In 2012, a man named Ryan Emmons decided that he was going to share an amazing gift that he, together with his family, had enjoyed for years: clean, healthy, nourishing drinking water. Not regular tap water or typical bottled spring water, but delicious and healthful Hawaiian Volcanic Water. Emmons’ vision became a reality thanks to Waiakea, the premium bottled water company he founded to deliver to millions healthy, sustainable and ethical drinking water that continues to improve people’s lives far beyond simply quenching their thirst.
From the outset, Waiakea was never about the mere pursuit of profit. The company adopted the triple bottom line approach to business. It measures its performance and success in terms of financial, social and environmental progress (which we’ve talked about here). The initiatives championed by the company are among the reasons its market share continues to grow and its customers’ and community’s life continues to improve greatly.
Economic Progress Coupled with Environmental Awareness
The world is becoming increasingly conscious of its impact on the environment, and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses such as Waiakea are aware that they have an ethical obligation to play a part in protecting the planet. As a result, Waiakea has for years been on the forefront for promoting green manufacturing practices and encouraging its partners and customers to do their part in keeping planet earth healthy.
At the very least, every business is expected to exercise responsibility in the way in which it consumes resources during the manufacturing process. Strict adherence to environmental regulations is another high standard to which businesses should hold themselves even as they pursue economic gain. In this regard, Waiakea has received numerous awards in North America.
Health Benefits of Alkaline Hawaiian Volcanic Water
The source from which Waiakea gets its water is found southwest of Hilo town in Hawaii. With millions of square miles of ocean surrounding it and being thousands of miles away from industries, there is no doubt about the purity of the water that emanates from the source.
As a result of the unique properties of the water, Waiakea describes its water as Hawaiian Volcanic Water. Among these properties is alkalinity. Waiakea has a pH level of 8.8, which occurs when after running through a natural filter expanding thousands of feet through porous Mauna Lao volcanic rock, the water becomes naturally enriched with minerals such as sodium, magnesium, potassium and chloride.
Alkaline water is water that has a pH level of above 7, whereas acidic water has a pH of less than 7. The level of alkalinity of the water we consume affects our health because of its impact on the body cells and tissue. Emerging research suggests that alkaline water serves to neutralize excess acid in the human body. A 2012 study found that intake of alkaline water that has a pH level of 8.8 is useful in deactivation of pepsin, the primary enzyme responsible for acid reflux.
Additionally, a study carried out more recently found that there is a considerable change in a person after drinking water with a high pH compared to regular tap water even after laborious physical activity. Ardent supporters of alkaline water believe that it offers a number of health benefits including properties that help with colon cleansing, anti-aging, detoxification and hydration. Other benefits include providing some form of cancer resistance and support for the immune system. Note, however, that research on these benefits is ongoing.
Important to note is that there is a significant difference between the benefits of Waiakea alkaline water, which has naturally occurring alkalinity, and bottled water with artificial alkalinity. One of the main differences is in the process through which the water becomes alkaline. For Waiakea, the water passes through porous volcanic rock and absorbs minerals that lead to its alkalinity.
On the other hand, artificial alkaline water is produced through a chemical process referred to as electrolysis. In this process, a product known as an ionizer is used to increase the pH level of the bottled water. The manufacturers of ionizing products claim that in order to separate the acidic and alkaline molecules in the water, electricity is used and the acidic water is funneled out thereafter. It behooves any person concerned about their overall health to give preference to water that contains an adequate level of naturally occurring minerals. This is strongly advised in a World Health Organization (WHO) study that warns against intake of low-mineral-content water.
As with other well-established companies in the fast moving consumer goods industry, the top priorities of Waiakea are to provide a product that not only appeals to the customers’ taste but one that is also safe and healthful. This is in line with the triple bottom line approach mentioned earlier.
The Role Played by Waiakea in Resolving the Global Water Crisis
Globally, there is an increasing shortage of safe, clean drinking water. Close to 1 billion people across the globe do not have access to this basic human need. Unfortunately, a majority of individuals and organizations waste it. A lot of people easily forget that water is the foundation of life and that there are many out there who are in constant search of it, day after day.
What’s more, in places such as sub-Saharan Africa, the disproportionate time that people (girls and women, especially) spend in search of this vital resource and consequently becoming victims of waterborne diseases cripple their potential and hinders personal and community development. As a result of the loss of the opportunity for getting a basic education, these people are also unable to reach their economic potential and are therefore stuck surviving and suffering needlessly.
Waiakea is aware of the problem, and it has over the years demonstrated its commitment to being part of the solution. One of the initiatives that the company engages in is the donation of water to those that lack. For every liter of water that is bought from Waiakea, the company donates 650 liters of safe, clean water to people in areas where there is an acute shortage. Waiakea does this in conjunction with Pump Aid, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing those communities with clean, sustainable water solutions.
To learn more about Waiakea’s degradable bottles, click here!