Bjørn Wik is the CEO and founder of the Eco Friendly Water Brand, Pure Blue of Norway. Bjørn recently signed a contract with the Non-Profit organisation WATER is LIFE,which secures safe drinking water for children in need all over the world. This partnership is a match made in heaven Bjørn says. Now they can help saving the planet and children’s lives.He is truly passionate about environmental concerns and is clear about our obligation to save our planet, the oceans and the animals from the terrible plastic pollution. His biggest motivation is to succeed with something that has the potential to change the world. His slogan is: “Be the change! Change starts with YOU!”
What can you tell us about your childhood and upbringing? How it has influenced you?
My childhood was pretty normal. I was a shy little boy who behaved well most of the time. My parents taught me how to behave and respect both people and the nature. I did sports like most others. Swimming, skiing, and after 16 I started Taekwon-do which changed my life. Taekwon-do taught me to believe in myself, to work hard, to have discipline and respect. It also gave me self confidence and dedication. These gifts rewarded me with a gold medal in the world championships in the year 2000.
What I learned from Taekwon-do I have always brought with me into the jobs I´ve had. If you believe in something and you believe in yourself, then anything is possible!
Being an entrepreneur, how much would you think is due to nature, your genes, and how much is it instinct and nurture?
I think it is different from entrepreneur to entrepreneur but in my case it is definitely about instinct. I am very impulsive and dedicated to things I believe in. In the four years this journey has last so far I have met lots of obstacles and disappointments, but my dedication for the nature and environment keeps me fighting. Being an entrepreneur is something I don’t recommend if you don’t have enough passion for your idea.
What drew you to become involved with environment?
A few years ago I started to notice all the plastic-related problems in the world being posted on social media and it made me sad and angry. Then four years ago I got introduced to the idea of an eco friendly bottled water product and I immediately saw the potential of what this product can do. It has the potential to replace the plastic bottle, which will have a huge impact on nature. Only 9% of the plastic in the world gets recycled and a big part of that is plastic bottles. This is game-changing and something I believe can make a difference.
More and more cities and countries are banning single use plastics and cities and airports like San Fransisco has also started to ban plastic bottles with still water. This shows that we are moving in the right direction and I am confident that in a few years the plastic bottle will be obsolete and unavailable in the market.
My biggest motivation is that this is the way I can make a difference. I finally found my purpose in life. This is my mission! Being one of the first who are taking the steps towards a more eco friendly future. My sincere hope is that we will motivate others to do the same. We can’t save the planet alone….
Your say that ‘’change starts from you”. In your own words, how would you define the nowadays situation of the world and what do you wish changed for better?
We all see that the world has some major challenges with the environment. There is no question about it. It is about temperature rising, it is about the oceans having more nano plastic than we have stars in the sky, it is about fish and birds dying from eating plastic when they think it is food for them. There is no question about it! The world has a BIG challenge. The larger responsibility goes to the politicians and the UN but we all can make small changes for the better. Choose the eco friendly product instead of the non eco friendly. Change your habits. Use a reusable bag instead of buying plastic bags every time. Recycle every little plastic piece you use. Change your habits! Every little move you do for the nature will make you feel better! And it helps….Then you will be part of the change…
How is green entrepreneurship different or related to traditional profit-based businesses?
Being on the road promoting this eco friendly product has taught me one thing. Most of the big supermarket chains are very hard to deal with. They get paid from the big traditional producers to promote their products and give them a good location in the stores. This makes it very hard for new thinking, small companies with new eco friendly products to get through to the consumers. On the other hand, the importers, the distributors and hotel managers I have spoken to absolutely love this new eco friendly product. The consumers loves it so we will succeed in making it available for the consumers. It is all about availability. The consumers can’t choose it if it’s not in the stores.
The challenge is that money talks….We need distributors, hotels, and retail who are willing to make a change…so that’s what we do. We find the partners who believe in the product and the cause and we work hard together.
So, I believe that in green entrepreneurship we need to think different, use different channels than the traditional profit-based businesses.
What is your overall philosophy for leading an organisation?
Our organisation is still small and the philosophy is quite easy. I listen more than I speak, try to find the right persons for every position in the company, and I partner up with people and organisations whose knowledge and network I don’t have.
An example is my partner WATER is LIFE. They are an amazing non-profit organisation who secures safe drinking water for needy children in 46 countries. They save children every day.
I love what they are doing and they love what I am doing, so we are supporting each other. You can say we are a perfect match. I feel so lucky and blessed meeting and partnering up with these guys. They really are amazing and I want to encourage all the readers to check their website www.waterislife.com and support their mission. 1800 children under the age of 5 die every day from polluted water, so you understand the importance of their mission.
What words of wisdom would you give to our readers, either already successful or aspiring to succeed?
“Follow your heart”. It is a tough job to succeed as an entrepreneur so it has to be meaningful for you.
Where is your company heading to in the next 5 years?
Our goal is that within the next 5 years, Pure Blue of Norway will be in all the continents and easy to find for the consumers that want to make a difference. Pure Blue of Norway will be well known among the consumers. Not only for being eco friendly and supporting WATER is LIFE, but also for the quality of our Norwegian mountain water which tastes amazing.
Also, we are always looking for partners who can contribute, so if any of the readers feel the same as we do, that we need to change, and they have the right network or distribution, then please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.