At LUSH, we believe in protecting people, animals and the planet. We take our commitment to this seriously. Since LUSH began, our founders have been conscious of how our products interact with the environment. We have always used creative and innovative solutions to make a positive impact on the planet. Our invention of the first-ever solid shampoo bar is testament to this practice. The core of our philosophy is based on the highest levels of ethical standards with the lowest possible impact on the environment. Sustainability is a company-wide priority that flows through our products, from our hands to yours. We are committed to becoming more sustainable the more that we grow. So, environmental and social stewardship are critical elements in the business decisions that we make on a daily basis.
With over 700 stores worldwide and an ever-emerging global presence, we use our buying power to affect positive change in the world. We keep on top of regional and national legislation and partner with many groups to lobby for new regulations that drive and encourage a shift towards a greener future. Our loyalty to these initiatives, LUSH supports hundreds of environmental groups through our Charity Pot program and ethical campaigns, who we see as an extension of our work, taking part in the direct action needed to help motivate change. If you’re interested in learning more about our green initiatives, read more about our initatives and efforts below.
Packaging: We love it naked.
We use as little packaging in the shops as possible and give you the choice to go completely naked - we mean the products, not yourselves. What do we mean by naked? When we say “naked” we are usually referring to the products you can buy with absolutely no packaging at all, like our Bath Bombs, massage bars and solid shampoo bars to name a few. If you go naked all the time, you can save over 30 plastic bottles a year from entering our landfills! When packaging is unavoidable, we prefer to use recycled materials. We like our packaging to be reused, recycled or composted at the end of their lives and aim to have 100% of our packaging easily recyclable, compostable or biodegradable.
Waste: Less is more.
We spend a lot of time finding the most effective recycling programs to curb our waste to avoid sending anything to landfill. We work hard in our factories and distribution centers, to make sure that the majority of our output from making and transporting products is recycled, composted or re-used. In North America, we set a zero-waste company-wide goal for 2011. When we can’t eliminate it completely, we look to the simplest forms of packaging to do the job and use post-consumer or post-industrial recycled materials that are 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable whenever possible.
• Our pots and bottles are made from BPA-Free, 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.
• Our store carrier bags are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper and are compostable.
• Our products for shipment are packed in biodegradable plastic bags, recycled paper and/or biodegradable filler and eco-friendly packing tape.
• Our gifts are wrapped in 100% recycled paper and packaged with biodegradable filler.
• Our products are biodegradable (expect for the odd glitter or shiny star).
Raw Materials: We take great care when sourcing our raw materials.
We prefer to use ingredients that are produced in a sustainable way and avoid those that aren't. Palm oil, for example, went into our “little black book” and was replaced by more earth-friendly oils in our soap base. We are now working to remove it from all products, as well as encouraging other companies to do the same. We use almond and olive oil - not mineral oil - partly because we think fields of trees make our lives much richer than oil fields. In designing our products, we go for natural ingredients and use as few synthetics as possible. In fact, we have an incredible range of natural products with no synthetics at all. Over 70% of our range is totally unpreserved and we aim to improve on that.
Buying: Betting our green on being green
We choose to give our love (and money) to suppliers that respect the environment, as well as the animals and people living there. We work diligently with all of our suppliers to minimize our environmental impact. We’re pretty sure we drive our suppliers crazy in our pursuit to find the best possible alternatives for materials and supplies available on the market. Whether it be 100% PCR recycled cardboard or oxo-biodegradable shrink wrap, we like to keep them on their toes! This year at LUSH, responsible buying of recycled supplies for our administrative offices helped us save over 300 trees, 511, 363 liters of water (135,000 gallons of water), 675 gallons of oil and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 28,000 CO2 equivalents.
Transportation: Good planets are hard to come by.
Since we are an international company operating in 46 countries - and using fresh raw materials from all over the globe - sea, land and air transport make up our biggest contribution to climate change. As we source many of our materials globally, we try to maximize efficiency, starting at the raw materials level and bring it full circle back to our local factories. We prefer to make our fresh products locally, with a local workforce to supply local markets. We work closely with our transportation providers to source low-impact and ethically responsible fuels for moving our raw materials and finished products around the globe. In an effort to better control our emissions and reduce our carbon footprint, we tracked and reported our carbon emissions in 2011 and will be instituting an internal Carbon Tax program that will be applied to all of our corporate travel and outbound shipments.
Energy: Our inner chi.
Energy is embedded into all that we consume, from our supply chain through our finished products. We are working to reduce the amount of energy used to produce, transport and sell our products to you. We employ all possible methods of energy optimization and efficiency retrofits within our manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and in our stores. 100% of our electricity consumed, is replenished into the grid with renewable energy from wind and low-impact hydro, through Bullfrog Power. In the spring of 2010, we put our efforts to the test with an Energy Challenge. The results were a huge success, as we hit our goal of reducing our overall energy consumption by 14%!
Water: 326 million cubic miles is all we’ve got.
As we share our water with the entire planet, we feel that it is a precious resource. With only 326 million cubic miles of water on the earth, the decreasing amounts of access to quality fresh water is what bothers us most. We monitor how we use water at our factories and are constantly working on ways to reduce our consumption of fresh water resources. Even linen service providers help us, by treating and reusing their own water onsite! Also, by selling our products directly to you with no packaging, we avoid using incredible amounts of water. For instance, just from making our shampoo bars in solid form, rather than bottled, we save over 450,000 liters (118,800 gallons) a year!
Communication: We mean what we say.
In 2011, we started reporting our environmental performance on an annual basis to ensure that our policy delivers on what it promises. Although the green message comes from the top, the organization needs a network of people to spread it. So we continue to encourage and support the people that help make this possible in our stores and manufacturing facilities, by making them official members of our Green Team. Our Green Team is a group of dedicated environmental advocates, within our ranks, that volunteer to step forward and be our environmental stewards on the front lines. We also believe in campaigning with our customers to bring to light important topics. We like to empower those around us and are especially fond of turning passion into action.