Clean water is a serious problem for a billion people in the world who are without safe drinking water. To date Belu Water has supported several clean water projects that provide safe drinking water to over 50,000 people in Bangladesh, India, Mali and Mozambique.
For me, that mission is more than enough reason to ‘buy Belu’. But Belu has walked to the horizon and kept on going. In addition to giving all of its profits to WaterAid, Belu constantly strives to minimise its environmental impact in every possible way. This approach is reflected in the raw materials it chooses to use, the way it uses a virtual head office, its choices about how its products are distributed and the fact that it does not export its bottled water. Belu operates as a 100% carbon neutral business. Where it can, it reduces its carbon emissions and it offsets any remainder.
And it is a runaway success story. Collectively the majority of us want to help those in the world who are less fortunate than ourselves. Most of us can’t begin to imagine the reality of life where you don’t have adequate access to clean water. And large numbers of us are also concerned that the Earth cannot sustain our current lifestyle choices indefinitely and believe that we need to change our approach. You only need to look at Australia’s new Climate Council that crowd-funded over $800,000 in three days to appreciate the strength of feeling in this sector. And the idea that you could make a difference on both these fronts, just through your choice of bottled water, is genius and ground-breaking.
Belu has raised over £365,000 for WaterAid, transforming over 20,000 lives and is well on track to reach its target of raising £1 million for WaterAid by 2020.
Support for Belu comes from all quarters. Its still water is stocked in Sainsbury’s. You can order Belu Water when dining in a number of restaurants including Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia, Strada, Hard Rock Cafe, Fifteen and Nobu. Belu supplies water to the House of Commons and the House of Lords. And now, you can drink Belu Water at work, with the new Belu water cooler machine.
Recently, Belu collaborated with leading glass packaging specialist Rawlings to produce a lightweight glass bottle, that has been trademarked ‘Ethical Glass’. Ethical Glass is 18% lighter than previous Belu glass bottles. Its use will result in 850,000 kilograms of glass being saved each year in the manufacturing process. That is equivalent to 2.1 million wine bottles, and an 11% reduction in Belu’s carbon emissions. In addition, a royalty of up to 0.3 pence will be donated to WaterAid for each bottle purchased from the manufacturer. Annually this is currently expected to amount to a donation of £32,500, and will improve the lives of about 2,000 people who do not have clean water and sanitation. It just shows that individuals can make a real difference to serious issues, when we act collectively.
The Belu story is a great illustration of how you can run a successful business and produce multiple ‘social good’ outcomes simultaneously. You just need to be clear about your core business values and incorporate them into each aspect of the business in an authentic manner.
As always, I’d love to receive your comments. Do you buy Belu Water? How has Belu’s story inspired you to approach business differently?
You can either leave a message in the comments box below or contact me directly.