One person can’t change the tide. One person can’t stop the 1 million single-use plastic bottles a minute from being purchased worldwide. But one person can make a start. Like Dopper founder Merijn Everaarts did back in 2009 when he dreamt up the idea of Dopper. Over a decade later, his bottles on a mission are empowering millions of people to take their first small step towards change. By providing them with motivation and means. In 2020, here’s what that looked like.
On June 8 2020, World Oceans Day, we revealed a magic trick that turns everyday people into plastic pollution-fighting, ocean-saving heroes. OK, maybe there was no trick. But we did kick-start a global movement against single-use water bottles: the Dopper Wave. A movement in which people from all over the world are committing to saving our oceans with simple everyday actions. From individuals pledging to change their daily habits, to companies, organisations and events kicking single-use plastic water bottles off their grounds. Every. Last. One.
How they’re doing it? With simple everyday actions. Because that’s all it takes to prevent large amounts of single-use plastic from entering our oceans. By joining the Dopper Wave, they’ve promised to:
Thanks to the 0 individuals and 0 organisations with their visitors and employees, who have already joined
Curious who these Wavemakers are? We’ve highlighted a few of them below.
This is Andre. He’s an artist and actor from Brooklyn, New York. Oh, and he’s joined the Dopper Wave, promising to ban single-use water bottles from his life. Told you it was a global movement. Why Andre signed the pledge? Because he’s done the math and knows the individual can impact the whole. That means you, too. Fancy it?
Presenting: Miss Donna-Ray Jones. Donna-Ray combines her work as a drag queen entertainer with raising awareness about plastic pollution. Badass, or what? And by joining the Dopper Wave, she’s taking things to the next level. Officially pledging to ban single-use water bottles from her life. What could be more glamourous than that.
On September 29, 2020, the high-end Dutch department store de Bijenkorf joined the Dopper Wave. Promising to no longer offer plastic single-use plastic water bottles to its customers and its employees. Instead all drinks will be offered in a more sustainable packaging alternative, both in-store and to employees. The impact they are creating? “We save over 65,000 single-use plastic bottles from being used. Every single year", says Justin Pariag, head of the Sustainable Business at de Bijenkorf.
Single-use water bottles? Not for TOMS. The company proudly joined the Dopper Wave. Because, in the words of Amy Smith, Chief Strategy and Impact Officer: “Faced with global challenges, we realise we can create more meaningful impact by collaborating with like-minded companies such as Dopper.”
For TOMS, joining the Wave has made banning single-use plastic water bottles from its offices, meetings, stores and events much easier. How? By laying the groundwork for a motivating and inspiring internal communication campaign that has educated both staff and distributors on the importance of this promise.
Bergfreunde literally means ‘mountain friends’ and they are as enthusiastic about the outdoors, as we are about water. So when we heard that they were on board as a Dopper Wave partner, we knew we found some new friends to move mountains and make waves with. (Both puns intended.) Shining some light on their decision to join the Dopper Wave, CEO Matthias said: “Sustainability means for me to take responsibility and to act. That’s why we have a water fountain and every new employee gets a reusable water bottle instead of single-use plastic bottles.” Crystal clear.
There’s no such thing as Dopper stores. Instead, we work with a select group of like-minded retailers who don’t just put our bottles on display, but our mission with it. We’re fairly picky when it comes to our partners, so when we do find a match, sparks go flying.
In 2020, we achieved some serious relationship goals with outdoor shop AS Adventure and bookstore De Standaard. Based in Belgium, they inspired parents, teachers and kids visiting their stores with displays that didn’t just put our bottles our there, but also encouraged children to fight plastic pollution by signing up to the Dopper Changemaker Challenge Junior.
Then there was Dutch luxury retail store de Bijenkorf. Not only did they commit to saving 65,000 single-use plastic bottles a year, they also surprised us with an epic window display. Without us knowing, the team at de Bijenkorf Den Haag turned one of their shop windows into a work of art encouraging passersby to join the Dopper Wave.
Another better-than-textbook example? Dopper Wave member Vitaminstore, who we’ve been very happily partnered with since 2010. Right from the start, there were fireworks. Thanks to the Vitaminstore Academy, store employees know all the ins and outs of the products they’re selling. Which means that they don’t simply stock Dopper bottles, but are also proud ambassadors of the Dopper mission.
But Vitaminstore also knows you don’t always need to talk to people to get a message across. Instead, they let shop displays and windows do the talking for them.
Want to know more about our successful partnership? Read the blog.
The other partnerships that help us make a humongous (that’s the official term) amount of impact, are the ones we have with our B2B customers and Dopper resale partners. Their large order volumes mean our bottles and their mission make their way into the hands of a wide audience. In 2020, a total of 987,581 Dopper bottles were gifted to people by a company, organisation or event. And with a Dopper in hand, all of those people can kick single-use water bottles out of their lives. For good.
Putting all this on (digital) paper, we’d like to think we do some inspiring work. Perhaps not Nobel Peace Prize inspiring, but still. And so we were pretty pleased to find out that the Dutch people agree, and selected Dopper as one of the 40 most inspiring companies of 2020. According to organiser Synergie, impact organisations like Dopper are becoming the new normal, with more and more impactful organisations making Synergie's 'Inspiring 40: Business for Good' list. Go team impact.
It all starts with water. Everyone needs safe, clean water to drink, wash and stay healthy. That's the mission you support every time you sip from your Dopper. And the reason Dopper invests in education, awareness and (drinking) water projects in Nepal. Together with our two main partners: Dutch NGO Simavi and Kathmandu-based social enterprise SmartPaani.
So far, Dopper users worldwide have helped us reach over 30,000 people in Nepal with education, awareness and safe (drinking) water projects. Ongoing projects that started in 2020 will reach another 158,000 in the next two years.
Simavi operates globally to work towards a healthy life for all, which naturally includes access to water. Together with Simavi, we work with their local partners on the ground in Nepal to bring water and education to some of the most remote areas of Nepal. In 2020, we helped fund the construction of water tap points and toilets in those areas as part of Simavi’s ASHA programme.
Since the start of our partnership, we were able to reach 14,000 people with two separate programmes. But that was only just the start. With the programme that was kick-started in 2020, we’ll reach another 38,000 Nepalis in remote areas.
While our investment in Simavi reaches very remote areas, our work with SmartPaani impacts lower- and middle-class Nepalis around the country – both in rural and urban areas. SmartPaani itself exists of experienced technicians, researchers and businesspeople who together strive to tackle any (drinking) water problems the country faces. Very cool.
It’s exactly the kind of social enterprise Dopper believes in. Local initiatives that stand up to fill the gaps or failures in the system. Because of this, Dopper has chosen to collaborate with SmartPaani as a co-entrepreneur. Sounds fancy. But it’s quite simple. What it means is that we not only invest financially – for example in installations that capture and filter rain- or groundwater at schools – but are also involved with the development and marketing of products like an affordable water filter. Products with an impact.
Our collaboration with SmartPaani has improved access to safe drinking water for 9,000 school kids and we're well underway to reach 9,000 households as well. The best part? Our team secured an epic subsidy which will allow our partnership to reach another 120,000 people by the end of 2022.
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