The Oaks Crematorium is owned and operated by Southern Co-op - the independent co-operative formed in Portsmouth nearly 150 years ago.
My role when I came into the business was to develop a clear strategy for sustainability to underpin everything we do. Southern Co-op has always had a purpose beyond profit, working for the benefit of our communities and the environment. This is important to our members and a core part of our co-operative difference.
The Oaks was designed in a way that provides families with a meaningful and personalised service, but that also protects and enhances the environment. We have been working with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust since it opened and nearly seven years on the environmental developments are a huge success.
The crematorium’s design and setting continue to be quite unique as the building is highly sustainable and the grounds take in ancient semi-natural woodland, designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) which surrounds the site.
Sustainability was naturally an important consideration in creating and establishing The Oaks Crematorium. The grounds include a natural pond and a wildflower meadow with active beehives and bird boxes as well as hedgehog houses; encouraging local wildlife to thrive.