How Waiakea Water Became One of the Fastest Growing Companies in America


Take a walk down the beverage aisle in any local supermarket and you will discover countless brands touting their natural, purified, or spring waters. However, it can be hard to get behind a bottled water brand. Besides the negative impacts prepackaged water can have on the environment, a significant number of the spring water sold by these different bottled water companies is the same as the water coming from the tap in your home. Considering this, it can be difficult to find a reliable bottled water brand.

Waiakea Hawaiian Bottled Water may be what you’re looking for. The brand sources its water sustainably and maintains an eco-conscious approach, and the water itself tips the pH scale at 8.8. What’s more, the water is naturally alkaline, which means no added chemicals or processing goes into the bottling of Waiakea water.

To get a better understanding of how Waiakea water came to be and how it is turning the bottled water market on its head, we have to start at the beginning.

Where Waiakea Volcanic Water Got its Start
Founded in 2012, Waiakea Volcanic Bottled Water was the first company to use Hawaiian volcanic water and merge it with a sustainable, healthy platform, that offered philanthropic and environmental initiatives. This naturally alkaline water is produced using a unique filtration process that allows the water to naturally filter through 14,000 feet of porous volcanic rock deep inside the Mauna Loa volcano. Due to the fact it rains almost 360 days of the year at that location, there is an endless supply of flowing water.

Unlike other water bottling companies that allow their water to sit for months or years in an aquifer and get stagnant, the Waiakea brand bottled water gets its alkalinity from naturally occurring minerals that are present in the volcano and a quick bottling process. Due to the natural presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium, Waiakea Volcanic Bottled Water already has a natural pH of 8.8. The company is not only making premium tasting water, they contribute and promote clean water access and conservation to those in need throughout the world. Waiakea water donates three percent of their revenue towards non-profits and local community programs.

Positive Recognition of Waiakea Water
It is one thing to say Waiakea water is premium tasting and packed with antioxidants, it is another to hear firsthand account from those drinking the water. Recently, the brand was voted #1 volcanic water by And don’t let the sleek design of the bottle fool you–they are the world’s greenest water manufacturer on the planet, and the first bottled water company to receive a CarbonNeutral rating. The company made the list of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in America, coming in at number 414. That puts the Waiakea Water company in a more exclusive Inc. 500 list as well, with the likes of Timberland, Microsoft, Under Armour, and Zappos.

The ranking of these companies is based on the percentage of their revenue over a three-year span, and tens of thousands of companies were considered for the prestigious honor. Ryan Emmons, the founder of Waiakea Water, says he and his entire staff are honored to be recognized in such company.

Waiakea Water Overview and Business Model
Perhaps what really sets Waiakea water apart from the hundreds of other water bottling companies is their triple bottom line business model. This business model is quite unique in that it involves eco-friendly, healthy, and ethical initiatives. As if that wasn’t enough to separate themselves in this extremely crowded industry, Waiakea Water is the first premium bottled water that utilizes 100% RPET water bottles and is certified to be CarbonNeutral. The company has received many awards for water quality taste, and continues to take profits and give to worthy causes around the world.

Waiakea Water donates water and resources to non-profits in Hawaii, and a week’s supply of clean water to those in need in Malawi through their charitable clean water partnership with Pump Aid. Through these endless contributions, Waiakea Water has transformed the lives of thousands in only a few short years. Waiakea has shown that it’s possible for any business to flourish while maintaining its moral responsibilities to the planet and inhabitants during the process.

Waiakea Water Philanthropic and Environmental Initiatives
Part of the reason for the huge success of Waiakea Water has to do with their philanthropic and environmental initiatives. Securing sustainable and safe water supplies in Malawi is more than sending bottled water to help people who need clean water, it is about using a systematic approach that will put the community at the center of the overall effort. The team at Waiakea Water is not just sending products to help, they are sending teams of people who are working closely with those community members to identify ideal locations to install Pump Aid elephant pumps. The teams at Waiakea Water will arrive to the location, dig the well, build and then assemble the body of the pumping system, while the community chips in by provides raw materials needed to complete the assembly.

By working with the local community in this manner, the team at Waiakea Water helps to provide those in need a feeling of ownership of the project so they can then pass on those building techniques to others that are in need to ensure sustainability. When the locals are able to develop the technical skills to maintain or build more pumps, they can in turn increase overall district pump building capacity. Waiakea’s community empowerment teams become engaged with village members at the start to properly access their needs, conduct baseline surveys, and ensure participation to better monitor and evaluate the overall effort. Waiakea and Pump Aid have already made measurable results, from fewer locals with preventable water-borne illnesses, a decrease in malnutrition, and an increase in the amount of children attending school.

Waiakea is Helping at Home in Several Ways
Although efforts abroad are having a positive impact on many communities, Waiakea doesn’t forget where it comes from. The company is dedicated to advancing academic success for local Hawaiians through the Kama’aha Education Initiative. This program is designed to implement and support technology, science, math, arts, and engineering programs grounded in past and current Native Hawaiian knowledge. The company believes that once the mission has been ultimately achieved, Native Hawaiians will thrive and be empowered, giving them the ability to possess skills necessary to further their educational, social, financial, and political interests in the global community.

Waiakea volcanic water may have originated in Hawaii, but the company is positively impacting communities around the world. The company is seeing huge financial success due in part to using the natural power of a volcano to generate delicious and healthy bottles of water, and a speedy bottling process that allows natural minerals and antioxidants to improve the taste of the water. The company is not limited to distribution in the United States, Waiakea Water distributes to countries that demand high quality water. The team at Waiakea are adamant their product will change and save lives. The goal of the company is to expand throughout sub-Saharan Africa within a few years.

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