There’s a bottled water company based in Hawaii that is making quite a splash. Waiakea Hawaiian Bottled Water is the first of its kind to offer volcanic drinking water. Waiakea has grown immensely over the past three years, and it competes with well-known companies like Patagonia, GoPro, Zappos, Under Armour, and even Microsoft. This Hawaiian water bottle company even falls at number 414 on the Inc. 500 list of the quickest growing companies in the US. The CEO of Waiakea, Ryan Emmons, is thrilled by his company’s success, and on October 10th he will be attending the 2017 Inc. 500 conference, where he will be honored on the organization’s list of elite companies.
What is Waiakea Water?
Waiakea is more than just the average water bottle company. For starters, the water comes from reserves that regularly accumulate in the Muana Loa Volcano peak (one of the world’s most pure natural water sources). The water goes through a natural purification process by flowing through the volcano’s porous lava, and as it is being purified, it’s also infused with a number trace mineral. This entire process makes the water alkaline and electrolyte-rich while giving it a crisp and refreshing taste.
The company was founded in 2012, and it’s even the first American bottled water to be certified as CarbonNeutral due to its many eco-initiatives. Waiakea takes part in regional reforestation projects, works with sustainable sourcing, and uses 100% environmentally friendly packaging. This company’s main mission is to provide consumers with healthy and delicious water while having the least environmental impact as possible.
What Makes Waiakea Unique?
Waiakea implements a triple bottom line model that puts a focus on the planet and its people. The company takes a very different approach when it comes to its business model, and they distance themselves from singular profit while putting a special focus on developing a lifestyle brand that inspires change.
The brand supports and works with charities that deal with conserving the environment, education, and clean water access programs. Since the company began, they have been recognized world wide for their innovative approach. The company has even implemented a number of reforestation projects in Hawaii and worked with various charity organizations that provide clean drinking water to regions that are in need.
Although the company uses environmentally friendly packaging, their goal is to use fully biodegradable water bottles by the end of 2017.
Along with Waiakea’s mission to provide customers with premium volcanic drinking water, the company was also started with the goal to bring change to the environment and its people. With that in mind, Waiakea donates 650 liters of water for every liter that is purchased to different areas of the world that are in need.
The company has also partnered up with Pump Aid, and together they work towards helping struggling communities in different regions of Africa. After having partnered up with Pump Aid, over 1.35 million people now have access to drinking water and basic sanitation. They also work together to zone in on poor communities and help create more job opportunities for those in need. Furthermore, Waiakea and Pump Aid have established programs to help struggling women in Africa, assist children in getting an education, and reduce cases of illness and malnutrition in high-risk communities.
The Man Behind the Idea
If you’re curious about who started such an incredible company, it all comes down to one man: Ryan Emmons. Before starting his company, Emmons was deeply involved in clean water NGO’s throughout Africa. As a Hawaiian resident, he also couldn’t ignore the obvious fact that in his home state there were serious issues with unemployment and poverty which all had an undeniable root in a lack of access to education. While taking part in an entrepreneur program at USC, he was inspired to become involved in the premium bottled water industry. He realized that there weren’t any companies addressing issues with the environment, social causes, and functionality all at once. With this in mind, he put together the Waiakea brand alongside his cousin and co-founder, Matt Meyer.
In 2012, Emmons launched his brand, and since then, it has become one of the fastest growing premium bottled water brands in the US. His success has caught the attention of several organizations, and Waiakea has been awarded several prizes including the 2015 Food and Beverage Innovation Award, the Most Socially Responsible Company in North America (by Best Biz Awards), and The Most Elite Bottled Water on the Market (Dujour Awards). He was also named a Bridge Entrepreneur by Social Venture Network, and he was Featured on Beverage World Magazine due to the company’s involvement in charities and its unique social platform.
A Sustainable and Healthy Alternative
We are currently living in an age where many people are no longer purchasing bottled water simply because they produce an unnecessary amount of waste. Added on to that is the fact that very few water bottle brands get their water from springs or other natural sources, but instead, sell purified city water. As time has passed, people have woken up to the fact that spending money on bottled tap water just isn’t worth it, but Ryan Emmons’ brand offers something completely different.
Waiakea Water comes from a pure source. It goes through a natural purification process thanks to the lava surrounding the water reserves, and it also has a unique mineral and pH composition. Unlike most leading water bottle brands, Waiakea is enriched with essential minerals like silica, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. This premium grade water is also packaged in an environmentally friendly and renewable plastic material.
All of these features make Waiakea a completely unique product, but even more impressive is the fact that your purchase helps struggling communities in Africa gain access to clean drinking water.
Waiakea delivers more than just a product but an initiative to change the world. Ryan Emmons and his brand are entering the market with a groundbreaking mindset that might change how we see what it means to be an entrepreneur. Could Waiakea open the doors to like minded professionals and start a new wave of self-sustainable businesses?
Anything is possible, but we will just have to wait and see.