selection of natural wrappings such as paper and string over cellophane and plastic. No person may plant, place or remove any grass, shrub or other structure without Adelaide Cemeteries written consent.

Non-Floral Keepsakes
Preserving treasured keepsakes is important, as these items are linked to the precious memories shared with passed loved ones. Cemeteries are exposed to the elements and thousands of people visit every year, so all items placed at grave or memorial sites will eventually deteriorate or break and are at risk of being moved. For this reason visitors may wish to reconsider placing items of significant sentimental value.

Temporary Memorials
Approved temporary memorials are permitted to remain in place for a period of three months from the date of interment to allow for the establishment of a plaque or monument. If you wish to claim the temporary marker once removed please let us know.

Click Here to Download a copy of our Memorial Tributes Policy

South Australians are committed to the environment and have a reputation as leaders in innovative and responsible waste management.

At Adelaide Cemeteries, we have made the switch from plastics to alternatives wherever possible, this includes in our lounges, workshops and administration offices. Within the cemetery, we also encourage the use of biodegradable (or no) wrappings for flowers placed on sites, as well as the choice of materials that can be composted or naturally biodegrade over time.

In July last year, Adelaide Cemeteries became the first cemetery in Australia to obtain the International Standard, ISO140001 Environmental Management certification. This standard means we are committed to improving our environmental performance over time.

Recognising we have a number of areas for improvement, the reduction of helium balloons is one of the first initiatives undertaken to improve our environmental performance.

Ensuring our cemeteries provide a green and welcoming space for our families to come and visit their loved ones is of great importance to us. Our flagship cemetery, Enfield Memorial Park, is set on 29 hectares of lush open parkland, while Smithfield Memorial Park – South Australia’s largest cemetery, sees extensive plantings of native shrubs, trees and greenery.

The trees, gardens and plantings within our cemeteries are carefully managed by a dedicated team of horticulturalists, ensuring they are presentable year-round – while also trying to minimise the amount of resources consumed. The selection of drought-resistant plants, as well as Australian Natives helps to manage the water requirements for gardens, as well as the planting of trees to assist in cooling the ground and minimising water loss.

The choice of soft pathways and lawn where possible as opposed to concrete and pavers, allows for better water absorption and run off as well as helping to reduce our heat footprint. The increase in trees around our property help to reduce our heat footprint, as well as encourage local wildlife to visit and nest.

When we are developing new gardens and areas, the addition of trees, plants and greenery wherever possible is at the forefront of our planning. Our two latest developments – Wangayarta at Smithfield Memorial Park sees more than 5,000 native plants added to the landscape, while the new Multi-Function Community Precinct at Enfield Memorial Park will have in excess of 1400 new plantings and trees.

At West Terrace Cemetery, a number of dead trees have been retained, to provide nesting locations for native wildlife as well as encouraging bees to frequent the area. Through careful management and sensitive redevelopment, the amount of plantings, green areas and new trees at Cheltenham Cemetery has noticeably increased, with plans for these improvements to continue for many years to come.

The increase in trees and plantings across our cemeteries assists in the biodiversity of our sites, particularly insects such as bees which help pollinate the thousands of rose bushes and flowering plants across our cemeteries.

Adelaide Cemeteries are constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of waste destined for landfill, across its cemeteries as well as within its offices. We have recently introduced green bins across our sites to offer families and visitors an environmentally friendly option to disposing of organic waste. Fresh and dried flowers, paper towel and tissues, food scraps, compostable packaging and dog waste in a compostable bag are all items that can go in the green bin. The organic waste is then collected in a compost service truck and turned into compost, soil, mulch and organic fertiliser products. The more waste we can divert from landfill, the less pressure we place on our environmental resources to support a more sustainable future.

In our crematorium, as part of the cremation process, biomedical implants such as hip joints do not burn-off and are then recycled through a dedicated industry recycling program. Plastic decorative coffin handles are also separately recycled as part of our cremation process rather than being cremated.

In our lounges and reflection rooms, we have switched to compostable packaging wherever possible, as well as moving away from single-use cups and plates to reduce the amount of waste produced per service. Five Bin Waste Systems have been implemented in our offices and lunchrooms, dividing general waste, co-mingled recycling, paper and cardboard, soft plastics and compostable waste into separate bins which are then handled as required.

Adelaide Cemeteries also works closely with its waste provider to consider effective and rapid responses to any changes or opportunities to improve it’s waste practices.

Across our cemeteries we are taking steps to reduce our energy consumption wherever possible.

We have started switching to LED Lighting, as well as using motion sensors to effectively manage unnecessary power use.

Recently Enfield and Cheltenham Cemeteries have received Solar Panels on their Visitor Centres, with Cheltenham Cemetery being powered exclusively from Solar Energy and our on-site battery system for the majority of the week. Smithfield Memorial Park now also operates a solar system with battery storage.

When purchasing new equipment, the power use and environmental impact is of paramount importance. We also work with Environmentally Sustainable Design consultants when planning and conceptualising new developments to minimise energy use and reduce our environmental impact where possible.

Planning a funeral can be challenging, so we’re ready with the advice and guidance that you need.