“In our post-crisis world, we are seeing consumers becoming more mindful about the consequences of their choices.” – EY Future Consumer Index
With lots of brands talking about what they are going to do in the future, I think it’s really important for us to start by saying we have over ten years of experience challenging the norm of what a drinks brand can do, we believe in the power of thinking outside the bottle. We think environment first, always. We don’t act based on fear of the competition, anyone working to meaningfully make the world better is a friend of ours, even if our methods differ.
Turning an ambitious purpose into practical actions
People often ask what it means to live this value in a practical sense. To summarise, it means we must do three things.
- Take full accountability of all the emissions created by our products and our business, from the generation of raw materials to end of life.
- Focus on reducing those emissions by continuously challenging the process and the introduction of new ideas and products published in our reduction delivery plans.
- Complete our work in measuring, reporting and offsetting our emissions to the Independent Standard of Carbon Neutrality, PAS 2060 – we’ve done this since 2010.
Belu exists for those who want to partner with or buy from a brand with purpose – balancing our impact on the planet with a sustainable business model whilst maximising our social aims, delivering an overall net positive result. We work in the most transparent and sustainable ways possible, holding ourselves and our partners accountable for ensuring our ethics are not compromised.
Every decision made is in pursuit of our brand promise
Here are some examples of how we have put this into practice:
- Holding firmly to our no export policy, despite the constant stream of enquiries. It would be wrong to ship such a heavy product overseas, it’s completely unnecessary.
- Championing closed-loop manufacturing, by turning used bottles into new bottles (almost 80 million so far!)
- Making and filling all our drinks bottles in the UK.
- Designing our bottles to be lightweight, reducing the amount of material required to make them.
- Maximising the use of recycled content and of course, everything remains 100% recyclable too.
- Launching our Belu Filter in Action business to support our customers reduce their reliance on single use, where possible.
- Introducing the Belu refillable into our range.
We are relentlessly focussed on delivering a low-carbon planet
Our total carbon footprint was 1403 tonnes CO2, a reduction of 75% vs 2019 which was 6016 tonnes CO2. Obviously this reduction was primarily as a result of our volumes dropping -68% year on year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however 5% of this reduction was delivered through our carbon reduction innovation.
81% of our carbon footprint is created from the raw materials we use to package our products so this is where we’ve focussed and consequently delivered a -5% carbon footprint reduction in 2020. The 3 key projects were:
Light-weighted ethical glass bottles.
Our new ethical glass bottles launched in Spring 2020. Created in collaboration with Encirc, we removed 15g of weight from our previous 750ml bottle to create the lightest UK-made glass bottle for still and sparkling water.
100% recycled plastic bottles
All our plastic range is made from 100% recycled PET and they’re still 100% recyclable. When considering a solution for on the go, recycled plastic is the answer. It has a much lower carbon footprint than cans and is easier to recycle than cartons.
Investing in filtration systems for a sustainable future
We advocate reducing single-use packaging wherever possible. Our solution for water is filtration as it has the lowest carbon footprint and still enables chilled still, sparkling and hot water to be served.
A low-carbon planet, not by 2025, 2030, or 2050, but today.
Our carbon footprint has once again been independently verified to the Independent Standard of Carbon Neutrality, PAS 2060. This requires us to make a forward commitment to further reduce our carbon impact, which keeps us focussed on continual improvement and innovation, an approach we have embedded in our purpose.
When all is said and done and we’ve made all the carbon reductions we can, we still have emissions that we must be accountable for. In 2020 we offset these emissions by investing in a community wind power project in Tamilnadu.
So, to our product future – it’s bright, it’s green and it’s international and of course, it’ll continue to be carbon neutral.