A year of innovation and renewal

Woolcool - A Year of Innovation and Renewal in the Insulated Packaging for Food and Pharma industry.

Josie 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.

December, 2022

As the year draws to a close, we thought it would be good to reflect on a year of innovation and renewal, which saw Woolcool® officially open its new HQ, win further Royal recognition and launch an award-winning new sustainable product.

The year began, of course, with the nation still dealing with the pandemic. At Woolcool®, our team worked hard to continue to produce our award-winning temperature controlled packaging throughout the lockdowns, not only in response to growing interest in food delivery but also to changing attitudes to how medicine and medical products are distributed.

As 2022 began and the vaccination programme started to bring the coronavirus under control, we turned our attention to the year ahead – and what a year it turned out to be.

As a company founded on sustainable principles, Woolcool® has always been conscious of the impact of our work on the environment. That’s why, throughout 2022, we have continued on our carbon footprint journey, a process which began many months ago and has involved the careful analysis of how we operate and our impact on the planet.

2022 saw significant steps forward in this, as we got to grips with Scope 1 and 2 of the recognised methods of carbon footprint measurement – effectively understanding how our own internal processes, power usage and business disciplines can be better.

Now we move on to the altogether more challenging Scope 3 aspect, which is learning how we can influence and measure the carbon footprint created outside of our own business – in areas like supply chain. We’re excited to move on in this journey – we know that it’s a journey that has no end, and where improvements will always be possible.

As the founders of the revolution in what is now a burgeoning sustainable packaging sector, we are committed to the carbon footprint concept.

2022 was another memorable year for the amazing Woolcool® team– now we look forward to getting stuck in to 2023, our exciting plans and the opportunities the new year will bring! Watch this space!

Josie Morris MBE

Managing Director, Woolcool.

That’s also why, in 2022, we redoubled our commitment to the B Corporation movement. We were the first UK packaging manufacturer of its kind to earn B Corp status, joining a growing group of companies across the world who are reinventing business, by pursuing purpose as well as profit. Woolcool® has been certified by B Lab after meeting rigorous social and environmental standards which represent its commitment to goals beyond profit. It’s also why, in 2022 we continued to run our innovative Circular Economy scheme, which allows customers to return their packaging to us for re-use.

Another initiative we supported in 2020 was the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Launched in 2015, it provides a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, for now and the future.

Crucial to its success are 17 Sustainable Development Goals – or ‘SDGs’ – which set out how everyone can help make the world a better place, from defeating poverty to driving innovation. Throughout 2022, Woolcool® has endeavoured to engage with these SDGs. While not all of the 17 goals directly apply to us, we know we can play a part, however small.

2022 has also been a year of fresh innovation. In March we launched Hortiwool, a unique new multi-use sustainable product which allows gardeners to harness the amazing properties of 100% pure sheep’s wool.

As the key ingredient in our award-winning temperature controlled packaging, we have long extolled the virtues of wool. Wool is one of nature’s Smart Fibres – it is insulative, protective and holds moisture, while also being truly sustainable, abundant, recyclable and reusable. It is also biodegradable, breaking down to release nutrients to the soil.

Hortiwool identified a brilliant new role for this wonder substance – in the garden – by creating a durable, flexible pad which can be used for all kinds of outside jobs, from hydrating hanging baskets to insulating young plants from frost. It can even be used as a comfortable and soft kneeling pad, to ease the knees of hard-working gardeners.

The launch of Hortiwool has been so successful that it won the Sustainability category in the GIMA Awards, the largest annual gathering of the garden retail industry, celebrating members’ innovation in product and marketing.

There were other awards too, not least for our Managing Director, Josie Morris, who in March was officially presented with an MBE by the then Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, for services to manufacturing and the environment. The Prince – now King Charles III – had visited Woolcool® back in 2019, and was interested to see how our company had grown.

In June this accolade was followed by more Royal recognition. We were very proud to win 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.

In September however, this award seemed all the more poignant after the sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. A month later, the Queen’s award was officially presented to us by Staffordshire’s Vice-Lord-Lieutenant James Leavesley, who also cut the ribbon to officially opened our new home at Tungsten Park, Stone. Mr Leavesley commented that it was a real achievement to achieve a second Queen’s Award – and confided that he suspected the Sustainability category is the most difficult to win!

In a moving moment, Mr Leavesley also helped plant a tree outside our HQ as part of the Queen’s Canopy scheme, a unique tree planting initiative created in February to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

Fittingly, this tree symbolised not only Woolcool’s 2022, but also our future. As a practical step to improve the environment, it reflected our ongoing commitment to the environmental principles on which we were founded. As a tribute to the Queen, it represented the Royal recognition we have been proud to receive. As a living organism, it reflects our dedication to promoting the use of natural materials. And as something that will grow and lay down roots, it reflects our own growth over the last decade or so, and our hopes for the next decade, as we continue to find new uses for 100% wool.

2022 was another memorable year for the amazing Woolcool® team– now we look forward to getting stuck in to 2023, our exciting plans and the opportunities the new year will bring! Watch this space!

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