Brazilian Cemetery First to Land ISO 14000

Brazilian Cemetery First to Land ISO 14000

In a cemetery world first, a Brazilian company has landed an ISO 14000 certification, proving its commitment to establishing environmentally friendly business management guidelines.

By satisfying all the necessary requirements for certification, Cemiterio Parque Sao Pedro is one of the few Brazilian companies with ISO 14000 certification. According to analyses, there are indications that cemeteries in Curitiba and the metropolitan area may be pollute streams and water-bearing strata, and may threaten public health.

According to Sergio Luiz Cordoni, of the Centro de Apoio Operacional das Promotorias de Protecao do Ambiente (Operational Support Center for the District Attorney Office of the Environmental Protection), most of Curitiba's cemeteries were built without proper regard for their sites' geological, hydrological or topographical characteristics.

"We are trying to make sure that the necessary inspections are carried out in these places. It is a preventative measure; we want to prevent body contact with the water," Cordoni said.

Cemiterio Parque Sao Pedro, built in 1994 in Curitiba, Brazil's ecological capital, was designed according to modern environmental standards. It is Brazil's only cemetery with monitoring wells and deep and superficial drainage meshes, encompassing 120,000 square meters, Cordoni said.

The drainage system, proposed by an environmental impact study, sends water from the "necro liquid waste" graves through a biological filter, preventing the contamination of the region's rivers.

According to Leziro Marques Silva, a professor of geology at the University Sao Judas Tadeu, in Sao Paulo, nearly 75% of Brazilian cemeteries pollute the environment through improper internment procesures and siting plots in inappropriate locations, such as near rivers. Diseases such as tetanus, typhoid fever, bacillary dysentery, and hepatitis A could be transmitted by contaminated water, Silva said.

According to Ronaldo Vanzo, Parque Sao Pedro's marketing director, Parque Sao Pedro's ISO certification also will improve the facility's public image.

"The fact that the ISO 14000 certification has been granted shows the respect for the people of Curitiba and future generations," Vanzo said.

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RELATED LINKS:

Global Green Standards: ISO 14000 and Sustainable Development

GreenBiz Essentials: ISO 14001: The Big Picture

ISO 14000 Information Center

ISO Certifications Jump 79% in One Year
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