- Product: Carbon-Neutral and Ethically Sourced water, tonics and mixers
- Purpose: To address global water issues and transform lives worldwide with clean water and decent toilets
- What can we learn? Don't be afraid of collaboration
You don’t have to do all the work on your own to be an effective purpose-driven business. In fact, collaborating with the right people and organisations can actually make you all the more impactful. Take inspiration from Belu. They partnered with a relevant and highly acclaimed charity, WaterAid. Their coalition enables both parties to take care of their own areas of expertise and to deliver on both sides to a high standard. Had they not chosen to come together, their impact would perhaps not have been so profound.
What's Belu's story?
Belu Water are a UK based not-for-profit organisation that provide an ethical drinks range and quality filtration systems to UK hospitality & corporate sectors. They’re a value-led business that embody an environment-first approach to their decisions, demonstrating that a locally-sourced water brand is more than capable of tackling global water issues.
Belu go above and beyond the status quo when it comes to engaging their consumers in creating positive impact. They donate 100% of their profits to their charity partner Wateraid, having donated more than half a million pounds since they were founded in 2002. Their model is unique in that it has two parts. First, Belu - a trading business looking to generate profit and second, WaterAid - a charity partner that invests that profit in ending global water poverty. WaterAid are responsible for delivering resources, but the two organisations synergise, creating both a successful business and critical social impact. Though this business model isn’t viable for everyone, Belu demonstrates that a fervent commitment to a cause is by no means financially limiting. Having meticulously aligned their business with their charity partner, they’ve cultivated a distinct identity that’s enabled them to make ‘waves’ as a top-performing product in the market they occupy.
What can we learn?
Belu live and breathe their purpose, maintaining their passion for sustainability beyond their supply chain. In an interview with Encirc, Co-CEO Natalie Campbell, explains Belu's holistic approach to sustainability, describing it as "thinking about our actions and what impact our actions will have on the generation we are yet to meet. Yes that’s environmental, but that’s also about how we treat our neighbours, the communities around us, how we go to bed at night knowing that we’ve been honest and respectful.” Natalie explains an ideology rooted in long term thinking, one that’s ultimately “more profitable for everyone, if you take profits beyond monetary value”.
Belu are an example of an organisation where purpose isn’t an add on, embodied to score marketing points. Instead, it lies at the core of everything they do. Natalie captures the importance of purpose in business today when explaining that “it’s the core of who we are. Now that means our values align to, yes being a successful commercial business, but thinking at every stage… how can we do better by society, how can we do better by the planet, how can we create brilliant sustainable supply chains and ecosystems of people around us that are going down a journey of doing zero harm to the planet.” Belu are certainly true pioneers of purpose, demonstrating great authenticity and credibility in their field.