What. A. Year. In 2018, we took huge steps to spread our mission. Remember the Dopper mission? Of course you do, but we want to make sure those other readers get to know our mission as well, so here is a reminder: Dopper empowers people to choose reusable over single-use water bottles to protect our world’s water sources. And that is exactly what we did in 2018. With your help we prevented about 11,786,280 kilos of single-use plastic from entering our oceans. Hell yeah! We kicked some single-use plastic ass for sure. How? Read on and find out.
“Dopper is all about impact. We want to change people’s behaviour regarding single-use plastic water bottles. Not an easy task, but in 2018 we started a tidal wave that is hard to ignore. A brand new product line of ocean-saving bottles, one of our biggest awareness campaigns yet in New York and educational projects that are encouraging a whole new generation of changemakers to take action. We are on fire!” (which is pretty impressive for a company that’s all about water).
If you don’t know your behaviour is a problem, you’re not going to fix it. But how can you show people the impact of single-use plastic without pointing the blame? Make it fun! That’s right, plastic pollution as entertainment or art. This is the way to evoke an emotional reaction. The past few years, Dopper has collaborated with different artists to bring about change through art. But in 2018, we took it to a whole new level.
Every minute, more than 1 million single-use water bottles are purchased worldwide. To paint you a picture: that’s the amount that would be needed to build the Brooklyn Bridge out of plastic bottles! So, Dopper went to New York and actually built a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge out of thousands of single-use water bottles. On World Oceans Day, June 8th, we unveiled our plastic bridge on Times Square together with National Geographic Encounter and a couple of important people, like Sylvia Earle! We invited everyone to cross the bridge into a plastic-free world. And that was just the start… The unveiling of the plastic bridge was the kick-off of our educational tour. The bridge visited primary schools and a summer camp to spread our message with the help of a storybook, a theatre play, a lesson about plastic pollution and a song.
Make the drinkbus great again
So, we made quite some impact across the Atlantic. But also closer to home. In Belgium, Dopper was part of an episode of ‘Make Belgium great again’ about plastic pollution. The show showed people the consequences of plastic pollution when they accepted a free single-use plastic water bottle. And of course, they got a Dopper as an alternative. About 8600 people signed a pledge online to choose a reusable water bottle (a ‘drinkbus’) from now on. Which means over 1 million single-use water bottles are prevented from being used (and from entering our oceans)!
Dopper on stage
Every opportunity we get, we will share our mission to get more people aware of the plastic problem. If there’s a stage, we’ll hop on it. In 2018 there were some memorable moments: Merijn went to the NGF (Nederlandse Golf Federatie) gathering to get on stage and tell his story, Virginia just got off the plane from Nepal and shared her experience during TEDx Women, and our Marketing Manager Lenny got to pitch Dopper for Coolest Dutch Brands 2018 (we were in the top 6!).
Who has the power to change the future? Who will save our oceans? And - sad but probably true - who will have to? Our kids. The next generation. But that’s good news, because they are the most brilliant, creative and technically skilled young people you’ll ever meet! That’s why Dopper is reaching out to them, encouraging them to become real-life changemakers.
Plastic bridge on tour
Our plastic Brooklyn Bridge visited primary schools in and around New York to raise awareness about plastic pollution. There was a theatre play including a rapping panda, a storybook featuring a talking skunk, and a workshop from an artist to upcycle single-use water bottles. We were blown away by the kids’ reactions! We are certain that all of the over 5000 kids we reached, are now ambassadors for a single-use plastic free future. How cool is that?
What did you do with your thesis? Burn it? Print it out and store it in a box somewhere? Probably. Dopper wants to encourage students to do more, to make their graduation groundbreaking. So, in 2018, we held the second edition of the Changemaker Challenge, our competition for students that encourages them to focus their thesis on plastic and/or water pollution. We helped the finalists of this competition take their thesis to a next level. From creating a prototype of a washing machine filter to launching an awareness campaign about microplastics in cosmetics. You’re bound to see these ideas come to life sometime soon!
Changemaker Challenge Junior
In the Netherlands, we tried something new: we introduced the Changemaker Challenge Junior! A spin-off of the Changemaker Challenge. This primary school version of the competition challenged kids to come up with and design a solution to plastic pollution. It was only the first edition, so we modestly hoped to get about 100 schools to participate. And they did. As a matter of fact, over 15,000 kids entered our competition! And their solutions were absolutely brilliant. Our 12 groups of finalists got to build prototypes, like edible packaging and a drone named ‘the Trash bird’ that collects litter. We are definitely doing this again!
We add new colours and versions to our wide range of bottles every year, but not without thinking it through. Behind every new colour or product there’s an excuse that we want to tackle. You don’t like the look and feel of plastic? We introduced a stainless steel version. Is your old Dopper’s colour out of style? We introduced a colour that matches the latest fashion trends. We don’t want there to be any excuse left to not choose a reusable water bottle. No matter your style or how you prefer to drink your water - hot, cold, tepid - there is a Dopper for you! So, in 2018 we added a new colour and introduced an entire new product line.
The most popular colour in 2018 was our Dopper Pacific Blue, of which 308,647 were sold.
Trouble in paradise
We added some trouble to our perfect paradise collection: the Dopper Coral Red (limited edition). With this bottle, we celebrated our world’s reefs and raised awareness about the danger they are in.
All 39,560 Dopper Coral Red bottles were sold out within 3 months. And apparently, we were spot on trend, because Pantone proclaimed ‘living Coral’ colour of the year!
Saving the planet is cool. And hot.
