Keep this story going! Share below!
Fill it Forward encourages society to reuse by selling reusable products like bottles, bags, and cups, those products which have a QR code for consumers to scan to keep track of the amount of waste being saved by reusing like CO2 emission, Energy Use, while also contributing a charitable donation. In other words their innovation is to encourage society to reuse through interactive technology to keep track of their footprint. Encouraging society to reuse targets of a few of the UN SDGS such as 6,12,13,14, and 15.
Fill it Forward’s innovation encourages society to reuse through their products like water bottles, bags, and cups, all of which contain a QR code that can be easily scanned with the camera app on one’s phone. This can make it easy to track the amount of waste being saved while also contributing to several charities that help fund certain projects. It can be seen as a method of crowd-sharing of social responsibility in the sense that people globally are contributing to the funding of a project solely through their reuse of a single item such as refilling a water bottle. This innovation allows both users and the business itself to see the level of impact being made through the reuse of plastic.
Through the process of gamification, Fill-it-forward created more interest in the process of refilling a cup or bottle. This “game” was made even easier for users with the ability to get just the QR code sticker alone and place it on any product you want, such as a reusable water bottle you already have at home.
The innovation that allows consumers to see how much of an impact they make by reusing!
The ability to reuse was one of Matt's main inspirations for creating Fill it Forward. In regards to reuse, Matt mentioned "The easiest thing someone can do to help the planet." He wanted to create a product that promoted the use of reusable items. When Matt graduated from university, he worked for a company that was pioneering reuse in grocery stores and discovering the economic benefits. He fell in love with the idea of reusing and assisting the economy, as well as the impact it had on others over a period of time. He was involved in a campaign in Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, which was the first community in North America to ban plastic bags in 2007. This inspired him to believe that one person can create change, and that a small business can as well. Recognizing that he could have an impact and effect change was motivating for him to make that difference. He assembled a strong team that is extremely passionate about what they do and works with people they respect and appreciate. Together they created a product and technology that tells stories, with reusable products with scannable QR codes to give back to charitable partners that are used to help consumers understand the impact they have with their generosity and reusing.
Fill it Forward is a company that was founded by Matt Wittek. Their primary goal is to reflect the direct impact of reuse through interactive technologies, charitable giving and the use of sustainable products. It was founded in 2012 to inspire people to reuse. Their business is located in Guelph, Ontario, but they work with charities world wide in various regions in the world because there is a need for clean water globally. Some of the charities they work with are in India, Africa, Canada and the United States.
This works by adding a tag to any reusable product like a water bottle, or purchasing one of their reusable products from their store. Individuals can then scan the tag with your phone camera for tracking, you do not have to get the app but you can if you want additional features. They also help the consumer understand the impact of their generous use. It tracks your impact with five environmental metrics: CO2 emissions, energy use, ocean plastic, landfill waste, land use. The app shows you by reusing you can save by what you consumed, which shows your direct impact. Each scan you do heightens your impact, with a charitable partner receiving your donation. With seven core charitable partners, five are focused to give water to those in need. They have almost hit one million dollars in funding for their charitable products, going to those in need worldwide. They are a Certified B Corporation with an impact score of 114.4 which meets the most stringent criteria for verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. They are making a difference each day by leveraging business as a force for the greater good.
Not only are the funds raised going to charities, it is also following UN sustainable goals 3, 6,9, 12-15 and 17. It mostly aligns with good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, and climate action. These goals followed what their company was already supporting such as clean water and sanitation by their charity donations and the products they offer. This has a lasting impact on our world as individuals are using less plastic, which can save on ocean plastic as well. By having one person being involved in this company it can save thousands of plastic use, that helps encourage a sustainable environment.
Fill it Forward has definitely seen its consumer base increase and as discussed earlier, this has allowed for the investment into new markets through the creation of new products that still use the same business innovation. Mike from Fill it Forward just wanted to get everyone to start reusing and so he started simple, which saw the company come a long way. The company’s home base is in the small city of Guelph, but has seen it’s self expand and is now used worldwide. Fill it Forward has grown through the various investment opportunities and the hundreds of charitable partnerships that the company has built since 2012.
Fill it Forward has a unique innovation that allows users and the company itself to see exactly how much of an impact is being made in terms of plastic being reduced. Believing in reuse, and how simple it is for someone to start and contribute towards reducing plastic usage are all elements that CEO Matt Wittek brings up that lead to helping better the planet. Fill it Forward’s innovation goes a long way, as typically there could be signs put up, or articles with information on plastic waste but with the scannable QR code, each individual can see how much of an impact they are making everytime they reuse said product. Being able to see the impact can show people how little action can go a long way, and it likely is going to motivate people to spread the word and keep the planet as plastic free as possible.
Another aspect to the innovation is the fact that it can all be tracked through a simple app. Gen Z is known for being attached to mobile devices, and so making the impact available through the app is the easiest way for the company to track progress, as well as its users to be able to easily access the application. “Reuse is the gateway to other sustainable action” This quote stood out from Matt Wittek, as it could really change the perspective people have in terms of reuse, and once people can catch on to how simple and effective products like this are, than they are likely to improve life for the planet and sustainable development.
Get stories of positive business innovations from around the world delivered right to your inbox.
Matt Wittek, Founder and CEO
Fill it Forward is a small business located in Guelph. Their mission is to inspire the world to reuse by creating reusable products and technologies. They are committed to creating a sustainable future for our planet as they have embraced 8 of the UN’s SDGs. They also have many charity initiatives where they focus on helping in need communities by providing them with clean water and food.