Researchers from the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact, University of Northampton, have been engaging with the CEO of leading social enterprise Belu water, Karen Lynch, and her operations, marketing and sales teams over the last two months. Belu have kindly agreed to be one of the case study social enterprises (SEs) in the research being undertaken on New Generation Social Enterprises (as part of the FP7 funded Enabling the Flourishing and Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship for Innovative and Inclusive Societies project – EFESEIIS) and there are plans for further meetings, shadowing and a workshop event over the next few weeks. Karen has been instrumental in the conversion of Belu from a campaigning brand with £1.8m debts to a highly profitable, multi-award winning consumer brand with a positive balance sheet.
Belu is an award – winning ethical business and one of the UKs leading SEs.
The company produces British bottled mineral water, which is found in many prestigious places such as the House of Commons and Sony Music, and is also sold in the UKs best and largest hotel and restaurant outlets such as Zizzi, Bella Italia and the Intercontinental Hotel Group to name a few. All Belu’s profits go their charity partner WaterAid.
Since their partnership began, in June 2011, Belu have given £1,003,290 to WaterAid, this money will transform the lives of over 66,886 people in some of the world’s poorest communities by providing access to clean water and safe sanitation.
Belu began with a simple idea – there is a better way to do business. At Belu they believe that business can reduce its impact on the planet and use its profits to do good, in their case through funding clean water and hygiene and sanitation projects through the partnership with WaterAid. They work hard to reduce their environmental impact and what they can’t minimise they offset, they were the UK’s first carbon neutral bottled water.