Anna Kucinska
27 March 2015

UK social enterprise reaches its target of donating £1 million to charity

Founded in 2002, Belu is a London-based social enterprise that produces bottled water. It employs nine people. Their idea for a business was as follows – a better way to do business by reducing the company’s environmental impact and use all the profits to fund clean water projects.

The company is completely carbon neutral and sells the UK’s first carbon neutral bottled water. Their 100% carbon neutral status is audited. Their carbon footprint is measured, reduced and reported in an open and transparent way to achieve PAS2060, the highest standard for credible carbon neutral claims. This applies to the impact of all of Belu’s products. They do not export their products as this creates water miles and contributes to higher CO2 emissions, all their products are produced in the UK. The company aims at reducing their carbon footprint to the absolute minimum and offsets their remaining emissions by investing in carbon reduction projects that have both social and environmental benefits.

The company has developed the lightest clear glass bottles on the market through its Ethical Glass initiative and continues to explore opportunities to make their packaging even lighter. They also make bottles from green glass made with over 80% recycled materials and this reduces its carbon impact by a further 5% compared to clear glass. By creating a plastic bottle made with at least 50% recycled materials they have reduced our reliance on fossil fuel and are using plastic that otherwise might go to landfill. Their products are completely recyclable.

Belu is the exclusive bottled water partner of WaterAid, pledging all profits to help fund clean water projects in the world’s poorest communities. To date, it has donated £1 million to WaterAid since the partnership began in 2011, exceeding expectations and transforming the lives of over 66,000 people through improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest countries. 

- We are thrilled to have reached our £1 million target in such record time, comments Belu CEO Karen Lynch. Five years ago Belu was a drop in the ocean of bottled water brands, and the term “social enterprise” was barely heard of. Now, with such a strong partnership between Belu, WaterAid and our customers, we can say that our socially-conscious way of doing business is making a huge difference.

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid adds: It’s absolutely fantastic that Belu has reached its £1million target, and so far ahead of schedule. I’d like to say a very warm thank you to all the restaurants and individuals who’ve contributed to raising this incredible figure. Through our relationship with Belu, we are working together to transform lives around the world, bringing safe water and sanitation to those who need it most.