Why we’re so proud of our latest royal recognition

Award winning insulated packaging

Angela Morris. Insulated Packaging. Naturally.

Woolcool® was launched in 2008 and the innovative, sustainable design has scooped an impressive haul of awards in the packaging, business and environmental arenas.

June, 2022

Sustainability is at the heart of everything Woolcool does. We have spent more than a decade investing millions of pounds developing temperature-controlled packaging products for the food and pharmaceutical markets, which use 100% sheep’s wool as an alternative to polluting manmade insulation such as polystyrene.

This innovative use of wool – which is recyclable, reusable, renewable, compostable, abundant and part of the natural carbon cycle – means customers use less fuel in their supply chain, reduce their carbon footprint and help avoid tonnes of polystyrene from going into landfill sites across the globe.

While we are always delighted to receive recognition for our work in sustainability – and have won lots of awards over the years – plaudits and praise were never the driving factor behind the Woolcool ethos. However, we are very proud of the latest accolade to be added to our trophy cabinet – the 2022 Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development. This five-year accolade is considered to be one of the most coveted and influential in British business and, remarkably, it is the second we have won, having received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2018.
After more than a decade of research and development into the properties of wool, which has proven conclusively that it outperforms polluting manmade insulators, this award helps drive home the message that the use of natural materials offers a truly sustainable alternative for businesses that want to seriously address the climate challenges we all face.

Coming after the challenges of the last two years, this award also reflects the hard work and resilience of the entire Woolcool team, as well as our valued wider family of suppliers, clients, customers and friends.

When we first began promoting the benefits of using natural materials it was before the notion of sustainability had really become popular.

We found a pioneering use for the grade of wool that would otherwise be destroyed as waste to create flexible, versatile and light insulation for temperature-controlled packaging, which has been scientifically proven to outperform manmade alternatives.

Big names such as Able & Cole and John Lewis use our packaging to ensure their chilled food deliveries arrive in perfect condition, while pharmaceutical and clinical clients like Coop and Henry Schein trust our years of research and development with institutions including Cambridge University to deliver life-saving medical supplies within vital temperature ranges. Our commitment to sustainable values is deeply embedded. In 2020, Woolcool launched a ‘circular economy’ scheme that goes ‘beyond recycling’ – by allowing the end user to return their packaging directly to them to be used again.

Woolcool® is also one of the first and only UK packaging companies to be a certified B Corp, joining a worldwide community of firms who have pledged to put social and environmental impact on the same level as profitability.

This year, our innovation has gone a step further, with the launch of our Hortiwool brand – the first product of which is a versatile and fully-sustainable pad made from 100% wool, which can be used in a number of ways in and around the garden.

So, after almost two decades of serious academic research and design innovation, this Queen’s Award provides not only acknowledgment of the pioneering position we took many years ago, but the results we have achieved since.

It’s also the latest piece of Royal recognition we have received. In 2019 HRH Prince Charles visited Woolcool’s base in Stone, Staffordshire, to learn more about our work, while last year our MD Josie Morris was recognised with an MBE for Services to Manufacturing and the Environment.

But more than anything, we hope our Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development encourages more companies to embrace the benefits of natural materials like wool.

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