MBE for boss of pioneering sustainable packaging firm

The Managing Director of a pioneering sustainable packaging firm who has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours says she hopes it draws attention to ‘the remarkable work being done in the sector towards sustainability’.

Josie Morris, Managing Director of Staffordshire-based eco-packaging firm Woolcool, has been awarded an MBE for services to Manufacturing and the Environment.

Woolcool produces sustainable temperature-controlled packaging used in the food, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors – with customers including Abel & Cole, Fortnum and Mason, Morrisons, Co-op, Waitrose and Unilever.

The 34-year-old said: “When I received the email from the Cabinet Office I thought it was spam. I thought recognition such as an MBE was for people who are much further along in their career and who have achieved much more than I have.

“Once I realised that it was the real thing, I was blown away. It’s a real honour.”

Woolcool manufactures a range of temperature-controlled packaging products, using 100% pure wool as an insulator instead of manmade alternatives such as polystyrene.

As a natural fibre wool is recyclable, renewable, compostable, reusable, biodegradable and abundant and Wooolcool’s research – working with institutions such as Cambridge University – proves that it outperforms manmade alternatives.

Josie said: “Packaging has been put in the spotlight by concerns over sustainability, but the industry has taken huge steps in recent years to address the ecological challenges we face.

“I feel very lucky to have been given this recognition, but I hope it draws attention to the remarkable work being done in the sector towards sustainability.”

Woolcool is the first packaging company of its kind in the UK to have gained B Corp certification, joining a worldwide community of firms who have pledged to put social and environmental impact on the same level as profitability.

Josie said: “We never claim to be perfect, we are far from it. However, we strive to continually monitor and seek to improve our impact on the planet and people around us. We try to be as transparent in our dealings as possible and, while there is an environmental ethos at our core, we also believe that looking after our people is key to all that we do.

“The success of Woolcool is down to the collaborative approach we take to our work, whether that’s our own team or the broader family of clients, suppliers, customers or partners.”

The Woolcool concept was invented in early 2000s by packaging design pioneer Angela Morris. After working tirelessly to challenge the status quo and open minds to the possibilities of natural materials, she founded the company in 2009 – Josie joined in 2014 in the sales and marketing department, progressing to MD not long after and picking up the Woolcool baton. Now the firm is set to move into bigger premises in Staffordshire.

She said: “We have an amazing team here at Woolcool, and this MBE is for everyone.

“I am so proud of the way that our team has coped throughout the and all of the effort that they – and my sister, Jess – have put in to make Woolcool a success.

“So, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported and assisted me in the growth of Woolcool, I can’t wait to celebrate all of our achievements with a party when we can.”

For more information about Woolcool go to www.woolcool.com.

Written by Kevin Gambrill

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