Beloka Water is a sustainable company that has sparked interest worldwide due to its innovative business model and passion for the earth. Recently, students from Helene-Lange-Schule in Hannover led by their teacher Mr Philip Wollenzien, conducted a school project analysing water from different locations all over the world. The students were particularly interested in Beloka Water due to its compliance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Our research showed that you have this interesting water (unknown to us until now), not filled in plastic bottles, only using glass,” said Mr Wollenzien in relation to the school project, “But what really makes your water so interesting to us is the fact that your whole product is produced in Australia. This is (in this day and age) an amazing exception, compared to every other ‘luxury’ water manufacturer.”
So, apart from the packaging and production, what exactly is it that stood out about Beloka Water?
From the conducted research the students found a clear commitment from Beloka Water to socially and environmentally responsible water production. In relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the student’s showed the strongest commitment to five key goals.
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
“Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development.” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/)
The students in Hannover found that Beloka Water produces mineral water of an excellent quality. The water is 100% unprocessed and contains a variety of nutrients, which promotes healthy living. In addition, they noted that the company uses its social media accounts to promote a healthy lifestyle, reinforcing messages to drink enough water, especially in arid zones.
The company also offers general information regarding maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and facts regarding water consumption. For example, the Beloka Water website contains not only product-specific information, but also important data about the risks of consuming water with high lead content. By taking positive steps to provide “more tips on ways to reduce ambient pollution” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/) Beloka Water is assisting the UN’s goal and ensuring “significant progress can be made in helping to save the lives of millions.” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/)
Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
“Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/economic-growth/)
The students also noted that Beloka Water is a socially responsible company in regards to employee conditions and economic growth. The students found that the company relies on a pleasant working atmosphere and pays employees a fair wage in line with Australian standards. Unlike some other companies that produce their products in poverty-stricken countries, there is no worker exploitation.
The students also noted that the company is committed to expansion, but not at the expense of the environment. When extracting water, Beloka Water follows all regulations of the Australian Water Authority to ensure that market growth is not favoured over the continued vitality of natural capital.
Further, the report showed that Beloka Water only uses products that are made in Australia to make the packaging and bottle caps. Such a commitment to local production conveys a holistic approach to sustainable economic thinking. There is no outsourcing so the ecological footprint of the product is reduced, while providing sustainable job creation within Australia.
The UN Sustainable Development report states, “sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment.” Beloka Water epitomises this value.
Goal 9: Industry, innovation, infrastructure
“Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/infrastructure-industrialization/).
Beloka Water is not only innovative in terms of its social policies, but also its technology, the Hannover students found. The company relies on a state-of-the-art pump system, which extracts water with optimal purity from the source. In addition, this technological innovation allows water to be taken with the least possible intrusion into the environment while also saving resources.
“Technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen,” states the UN’s Sustainable Development goals. While Beloka Water is currently harnessing its technology in a developed nation, such progress in innovation could have positive effects if shared with developing communities in the future.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
“Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all.” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-production/)
A key interest of the students was how responsible companies and consumers are when it comes to water consumption and production. They found that Beloka Water complies with the regulations of Australian Water Authority and are in line with global water withdrawal concerns. The students commented that all water withdrawal and intervention methods can have follow-on effects that are not immediately apparent, but which are minimised by Beloka Water’s regeneration of the natural reservoir from where it draws its water.
In addition, the students investigated the company’s sustainability principles and found that its production maintains high standards by producing goods within Australia, and reducing imports from low-wage countries. This not only shows responsibility to reducing the carbon footprint, but also in maintaining sight over the entire supply chain and rejecting low wage production possibilities. With all the glass bottles made on average from 42% recycled material, the company remains ahead of competitors in terms of its eco-sensibilities.
The UN states that “since sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” net welfare gains from economic activities can increase by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole life cycle, while increasing quality of life.” They also say that, “there also needs to be significant focus on operating on supply chain, involving everyone from producer to final consumer. This includes educating consumers on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing them with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.” Beloka Water has a strong focus on sustainability across the entire supply chain and firmly supports these objectives.
Goal 13: Climate Action
“Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is likely to surpass 3 degrees centigrade this century. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/)
In today’s fast-moving society, where climate concern is a global issue, companies have a responsibility to take climate action. The Hannover student report showed that the environmentally friendly packaging and domestic production techniques used by Beloka Water reduced unnecessary CO2 emissions and minimised impact to the environment. By using almost 50% recycled glass, there is less need to produce new materials, which further reduces CO2 output.
It is important to note the significance of domestic production, which replaces international transport routes, mainly by container ships. Traditionally this mode of transport has a negative carbon footprint. However, the students noted that the company will need to continue to evaluate its shipping and production methods as it expands into Asia and Europe.
Beloka Water has a business model that recognises that businesses in developed countries have a responsibility to ensure that their actions don’t negatively impact those societies who are less equipped to deal with climate catastrophe. The UN states “it is still possible, using a wide array of technological measures and changes in behaviour, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.” Beloka Water appears to be committed to making every effort to ensure global warming doesn’t exceed this threshold.
The future looks bright
After conducting their research, the students from Helene-Lange-Schule were satisfied with Beloka Water’s sustainability approaches. While the product is not yet available in Germany, the company sent samples of the water for the class to taste so they could be even better informed about the product. “The students had a really great time,” said Mr. Wollenzien “we enjoyed every last sip of your marvellous water.” The company was extremely pleased to learn that its product was not only pleasing consumers, but also sparking inspiration in eager young minds.
Beloka Water recognises that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and is excited to be able to provide a positive example to the generation to come. When children see companies making a positive commitment to sustainable growth and production, their minds are opened to the possibilities of what the production and consumption of tomorrow can look like. Not only for water, but for the products encompassed in all sectors.
The flow-on effects are priceless.