Change

Annual Impact Report 2019

A bold end goal

Remember the crystal clear water? In every ocean, from every tap? Not going to happen overnight. But it does start now. In fact, for Dopper it started 10 years ago. With all the changes – big and small – that we empower others to make, and make ourselves. Below you can read about some of the most impactful change our Dopper community realised in 2019.

Access to water

Drink tap water. Save our oceans. That’s the message our community of changemakers helps spread day in day out. It’s the message our founder Merijn felt compelled to share over ten years ago. A message we still believe in.

However, there are (many) places around the world where drinking tap water isn’t an option. Places like Nepal. Where access to water – a basic need – is a luxury. Not ok.

That’s why Dopper invests in education, awareness and (drinking) water projects in Nepal. Together with our two main partners.

Simavi

Since the first bottle was sold over ten years ago, Dopper has been donating to Simavi. Together with this Dutch NGO, we work to provide people in remote areas of Nepal with access to water, as well as sanitary facilities. By installing the hardware like water points and toilets. But also by empowering local communities through the WASH programme, which offers education on the importance of hygiene and sanitation.

SmartPaani

Founded by Tyler McMahon, SmartPaani exists of experienced technicians, researchers and business people.

To give 100,000 people access to tap water and promote its use.

Give the average person on the street a Dopper bottle, and they’ll buy 40 less single-use plastic bottles throughout the year. That’s 40 single-use plastic water bottles – or roughly 1 kilogram of plastic – that won’t get the chance to end up in our oceans.

In short, each Dopper user helps us get closer to an incredibly important goal:

To give 100,000 people access to tap water and promote its use

We’re excited to announce that together with these partners, we’re getting closer to that goal each year. At the end of 2019 the numbers were as follows:

36,460 people provided with access to tap water

Plastic-free oceans

According to estimates from 2015, a truckload of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute. Let that sink in for a minute. Although, while you do, another truckload of plastic waste is added. Not cool. Which is exactly why we’re so proud of this wave of change. Of the growing community of Dopper users who say no to single-use water bottles. In 2019 they accomplished something pretty special:

Over 12,000,000 kgs of plastic saved from our oceans

That brings the total to nearly 55,000,000 kgs since Dopper saw the light of day. Which is approximately 550 big blue whales worth. Big news, or what?

Give the average person on the street a Dopper bottle, and they’ll buy 40 less single-use plastic bottles throughout the year. That’s 40 single-use plastic water bottles – or roughly 1 kilogram of plastic – that won’t get the chance to end up in our oceans.

How we could possibly know that? The numbers are based on estimates from our impact assessment back in 2016, when we looked into Dopper’s (potential) impact. And now you know, too.

PET-free

By now, you know we feel quite strongly about single-use plastic bottles. In a negative way, that is. However, no matter how committed (and awesome) we are, we can’t save the oceans all by ourselves.

Which is why we’re constantly on the lookout for new friends. Specifically in the form of companies who are ready to publicly commit to no longer drink and serve water from single-use plastic bottles and cups. Or, as we’d like to call it: pledge to go PET-free.

2019 saw several examples of the power of the pledge. And of the companies behind it. Like Bol.com, the Netherlands’ biggest online marketplace. As a company with big sustainability ambitions, they were a perfect pledge candidate. So, when after years of being a waterful e-tail partner they chose to sign the pledge, we were proud. Even more so, because it impacted 1,800 employees working at their headquarters alone. Did someone say leading by example?

In total, 49 companies signed in 2019. (*Internal happy dance*) Get ready for that number to grow, as we’re set to create an even bigger PET-free wave in 2020.

Changing course: 4 focus countries

Remember Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger? That’s us, kind of. Bursting with ambition, we set bold goals and hold ourselves to high standards. Luckily, we also have an amazingly competent leadership team. Who manage to combine passion and (boundless) ambition with realistic insights on how to best achieve our goals.

Real impact, real change

In 2019, those insights led to the decision to shift our focus to four main markets. The Netherlands (obviously), Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. The decision had everything to do with that mantra of ours: no bottle sold without the message. Virginia Yanquilevich (CEO) explains: “We know there’s a lot of work to be done in other markets, like the United States. The problem of single-use plastic pollution is present there, too. Which is why we initially brought Dopper to the US.

But if we want to make a real impact by inspiring real change, we can’t be everywhere at once. Because to do that, simply selling bottles isn’t enough. We need to really tell the story to create the wave of change. Country by country.”