The Boards of the Laurel Hill Group were committed to adopting sustainable practices in all aspects of their business. From the management of their 250 acres of landscape in the Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries and West Laurel Hill Funeral Home, to the health and well-being of their employees. They wanted a comprehensive analysis of the business’ triple-bottom-line sustainability, which focuses beyond the traditional bottom line of a business to consider profits made from ecological (natural resources of the properties), financial (cost-saving measures, marketing and sales of services), and social (community outreach and engagement, health and well-being of the staff) aspects. They needed expert guidance to develop and actualize their sustainability plan
The Laurel Hill group engaged Conservation Economics’ (CE) president toadvise them on all aspects of the sustainability plan, including:
The Laurel Hill and West Laurel Cemeteries, portions of which were established as early as 1836, are located just north of the City of Philadelphia on a picturesque site overlooking the Schuylkill River. From the beginning, the business model for the properties was forward thinking. It combined a peaceful, scenic resting place for the dead with gardens, sculpture, paths, and recreation for the living. The Boards of the Laurel Hill Group wished to carry forward this vision into the future by making the property sustainable in every aspect, including the West Laurel Hill Funeral Home. They were positioned to carry out an inventory and assessment of the natural, historic and structural assets; creating a financial plan for marketing and making improvements, and focusing attention on community outreach and the health and well-being of the staff. They needed advice and guidance on developing and implementing a comprehensive sustainability plan.
Conservation Economics Solution:
CE’s president worked with a partner organization to plan every step of the process for triple-bottom-line sustainability. Ecologically, the plan focused on location of a green burial ground, energy conservation, and careful management of the landscape. The financial perspective called for cost-savings at all levels of operations, as well as innovative marketing and sales. Social sustainability involved programs to connect with and engage the larger community, and promote the health, well-being and education of the staff.
As a result of CE’s guidance, concrete steps being taken by the Laurel Hill Group, include:
The Laurel Hill Group has been recognized by the Lower Merion Township with the 2017 award for sustainability. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the Audubon Society have recognized the importance of the potential for increased biodiversity on this property related to the conservation efforts.