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Lush Employee Benefit Trust

Lush has been 10% Employee owned since 2017…

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For Lush to be the company it is and behave in the way that it does, it needs to be an independent company.

It is not public, not owned by anyone else like a corporation, and not owned by a private equity company with a purely profit based motive.
In 2017, the Lush Shareholders gifted 10% of the company shares into the Lush Employee Benefit Trust (EBT). The EBT is a Trust in which 10% of shares are held, and along with the other Shareholders of the business, the Lush EBT owns a proportion of the Lush business. As an employee of the Lush Group, you are a beneficiary of the Lush EBT, and 5 Trustees look after the trust on your behalf.

There is this horrible repugnant idea that businesses can be sold along with its staff. Many of our staff have been with us for years – so their life’s work is sold with the business.


Why we wanted an EBT…

Employee Ownership is something that we had been exploring at Lush for over 15 years before becoming part employee owned.

Our employees and ethics are the heart of our business, and employee ownership has always made sense as we already foster so many of the typical cultures we see in employee owned businesses.

The purpose of having an employee ownership scheme is to:

  • Enshrine our ethics
  • Ensure the independent ownership of the business
  • Maintain the bonus culture
  • Promote two way inclusive communication to share knowledge & give every Lush Colleague a voice

We believe that the best ownership structure for the business going forward is that its shares are held in both:

  • Family Ownership
  • Employee Benefit Trust
Kim and Karl on the EBT

Why we’ve done this

The Founders and Shareholders appreciate the contribution that every member of staff makes to the business, and having all of our staff as beneficiaries of the EBT recognises their efforts and commitment in making us the company that we are.

If a member of staff came to work for us because they believe in the ethics of the business, we can make sure that those ethics are observed, preserved and protected through the EBT.

We don’t believe that employees should be bought and sold with a business. The company will not be bought or taken over by an external body, and the EBT guarantees this. If the current Shareholders decided to sell their shares to an external buyer, resulting in a change of control, the business would need majority consent on this decision from our staff, through a vote managed by the EBT Trustees.

The Shareholders that currently work in the business have made an agreement and commitment that if and when they sell their shares, they will sell them back to the company. They may also be sold to the EBT which we expect to happen in time, resulting in the shareholding that the EBT owns to grow over time


Employee owned

The upshot is

  • Our Colleagues will always own a stake in the business. No one will be able to come along and buy our company at the highest price.
  • We can ensure the company is independent and can behave in the way it wants to behave.
  • We have a structure of People Representation throughout the business which means we have representatives in place to pass messages to every staff member, get messages to our shop and factory floors and provide a communication channel for our colleagues – no matter where they work in the business – to ask questions and share ideas directly with the business to help positively influence the future.
  • There is a duty for everyone who works for Lush to help us stay true to our Ethical Charter. All of us as beneficiaries of the Lush EBT can have an active role in keeping us accountable to the ethical standards we commit the business to in the Charter.
  • Through the Lush EBT, we commit to ensuring all Lush Colleagues on a permanent contract have access to a bonus scheme in every role across the Group business.
  • Our Ethical Charter cannot be compromised or degraded without consultation with our beneficiaries and Trustees. If someone thinks we’re not compliant with the Lush Ethical Charter, they should report this to the EBT Trustees.

The current trustees

5 Trustees look after the Trust on behalf of all Lush Colleagues.

  • 2 Company appointed Trustees
  • 2 Staff elected Trustees
  • 1 Independent Trustee


The Lush Ethical Charter

One of the principle aims of the Lush Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) is to protect the core values that enable us to maintain our ethical standards.

To that aim we have a process in place via the EBT to ensure that decisions are not made which may breach or materially affect our ethical practice without first taking the views of the staff of all Lush Group companies into account. This also allows for everyone working in the company to be thoroughly briefed about the issues behind any major proposed changes so that we can make a meaningful contribution to that decision and the leaders of the business can make an informed decision having considered all our views.

If you came to work for Lush because you believe in our values, through the EBT, 
you can have reassurance that these values will never be diluted or changed without our staff being consulted.


Further reading

The Lush Ethical Charter

Everyone employed by our Lush Group entities are beneficiaries of the Lush Employee Benefit Trust.  This is everyone working in our Lush Group countries: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Croatia Manufacturing, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Poland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UAE, UK & USA.

The Lush Ethical Charter is a legal document and the company’s commitment to our minimum ethical standards which we ask all Lush Colleagues to support us in upholding.

If you believe we may be in conflict with any of the core principles in the Ethical Charter, this should be reported to the EBT Trustees at [email protected].

No, employees don’t have to invest any of their own money. This isn’t a share ownership scheme. If shares become available from any of the other Shareholders, the shares could be purchased by Lush Cosmetics Limited and re-issued to the EBT, which is something we expect to see happen in the future as our Shareholder wishes to retire or sell their shares.

Our current Shareholders gifted 10% of their shares to the EBT to entrust everyone working for Lush with protecting our ethics and future independence of the business.

Lush colleagues do not own direct shares.  The company shares are held in Trust on behalf of our staff in the Lush Employee Benefit Trust which is looked after by our board of Trustees.

Every person working for Lush in the Lush Group (over 12,500 Lush colleagues) is represented by a democratically elected ‘EBT Representative’, voted for by them.  

We have over 820 EBT Reps spread across our 24 Group markets who create a network to facilitate two-way direct communication to share company updates, share knowledge and give everyone at Lush a voice. Whether working in an office in the UK, or pressing bath bombs in Japan, through our EBT Reps, every person has an equal opportunity to ask questions and share ideas with decision makers to influence the future and make Lush the company we all want it to be – and receive a reply! – pretty cool, huh!?

You can find out who your EBT Constituency, Business Area and Country Reps are in the EBT Rep Directory (You will need to be logged into your Lush Google account to view).

Remember, you can speak to your Constituency, Business Area or Country Rep, or send any questions and ideas directly to the EBT at [email protected]

Either way, we will make sure your messages reach the right person or team in the business.

Just so you know: you can also check out our handy EBT Glossary for definitions of new terms and language we may be using here.

Further reading

How we work

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