The vision of Waiakea is to promote a powerful brand that is geared toward a healthy lifestyle to help inspire a dramatic change in the industry of water. Waiakea desires to give consumers water that they can feel good about not only while drinking it, but because their water is good for the world. Traditionally, the water bottle industry is not engaged with the environment or the globe on a deeper level, but Waiakea has a goal toward sustainability, bringing people closer together with the world around them just by drinking water.
The vision of sustainability, founded by CEO Ryan Emmons originated from the entrepreneur program at the University of Southern California, where he noticed a niche for sustainability that had yet to be filled in the bottle water industry. Every other water has its own exotic backstory, claiming to have originated from clear waters or springs. Now, those large bottled water companies may have fancy designs or labels, which Waiakea promotes as well, but the other water companies do not address the trend of consumers toward environmentally friendly products. Waiakea understands these trends and promotes environmentally friendly packaging, social causes, special elements such as minerals, electrolytes, and an alkaline pH that is naturally occurring to ensures powerful lifestyle brand. All the unique elements of Waiakea stem from its origin in a Hawaiian volcano. The special volcanic minerals help make Waiakea taste smooth and unique in comparison to regular water.
When CEO Ryan Emmons got the idea for Waiakea, he was working with clean water NGO’s in SubSaharan Africa. He knew that an integral part of his mission at Waiakea would have to be conservation and environmental education starting at home, in Hawaii. Africa has a definitive need for clean water, since they have the lowest per capita consumption and accessibility of water in the world. Emmons noticed similarities between access to water in Africa and the poverty that exists outside of Hawaii’s resorts.
That realization prompted Emmons to create the Waiakea brand with his family and cofounder Matt. The inception of Waiakea was focused on three pillars: Health, Sustainability, and Ethics/Charity. When Waiakea launched in 2012, these elements were at the forefront of the company.
Hawaii has a practice and motion of “malama i ka ‘a¯ina” that encourages people to live sustainably with the environment around them. Waiakea takes this notion to heart, becoming the first premium bottled water in the U.S. to be certified CarbonNeutral® because of its multiple sustainability initiatives. Waiakea also became the first premium water in the country to use 100% RPET bottles that have a 90% smaller C02 and water impact than other water companies.
Plastic with a Purpose
Waiakea also commits to protecting the world around it by actively participating in Hawaiian reforestation efforts to offset the effects of its shipping and operations to a net effect of zero. Lastly, the beautiful aquifer that pools at the bottom of the volcano Waiakea sources from has a sustainable yield of hundreds of millions of gallons per day. In addition, Waiakea is launching the first completely recyclable and biodegradable bottle in the industry. Waiakea has produced its bottles to degrade at an accelerated rate of nearly 98 percent in order to decrease the amount of trash just sitting in the earth. Since “Ordinarily, plastic will take more than a millennium to naturally biodegrade, hence its poor reputation as having a large ecological footprint. However, with TimePlast, we are able to accelerate the degradation process significantly, turning the plastic’s lifespan from 1,500-years to a reasonable 15-years” according to Ryan Emmons.
The groundbreaking initiative marks yet another significant leap toward total sustainability from the award-winning beverage brand.
Waiakea is a founding partner of TimePlast, the first and only patented additive for the nano-degradation of plastic in the world. In introducing the additive, Waiakea’s bottles will degrade more than 97 percent faster than traditional plastic bottles, while still being fully recyclable, making sustainable waste management a reality at last.
These new sustainable bottles are already 100 percent RPET, meaning they are made entirely out of post-recycled bottles. Plastic eventually slowly degrades into carbon-based wax. It takes more than one thousand years for this degrading process to occur. The TimePlast technology added in the Waiakea’s bottles during the manufacturing process substitutes traditional chemical bonds in plastic with simpler links. Ultimately, the result is a completely new, nano-degraded plastic that is weakened, and therefore conceives a drastically shorter ecological footprint on the earth.
In terms of the quality and function of untreated water bottles, Waiakea’s TimePlast bottles are virtually indistinguishable from these other bottles. TimePlast also decreases the total carbon footprint of plastic by 65 percent. Manuel Rendon, the creator of TimePlast states “It took us five years and over 1,200 experiments in order for the end polymer chain to maintain every single variable quality that regular plastic has. We are so excited to finally launch our product with a socially conscious brand like Waiakea. Ryan and his team have been amazing to work with over the years. They truly believe they can positively impact the world with this technology.”
Ryan Emmons hopes that this new initiative will lead to an overall increased trend toward sustainability. Adopting environmentally friendly technology is not only revolutionary, but has a commercial advantage. Just one pound of TimePlast can alter one thousand pounds of plastic. Therefore, leading to an inexpensive application that could easily be done by the bottled beverage industry.
Sustainability and Stewardship
Waiakea has an award-winning platform full of programs to help the environment. Not only is Waiakea actively working to protect the environment, they also donate over 2% of their revenue towards local and environmental charities. Furthermore, for every liter of Waiakea water that is bought, Waiakea donates a week’s supply of clean water to people in Malawi thanks to its partnership with Pump Aid. Since its formation in 2012, Waiakea has already saved thousands of lives. The truly ethical nature of Waiakea has helped transform the industry of bottled drinks, and is constantly working to provide a better world for future generations.
Read our previous article on Waiakea water!