Meet the B Corps - Best for the World - Dopper
Dopper believes in a world in which people are conscious of the environment we live in, where the amount of single-use plastic is reduced and where everyone, near and far, has access to safe drinking water.
Dopper was Best for the World in the categories "Overall", "Community", "Environment", "Changemakers".
MH: What does being on the Best for the World list mean for your company?
We are truly proud and honored to be recognized as a global brand that is using business as a force for good. At Dopper we want to celebrate crystal clean water, from our oceans to our tap. We want to live in a world where people are aware of the environment, where we actively reduce single-use plastic waste, and where everyone, close to home and far away, has access to fresh and safe drinking water. We have built a successful business model to support this mission and the proof of the pudding is in the eating: being on the Best for the World list is a great reward for the complete Dopper team.
This benchmark with some of the most inspiring brands in the world really motivates us to keep being on top of our game and to grow our impact. It can open doors for building more value-based partnerships, it is an opportunity to expand our business internationally, it attracts top talents to our business, it helps to communicate our mission, and - maybe most of all - it is a confirmation of the hard work and dedication that we put into our business every day.
MH: What practices has your company implemented that has helped you become Best for the World?
We worked on the B Impact Assessment with the complete Dopper team. Each person focused on questions relevant to their job, identifying best practices that were already in place and selecting improvements to be implemented within six months. This resulted in some strategic decisions (like B Corp language in our statutes and official policy writings); new practices (like social and environmental impact measurement in the production process); and integrations in existing processes (like impact standards for product innovations and monitoring of equality standards). We now have an impact-driven policy that serves as the backbone of business decisions throughout the company. It also made everyone aware of the efforts that will be required to remain Best for the World.
MH: In what ways does the company include and consider your stakeholders in achieving your mission and having a positive impact? How has it contributed to the company fulfilling its mission?
The environment is our main stakeholder. Each year, approximately 8 million kilo tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans. At Dopper, we want to turn this tide. Our aim is to make single-use water bottles redundant and, to this end, to promote drinking water from the tap. First of all, we create awareness about the impact of single-use plastics and inspire people to rethink the disposable lifestyle. Secondly, we sell a reusable design bottle that is 100% sustainable and user-friendly, to prevent the use of disposable ones. And finally, Dopper donates 5% of net turnover (~500K in 2016 only) to Dopper Foundation.
We always look for value-based partnerships as much as possible. We choose other B Corps as our partners, for instance in distribution, accounting, and office supplies. We have a very active partnership with our production partner VDL, which has been very supportive in developing a 100% sustainable water bottle from the beginning. This long-term partnership is based on the mutual willingness to invest for impact and to look for innovations that help to improve both businesses. The production process is continuously being optimized, the supply chain is becoming more transparent over the years, and new suppliers are being selected to increase positive impact. Now that Dopper is crossing borders, for instance, VDL is investing in production sites overseas so that environmental impact for transport can be minimized.
Ever since the first bottle was produced, and 5% of net turnover was donated to Dopper Foundation, we have invested in drinking water projects of Simavi in Nepal. We actively investigate what this money is used for and to see if it helps to solve structural problems of local communities. We have also started to invest in storytelling journeys to help us understand the water and plastic situation in Nepal better. We are exploring investment opportunities in local changemakers: pioneers who see opportunities in problems, the people who inspire change.
One of our key strategic goals is to be a great place to work. Without talented people that are seriously motivated to create impact, we cannot be successful in our business. At Dopper, we select employees based on our social mission, not on CV. Of course, we look for the very best people out there, but being impact driven is at the heart of all our decisions. By involving people at Dopper actively in the B Corp certification process and by conducting an extensive employee survey, for instance, we always aim to improve and provide a beautiful living.
Last but not least, we want to be completely transparent about our business. The B Impact Report helps us in this. In addition, we invite customers to be inspired and to open up discussions about our mission and our way of doing business. On social media, for instance, we have very active public conversations with our followers. We have an online and offline service desk for product related questions, as well as for mission-related questions and feedback. We organize public events like the monthly 'B Talks', to inspire people and get live feedback about Dopper and other businesses that are using business as a force for good.
MH: What has your company learned about its operations and areas for improvement by certifying through the B Impact Assessment?
We have learned to make choices based on impact. Although we would like to be perfect, it is important to realize what our core impact areas are that we can increase through scaling our business.
This certification process resulted in two main long goals specifically, besides job-related long-term objectives for everyone personally at Dopper.
Firstly, we learned that we needed to conduct research on our impact (both positive and negative), to confirm impact assumptions and take strategic decisions if required. After certification, we have now conducted our first impact research. Most important conclusions are that one Dopper bottle reduces on average 40 single-use water bottles per year and that only 21% of the general public is aware of our mission. For instance, we are now implementing improvements at all levels to make sure that we do not just sell boxes, but always share our mission with it.
Secondly, we have learned that we can create more impact by better aligning 5% donations of net turnover to Dopper Foundation. After certification, we have started to invest in professionalizing Dopper Foundation. Like at Dopper, the vision is to celebrate crystal clean waters, from our ocean to our tap. But funds are invested in solutions that go beyond the water bottle. And because clean drinking water is vital if you want to replace bottled water with a sustainable alternative, Dopper Foundation also invests in safe drinking water projects.
MH: Is your company targeting Best for the World lists it isn’t already on? If so, which ones and how does it hope to achieve that target?
We always aim to be the Best for the World business, in each area possible. So we are very proud to be on the three lists like last year: environment, community and overall. Being on those lists was never a goal in itself, but since these lists are about our core impact areas it is a wonderful recognition of our work.
The fact that this year we are also on a new list, the Changemaker list, is a beautiful reward for our ongoing efforts to always keep improving our social and environmental impact. And so being on even more lists is not unlikely.... :)