In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed a completed questionnaire it had received from Lush, which contained a link to Lush's '2019 Infographic Roundup', as well as Lush's website for details on the company's environmental policy's and practices.
The company discussed its key environmental impacts, including: packaging, waste, circularity, cotton, carbon, palm oil, deforestation, raw materials, energy and water.
For example, "Paper and card makes up 63% of all the packaging we use, of that 86% comes from recycled sources, saving nearly 42,000 trees by using recycled card and paper."
"Where we can choose the supplier, 100% of the electricity we use is with Ecotricity, whose direct carbon impact is 34 tonnes instead of 2251 tonnes from the grid (we use the grid coefficients)."
The company had put mechanisms in place to reduce its environmental impact. For example, in regard to reducing the use of raw materials Lush produced products with 'naked' (no) packaging and offered rewards to consumers who brought packaging back so it could be recycled.
Lush was considered to have a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts.
Lush UK disclosed figures on carbon relating to its UK operations. In its questionnaire the company stated that it had data for scope 1 and 2 emissions and was working towards scope 3.
The company had also conducted research into the carbon impact of cork, to be used as packaging: "After a full carbon study was carried out, the Carbon Trust have officially verified that our cork pots are sequestering carbon dioxide, making them Lush's first Carbon Positive pieces of Packaging!"
Although Lush clearly had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts and had taken measures to reduce its environmental impact, Ethical Consumer expected every company to have at least two dated and quantifiable future targets and independent verification of data, which could not be found in the case of Lush.
Overall, Lush received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark under this category.
Completed Quesionnaire March 2020 (March 2020)