The Story of Svalbarði

Svalbarði / svahl-bar-thee / cold coasts

The term medieval Scandinavian sailors used to describe the ice-covered lands at the top of the world

The product is as unique as the story of its conception: in 2013, Norwegian-American Jamal Qureshi collected meltwater as a gift for his wife while travelling in the Norwegian island territory of Svalbard – one of Europe’s last great wildernesses. The pure water would make for a delicious cup of tea, he thought. Four years later, and the whimsical, selfless thought has transformed into an epicurean product, which is redefining the very notion of pure drinking water.

With approval from the Governor of Svalbard, Mr. Qureshi charters an icebreaker – the Ulla Rinman - and seeks out the purest of icebergs in Kongsfjorden, just 1,000km from the North Pole at 79° north. As fresh as the day it fell as snow up to 4,000 years previously, 15 tonnes of ice is gathered by the Svalbarði crew. The ice is then gently melted in a specially constructed machine and bottled by hand, capturing the best drinking water in its cleanest form. In order to retain the water’s natural composition and premium taste, no chemistry-altering filters are used, only micron filters and UV light to adhere to international standards. Each expedition yields 13,000 bottles of pure drinking water; each batch is therefore a limited edition. The product can be shipped around the world.

Based in the Arctic outpost of Longyearbyen – an important centre for global warming research – Svalbarði is an environmentally friendly company with a marked interest in raising awareness for polar and climatic research.

The company operates sustainably for the conservation of the Arctic environment in three main ways:

  • Firstly, Svalbarði is carbon neutral-certified. The company invests in a carbon-offsetting scheme, which supports projects around the world. These have included a wind farm in western China, and upgrades to local water infrastructure in Uganda and Malawi. Our pure drinking water is produced in an entirely sustainable manner.
  • Secondly, Svalbarði uses its position as a global company based in the Arctic to raise awareness of the vital role Svalbard plays in scientific research of global warming on an international scale. We work to make our online platforms a source of climate change education.
  • Thirdly, the company aims to mitigate the impact of global warming. Through a partnership with the Crop Trust, Svalbarði supports the preservation of food crop seeds representing 15 thousand years of human agriculture which are endangered by the changing climate.

“Svalbarði began with a dream to explore the Arctic. When I visited Svalbard for the first time I discovered the ice was exceptionally clean, with a delightful taste. As a gift for my wife, I gathered a little water and brought it home to make a cup of her favourite herbal tea. This set in motion the chain of events which created Svalbarði. My dream to visit Svalbard has become a passion to share it. I know few will ever be able to visit, but with Svalbarði people can taste the best drinking water from the ice at the top of the world."

Jamal Qureshi, Founder