Karen Lynch has been the CEO of the social enterprise, Belu Water since 2011.
Under Karen’s leadership, Belu launched a new business model and set out to exemplify environmental standards in the bottled water industry. The business also pledged to donate all profits to end water poverty through an exclusive and contractual partnership with WaterAid.
Having previously pursued a corporate career in media at Emap plc (1989 – 2003) and finance at Barclays (2003- 2009), Karen became obsessed with waste and a desire to make a difference beyond satisfying shareholders in the traditional way. She explored the third sector and identified the opportunity to reinvent Belu.
Through delivery of a series of industry firsts, Belu indeed offers the most ethical choice in water service whether bottled mineral water or filtration and reusable bottles and carafes. Belu income is all from trading and so far, that has also enable the business to pass over £3 million to WaterAid -transforming over 200,000 lives with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene in poor countries worldwide.
With Karen at the helm, the company has been recognised with many awards. Belu was the first (and remains the only) UK drinks business to achieve the independent British Standard of carbon Neutrality PAS2060. Most recently and notably The Queen’s Award in Enterprise: Sustainable Development category in April 2017.
Karen is a passionate advocate for flexible and part time working firmly backing #hirememyway. She works 4-day week for Belu enabling a significant personal investment in the social enterprise sector.
Karen’s personal mission is to inspire other business and individuals that there is ‘a better and kinder way to do business’, ‘that through business we can solve some of the world’s problems at the same time’, through sharing the Belu and her personal stories and experiences.
She works directly with many charity and social enterprises and is an active mentor through The School for Social entrepreneurs and Expert Impact. The long list of mentees includes; From Babies with Love, Dusty Knuckle Bakery, Rubies in the Rubble and Change Please.
Karen is married to Scott, and mum to two girls, two border terriers. She has a passion for horses, growing vegetables and travel.