Woolcool has proved that new packaging derived from traditional resources is a winner
Queen’s Award for Innovation
By Graham Lironi
In a world crying out for genuinely sustainable alternatives to manmade packaging the winning of a Queen’s Award for Innovation by Woolcool demonstrates the very real credibility of using a natural, renewable resource – sheeps wool.
First conceived by founder and CEO Angela Morris in 2001,Woolcool is a superior insulated packaging solution for the transportation of temperature- sensitive goods for the food and pharmaceutical sectors.
The company’s tagline is ‘created by nature, driven by science’ and the fact that more than £1 million has been invested in research and development – and it has already secured three rounds of Innovate UK funding – suggests that Woolcool is not afraid to put its money where its mouth is.
“There’s a lot of innovation in the product and scientific knowledge behind it” said Woolcool MD Josie Morris. “We’ve invested heavily in R&D and worked with various universities to analyse how the wool works so we can furnish clients with detailed scientific information and data behind the product. Woolcool is a natural product – but with scientific substance behind it.”
Not only is wool natural and sustainable, it is a superior insulator. One of the most sustainable natural materials, being available in abundance as
a by-product of rearing sheep, wool insulation is totally compostable and biodegradable, releasing valuable nitrates back into the soil. Independent tests consistently prove that Woolcool outperforms conventional insulated packaging on every level.
“Rigorous testing to industry standards in our own environmental chambers, supported by independent trials, consistently prove that wool fibres are effective at absorbing moisture from the air, which minimises humidity and condensation to maintain stable temperatures,” said Ms Morris.
“Proven to keep food contents within various temperature windows, in chilled, ambient and frozen chains, for at least 24 hours and in many cases, much longer, Woolcool has also been independently proven to keep pharmaceuticals within the critical temperatures range. We offer proven performance from 24 to more than 120 hours.”
Having grown considerably over the last five years – a new warehouse was opened in 2015 and the company nownumbers 40 employees – Woolcool has consistently increased turnover on the back of a rapidly expanding online food market and expansion into the pharmaceuticals sector.
“We are a family business with ambition to grow and develop into a family of businesses working across different sectors operating with the same culture and ethos; we have a strong corporate culture of collaboration and a community mentality,” said Ms Morris.
“We have ambitious growth plans over the next five years and intend to develop the product further and exploit other market sectors.
“And over the course of the past decade we have developed considerable expertise in the temperature-controlled market so that, rather than just a product, we can provide clients with a service incorporating our packaging expertise and advice, enabling us to work with partners in a collaborative approach.”
The packaging of choice for companies striving to comply with UK government and EU requirements, includes the European Commission’s guidelines for the distribution of perishable products, Packaging Essential Requirement Regulations, Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) and businesses’ Duty of Care. Woolcool insulated packaging products are reusable and fully sustainable, significantly reducing companies’ impact of waste to landfill.
‘We’re not just a product. We can give clients expertise and advice’