3 Questions

Lonneke Craemers

World Water Day, which takes place every year on 22 March, focuses on taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, over 663 million people live without a safe water supply close to home, who are forced to spend countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and cope with the health impacts of using contaminated water. Simavi spoke to Lonneke Craemers, Director of Dopper Foundation, about this year’s theme: wastewater.

1

What does Dopper have to do with wastewater?

“Crystal clear water from our taps to the oceans, that is our mission. Our specific goal is to render the use of one-time plastic bottles unnecessary. We engage people around the entire globe to turn the tide against plastic in our oceans and to challenge them to think critically about our disposable society. Dopper sells reusable water bottles as a sustainable alternative to one-use bottles and donates 5% of the net turnover to the Dopper Foundation. Via the Dopper Foundation we stimulate change makers to turn the tide against plastic waste by investing in safe tap water and more solutions that can help prevent plastic waste.

Together with forward thinking employers we are putting a new standard on the map: P.E.T. Free workspaces. We challenge everyone to stand at the forefront of a new movement together with Dopper. P.E.T. Free means that you and your colleagues will drink water from the tap in your workplace. As many as 80 companies – including Bever, Spotify and The Design Thinking Center – have already taken on this challenge and banned disposable bottles from the workplace. We challenge everyone to join this movement of change makers – including Simavi!”

2

Why do you work together with Simavi? And what makes the cooperation between you unique?

“Safe drinking water is a prerequisite for the use of a sustainable alternative (e.g. reusable water bottle) over bottled water.  Because as many as 663 million worldwide still lack access to safe water, Dopper Foundation invests in Simavi’s water projects in Nepal, ever since we sold our first Dopper. Initially the idea of Dopper’s founder (and Haarlem-resident) Merijn Everaarts was to produce 200,000 bottles so the whole municipality of Haarlem could be provided with a reusable water bottle. The turnover would be donated to Simavi, which was also based in Haarlem at that time. But Dopper grew a lot faster so Merijn decided to continue as a B Corp: an impact-driven company that donates 5% of every sold bottle to the Dopper Foundation.

This way Simavi can benefit from a continuous cash flow which also grows with the success of our company. The amount that was donated by Dopper Foundation to Simavi raised from  € 100,259 in 2015  to € 165,379.92 in 2016. As a result Dopper Foundation and Simavi can achieve goals  on a larger scale.”

3

Why did you choose to support a project in Nepal? About which joint result of Simavi and Dopper are you most proud?

“The rugged peaks of Nepal are home to the largest fresh water resource in the world, but more than half of the population in this country doesn’t have access to safe drinking water. Glacier water flows down from great heights but this water doesn’t reach all the Nepalese people and is often polluted by waste disposal. Due to this, 10,000 children under the age of five die each year from water-related diseases. Over the past years, we have improved access to drinking water for 11,889 people and access to sanitation for 19,992, by installing 473 water points and  2674 latrines. We are proud of this result. In January 2017 we started a new cooperation with Simavi, together with our local partner Sebac, to improve access to safe drinking water for 10,000 people in Nepal  in the next three years.

Our collaboration in Nepal was set up based on a common need to provide people with a sustainable way with a seemingly simple basic necessity: safe drinking water. For Simavi this is a starting point to improve the health of people – for Dopper this is a prerequisite to reducing plastic waste. Moreover, Dopper’s commercial approach and Simavi’s social expertise complement each other. To get a better insight into the water and plastic problems in Nepal and indicate which solutions are already available, Dopper Foundation will travel to Nepal. We will visit the mountain ridges of the Himalayas., where we are going to the villages that we can provide with safe water facilities with a colourful crew of storytellers. On the way we will meet Nepalese men and women who will make the challenges faced by the people of Nepal real for the result of the world.”

 

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