Lush builds straw cold room for lower carbon impact

Cosmetics manufacturer Lush is looking to drive down carbon emissions, reduce waste and improve energy efficiency by building what it claims is Europe's' first straw cold room.

Work on the straw bale cold room is set to be completed today (February 15) and will be used to store and cool Lush’s fresh creams, shower gels and skincare products before they are filled and packaged to go on sale.

The project forms part of Lush’s Environmental Policy, which sets tough targets on waste, carbon, energy and water consumption.

Construction of the 5m x 18m room, which uses about 500 straw bales, has been carried out by straw builders Bee Rowan, with help from a further 26 Lush staff.

According to Lush, it chose to build the cold room using English straw, as it offered a much lower embedded carbon. The straw used was grown on a farm in Milton Keynes and is an agricultural waste product from grains production.

In addition, green wood to make the poles to pin the straw bales together before compression were provided by Wimborne based firm Dorest Hurdles.

Lush’s head of green development Ruth Andrade said: “Building a cold store for our factory out of straw bales is a visual representation of our values.

“We will be able to save energy while keeping our products fresh, we are using natural materials that are so much better for the environment and we can do all of that with the help of our own staff – training them as they help us build and hopefully developing in them a taste for eco building.”

A more in-depth profile of the cold room will be up on edie next month.

Carys Matthews

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