Not even Elsa in a Blizzard could have been cooler than Dopper’s Seacret, the launch event of our newest product: the Dopper Insulated! This night, our very own dragon babies crawled out of the flames. Unburnt, and stunning. These bottles are responsibly produced and will keep your water hot for 9 hours and icy cold for 24. Cool/Hot huh? Just like their colours, Glacier Grey and Steamy Pink. This was a huge celebration. Over 300 people from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany attended the reveal party at Rapanui at the beach. Influencers, press, retailers, resellers and other Dopper ambassadors joined us and raised their Dopper Insulateds to clean oceans, while standing at the shore. And then, the party started. With the coolest of bands, fire breathing dancers and icy cold or scorching hot cocktails. A night to remember!
Our sustainable bottle isn’t just sustainable because it is preventing the use of single-use water bottles, it is also produced as sustainably as possible! Even though our Dopper Originals already got a cradle-to-cradle certification (at the silver level!), we won’t rest until our bottles are the best of and for the world!
Apart from constantly improving the manufacturing process and materials, we decided to hop on board with the Good Shipping Program! When our bottles are shipped overseas, we make sure that 100% renewable fuels are being used. Fuels good, doesn’t it?
We want to work exclusively with resellers and retailers that help us spread our mission. And in 2018, we sure did! In the UK, we were at Selfridges as part of their Project Ocean and at Fenwick with a shop-in-shop. Our collaboration with BioCompany in Germany is also one we’re very proud of.
In October 2018, the Dutch National Railways announced that they would open about 200 new water tap points at their railway stations in 2019. And of course, they reached out to us to help us launch the first one. No more thirsty travellers! So, of course, KLM and Lufthansa also added Dopper to their inflight magazine. Sea? The sky isn’t the limit!
We are encouraging people to drink tap water to save our planet from single-use water bottles. But we are well aware that this isn’t an option for everybody. Nepal harvests one of the biggest fresh water sources in the world, but it is locked in the Himalayas and when it flows down to the rural areas, it gets badly contaminated. Dopper collaborates with Simavi to improve the personal and environmental hygiene practices and to improve WASH governance, additional to the repairs of the water supply systems. The focus of the joint programme is strengthening WASH services in the schools, health centres and within the communities of Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha districts.
A journey full of inspiration
In October, three of us - Merijn, Virigina and Anneke - travelled to Nepal to visit the projects we kickstart together with Simavi. And their stories left all of us speechless. The impact of water on daily life, the hope and aspirations of Nepalese people for the future, the gratitude and smiling faces… it left us all even more motivated to make a change. Besides a plan for the next few years with Simavi, we also met up with Smart Paani, an organization that is collecting and filtering rainwater to provide clean water in the rural areas of Kathmandu.
When you do have clean water coming from your tap
We started a movement of frontrunners, organizations that will ban single-use plastic water bottles from their offices and promote tap water. And in 2018, the P.E.T. Free movement added some impressive names to its list! First of all, hotel Blooming is now welcoming guests with their very own Dopper bottle. Spoiler alert: in 2019 they won gold at the Gaia Green Awards making them the most sustainable hotel in the Netherlands! Another big name on our list is Uniqlo. Just before this huge retailer came to the Netherlands, Merijn went to Japan to hand over the first Dopper with Uniqlo logo.
When you plan on saving our planet, you need a team of superheroes by your side. Luckily, all of our people have awesome powers that help Dopper fight the evil called single-use plastic. From a smile that can charge a solar panel, to an infectious enthusiasm which turns anyone into a Dopper ambassador or a drive that trumps Max Verstappen. Single-use plastic doesn’t stand a chance, really.
Great Place to Work
Dopper is a Great Place to Work. We already knew that, but in 2018, it became official! We even were one of the 4 companies in the Netherlands that became ‘Great Place to Work Certified’. You should’ve seen our HR Manager. Beaming with pride. Tears of joy all day long. For weeks.
Our scores on all categories:
The best of and for the world!
Dopper is a B Corp, combining profit and purpose. If you encourage people to choose a more sustainable lifestyle, we would be hypocrites if we’d serve our employees lunch wrapped in single-use plastic. Right? We want to be the best of and for the world. In 2018, we were recertified as a B Corp. But this time, the audit went much further. We are proud to say that we got recertified after a Deep Dive session. Which basically means that we don’t do child labour, that every person working at Dopper receives fair treatment and salary, that sustainability is also part of the deal when choosing our supplies, and that we wipe our asses with sustainable toiletpaper. Yes. That’s how deep a Deep Dive goes. You can imagine we are beyond proud to have the B Corp stamp of approval!
Now, it is personal
There is more to work than work. We want to make an impact, but have fun while doing it. So, of course we had our team outings - like battling zombies in VR -, office (disco) parties, pub quizzes and a weekend trip for the whole company. What did we do during the Waterful Weekend in April? Well, we went sailing across the Wadden Sea, we landed on Terschelling, we made sure to stay hydrated (and a little dehydrated due to other drinks), some of us ate cheese soufflés and experienced life at sea thanks to the rocking of the waves as we slept on board. Of course, we also fished for plastic. We didn’t catch that much. Maybe it’s the Dopper karma that’s repelling plastic?
The Dopper family grew a lot in 2018. Thanks to vacancies, but also thanks to an overwhelming baby boom - four colleagues pregnant at the same time! A new generation of ocean-saving heroes in the making.
When you’ve read the previous chapters, you know all there is to know about Dopper’s 2018. But of course, apart from the cool ocean-saving stories, facts and figures are also part of the annual report. So, here’s the official part, the 2018 financial report!
Turnover > 14,1 million euro
Profit > 1,9 million euro
Donated to the Dopper Foundation > €713.559