Today is World Water Day and almost a year since our world was turned upside down. The past 12 months have been a challenge for so many – loved ones lost, friends and families separated, livelihoods gone – this pandemic has spared no one. One day, in hindsight, we’ll look back at the long days, long walks, loud claps, and remember a different sense of togetherness, apart but not. This was the feeling at Belu, we knew we’d only survive if we worked together, while being apart. For a new CEO, and then Co-CEOs, creating a sense of togetherness was the backdrop for what has become our new 10-year horizon and purpose invitation.
So, what happened at Belu?
Let’s start with the finances.
We went from investing £2million in net profit over two years (into WASH and ending water poverty), to making an operating loss for the first time in many years. It’s been a hard pill to swallow, but, through everything, we stuck to our values of always putting people and the environment first.
Despite the losses we faced, we decided to invest £100,000 in bringing clean water, decent toilets and hygiene education to everyone, everywhere through our impact partner, WaterAid. Our commitment to the UN’s Global Goal 6 of ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all remains unwavering, particularly as the pandemic and a rapidly changing climate have made it harder than ever to access these basic human rights around the world.
On to our brand promise.
If clean water and sanitation for all is our heart, then creating a world where we put the environment first is our North Star. In this, we align with the UN Global Goals 12 (consumption and responsible production) and 13 (climate action), as well as the principles of a circular economy. In 2020, we reduced the carbon intensity of our products and business by 34% versus 2019 and our products have allowed nearly 80 million bottles to be made into new Belu bottles, keeping glass and plastic in our supply chain and out of landfills and oceans.
Where next for Belu?
The first lockdown gave us a unique opportunity to reset and reassess, to look forward, imagine and create a new 10-year horizon for Belu. It became clear that we needed investment to diversify our product range and reach new customers, which we secured. In addition, we worked on a refreshed purpose and started a progressive leadership structure as Co-CEOs. We’re excited to share the next chapter with you: Belu is a drinks business that puts people and the environment first. Our purpose goes beyond our products, by 2030 we will change the way the world sees water.
Belu is driven by this purpose and it is our invitation and promise to every person who chooses to buy us, it is core to every product and service we sell, and all of our profits are donated or invested in pursuit of it.
From April 12th
, you’ll see us in more places, not just in Mineral Water but also filtration as we go global with our award-winning sustainable water service for hospitality and workplaces. You’ll also see us in colour as we launch our new range of tonics and mixers in green glass, part of our ‘Belu Green Revolution’. And there is more to come…
As a final look back, and as we close the chapter on 2020 with our impact report, we feel incredibly lucky and optimistic about the future. Thank you to all of our amazing supporters, partners, customers and friends, without you, none of this would be possible.
And finally, we want to extend an open invitation to join us and Drink the Difference
because together, and only together, we’ll change the way the world sees water.
Nat, Charlotte and Team Belu.
View the full Impact Report here