THE BLOG

Belu Water Hits £1Million - And Transforms People's Lives

26/03/2015 10:51 GMT | Updated 25/05/2015 10:59 BST

We are thrilled to announce that this World Water Day Belu has donated an incredible £1 million to WaterAid's work since our award-winning partnership began in 2011. To put this into perspective, this donation can transform the lives of over 66,000 people, improving their access to clean water, hygiene and toilets.

Belu started with a simple idea - to transform the bottled water industry by reducing the sector's environmental impact and using 100% of its profits to fund clean water projects in the world's poorest communities. From humble beginnings, this mineral water has made a huge impact.

No doubt you'll have drunk Belu while dining out, or picked it up off the shelves in Sainsbury's. You've probably read about the innovative social enterprise (that's a business with a social mission) in the press. Stocked in restaurants and hotels across the country; from Jamie's Italian to Zizzi, Café Rouge to the Intercontinental Hotel Group, their socially conscious way of doing business has inspired many consumers, and customers in the hospitality industry to choose them as their favoured bottled water supplier.

While here in the UK we're able to turn on the tap, or for convenience buy a bottle of water, many millions of people around the world are not so lucky. A shocking 748 million people, that's one in ten of the world's population, do not have safe water to drink. Without clean water or toilets, people are trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease. Across the developing world, millions of women are wasting precious time collecting dirty water and children are dying from preventable diarrhoeal diseases.

WaterAid works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world's poorest communities. Our vision is of a world where everyone, everywhere has access to safe water and sanitation by 2030.

We are optimistic that the Sustainable Development Goals, which the UN nation states are currently discussing, will promote both the importance of water and sanitation for all and the importance of sustainable development.

Our partnerships with companies like Belu demonstrates a commitment to working together for a better world and gets us that one step closer to making our shared vision a reality.

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Lima, 12, washes her hands in clean water from a new water point in Kalshi Takar Baa, Dhaka, Bangladesh

WaterAid/GMB Akash/Panos

This week I had the privilege to thank Belu's loyal customers from some of the country's top restaurant chains. It was inspiring to meet major businesses demonstrating their commitment to our partnership. Raymond Blanc, a long standing supporter of Belu, chose to stock the bottled water in his restaurants because of the high environmental and ethical standards Belu represents, and the huge global impact they make with WaterAid.

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Front row:

Raymond Blanc, Barbara Frost (WaterAid), Karen Lynch (Belu), Jack Stein (Rick Stein Restaurants), Tom Molnar (Gail's Artisan Bakery)

Middle row:

Rebecca Di Mambro (Leon), David Loewi (D&D London), Simon Boyle (The Brigade), Kate Gibson (InterContinental Hotel Group), Louise Ludlam (Jamie's Italian), John Metcalf (Strada), Jamie Grainger-Smith (TED Restaurant)

Top row:

Hamish Stoddart (Peach Pubs), Jillian MacClean (Drake & Morgan), Andrew McKenzie (The Vineyard), Rupert Wyles (Bablake), Richard Martin (Belu), Marcus Missen (WaterAid)

(c) David Bostock

We first decided to work together because we were impressed by Belu's business model - a 100% carbon neutral bottled water company, donating 100% of their profits to WaterAid. We initially agreed that Belu would commit to donating £100,000 a year, with a goal to reach £1 million by 2020. Amazingly, Belu have reached this massive target five years early.

So although Belu started with a simple idea - the company is now a leading social enterprise in the UK, a trailblazer in British business, and one that we are proud to have as our partner. With our first ambitious target already surpassed with Belu, we're excited for the future, for the next £1 million and beyond, transforming the lives of many more communities, giving them hope and life through safe water to drink, sanitation and hygiene.

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Young girls Solo and Ze celebrate as water arrives in their village in Madagascar.

WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala