Ocean

To 
B 
or 
not 
to 
B?

In the same year that Dopper makes it to the global top 10% of highest scoring B Corps in the world, Evian and Spadel receive their B Corp certification. Here’s why that’s a problem.

A personal letter from our founder & CEO

Dear reader,

After eight years of being a Certified B Corporation, today we received our highest B Corp score to date: a smashing 132.8 points, making us part of the global top 10% of highest scoring B Corps in the world.

As a company founded to protect our waters from plastic pollution, we’ve felt connected to the B Corp vision of using business as a force for good. It’s why we became one of the first Certified B Corps in the Benelux in 2014, why we’ve been passionate B Corp ambassadors and have inspired and supported other businesses in becoming part of the B Corp community in the years since then.

Unfortunately, our pride in reaching the top 10% of this global community is overshadowed by somewhat of a (single-use plastic) elephant in the room.

During the last year, we learned that first Evian and later Spadel applied for and received the B Corp certification from B Lab. Meaning their single-use plastic water bottles can display the same Certified B Corporation logo as reusable water bottles – suggesting both equally contribute to a sustainable economy. That’s a problem.

Oceans Haarlem Opening 20200917 HR DSC 1574

As you probably know, Evian and Spadel produce single-use plastic water bottles on global scale. It’s a product that forms an urgent and direct threat to our environment:

  • It pollutes our water. According to a study commissioned by the European Commission, SUP bottles and caps & lids are part of the top 10 single-use plastic items found littering Europe’s beaches. From beaches they wash into our oceans, and then never disappear. They simply break down into smaller and smaller pieces over 450 years, releasing microplastics and harmful toxins that destroy both life under and above water.
  • It pollutes and destroys our land. Single-use water bottle producers applaud themselves for the possibilities of recycling their products. But they ‘forget’ to mention that 70% of these recyclable bottles still end up in landfill.
  • It pollutes our air. The transportation (and recycling) of single-use plastic water bottles causes unnecessary CO2-emissions. Evian and Spadel knowingly produce and promote products with a negative impact, even in countries where clean drinking water comes straight from the tap.
Dopper illustration Single Use Plastics

We know that not everyone in the world has access to clean, safe tap water – it’s why we invest in clean drinking water projects. Still, we believe that producing single-use plastic water bottles – a market expected to be worth $11 billion by 2030* – cannot be classified as “using business as a force for good”, when a long-term sustainable solution could be created by investing in drinking water infrastructure instead.

Over the past year, we’ve shared our concerns with B Lab on four separate occasions – including an official complaint asking them not to welcome single-use water bottle producing companies into our network of purpose-driven businesses that benefit people, communities and the planet. Call us crazy, but we think that if your core product is inherently and unnecessarily harmful to people and/or the planet, then no amount of sustainable operations, workers’ rights or charitable giving can make up for that.

So far, B Lab has decided differently.

With this letter we invite you to support our cause and urge B Lab to reevaluate their certification criteria and disqualify single-use water bottle producers from being able to obtain the B Corp certification. To protect both the value of the B Corp certification, ánd to not mislead consumers, we believe single-use plastic water bottle companies – together with other major polluters – should not be able to qualify.

Let’s convince B Lab to use their certification as the force for good we always believed it to be.

Sincerely,

Virginia Yanquilevich and Merijn Everaarts

CEO Dopper, Founder Dopper

Dopper illustration Punch Single Use

Support the cause

I hereby ask B Lab to reevaluate their certification criteria and disqualify single-use water bottle producers from being able to obtain the B Corp certification.

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Thank you from our ocean to you.

B Lab is a nonprofit network that was founded in 2006 and that wants to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. B Lab became known for certifying B Corporations (B Corps), which are companies that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

B Lab’s mission: We won’t stop until all business is a force for good.