For this week’s blog I chose to profile Mike Del Ponte the CEO of Soma Sustainable water filters. A few blogs back I wrote about the water crisis and how important I think it is for companies to take on the challenge of improving water quality and take better care of our “running low” resources. Mike Del Ponte majored in Theology at Boston College and then later studied Religion at Yale. After his impressive academic career he followed his passion for being involved and traveled to Nepal to be a Microfinance consultant. In Nepal he worked on helping Nepalese women start their own business and launch their career paths. He then returned to the U.S and started a brand water filter and failed. Mike Del Ponte moved on again in February 2012 while keeping the water crisis in mind by starting Soma, which manufactures carafes and water filters.
Soma the stylish sustainable water filters consists of a team of 12 people working hard to relay the mantra of the company which is to “Raise your glass to ending the water crisis”. Mike Del Ponte’s vision for the company is to hydrate the world with healthy drinking water. An interesting aspect of the company is that they partner with charity water and launch limited edition projects to bring safe drinking water to places where clean water is scarce. Soma is also B-Corp certified as of August 2014, they are passionate about their certification throughout all aspects of their company such as how their products are made, mission, giving back such as charity water, and work life experiences. Soma is also included in the Made to Matter collection which consists of leading natural brands that are organic and sustainable, “designed to be better for everyone”. Soma has four pillars of sustainability that explain ending the Global water crisis, reducing global impact, green products and packaging, and being responsible supply chain partners. Mike Del Ponte values sustainability and B-Corp and considers it to be apart of the DNA of the company.
The water filters are produced in a creatively sustainable way, the filters themselves are plant-based, meaning they replaced the typical petrolium based filter and instead uses plant-based filters made from renewable materials. They take coconut shells and heat treat them to make a special type of carbon rather than using the typical one, which produces a highly absorbent carbon. Also Soma provides convenience and delivers Soma filters.
I chose Mike Del Ponte because labels himself not as the CEO but as the Chief Officer of Hydration, the rest of his team also has water related positions. In an interview Mike Del Ponte was asked what advice to give to young entrepreneurs, My No. 1 piece of advice is for someone to discover their calling. Regardless of what that is, the most important thing is to find out why you were put on Earth and to do that thing. “The best advice I ever received is, if you want to find your calling, you have to answer these three questions: What am I best at, what brings me joy, and what does the world need?”
I feel strongly about the water crisis and can relate to the values of Mike Del Ponte, wanting to create change by developing a creative designed sustainable company while keeping a mission of giving back. I would include his values into my own company because I think I too would strive to create a company that helps relief a major crisis such as one with water.