Your Eco-Drinking Buddy

Cupanion

3. Good Health and Well-Being 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Cupanion’s innovation is to connect the consumer with the product, and to be more than just a reusable water bottle company. They have created an app to educate customers on their environmental impact, the importance of reusing, and their contribution towards water projects.




Authors

Tess Lovell

Tess Lovell

Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith

School

Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders

Professor

Matthew Mulhern

Matthew Mulhern

Innovation

The purpose of Cupanion’s innovation is to connect the consumer with the product. Matt Wittek’s vision is to connect his customers with their reusable water bottles to show the positive effect they're making in the world. This is done by the Fill It Forward app. This app has many features including the ability to monitor your water intake while keeping you updated on the current water project they are involved in sponsoring. Fill It Forward also keeps track of your personal reuse history and provide statistics on the amount of waste you are keeping out of landfills, oceans, etc. With this easy to use app, it makes reusing less of a task and more of a passion.

All Cupanion products have unique features, unlike most reusable water bottle companies. One is that everything is made in North America. Another smart feature is that there are two flat sides, which makes it easy for stacking. They are also dishwasher safe, BPA free, and leakproof. One thing that sets Cupanion apart is the material used. Instead of using plastic, they use Tritan which is an unbreakable material and brings a sleek, clean look to resemble glass.

Cupanion has partnered with many companies such as Salesforce, Amazon, and Budweiser to make a greater difference. Many companies use Cupanion products to eliminate their waste and improve their ecological footprint. With the various reusable water bottle models, any companies logo can be printed on the water bottle for advertising use. This promotes not only the companies but Cupanion’s message to encourage more people to reuse. Cupanion also has Fill It Forward programs at about 60-70 schools, which encourages the youth to take action in reusing.

Cupainion’s innovation applies to five different Sustainable Development Goals. The first one is Good Health. Cupanion motivates their customers to drink water to make an impact. This helps their customers health but also the health of the people in need from the water projects, preventing dehydration. The second goal is Clean Water and Sanitation. With the Fill It Forward program, Cupanion funds Non-Profit organizations to help underdeveloped countries have clean sanitized water. The third goal is Sustainable Cities and Communities. As a Guelph founded business they have contributed to the economic growth and have built a more sustainable community. The fourth goal is Responsible Consumption. Cupanion has created an affordable, clean, and reusable water bottle and has established a responsible form of consumption. They are encouraging consumers to purchase their product, but in the long run, will benefit the environment. The last goal is Climate Change. By people taking this small action to use a reusable water bottle, they are making a big impact on the world and in reducing their waste consumption every day.

Your Eco-Drinking Buddy

Inspiration

At Matt Wittek's previous job he was selling reusable shopping bags. He realized however that he could contribute more to reducing waste in people’s everyday lives, and decided to take a leap of faith and start his own business. He found that he could only sell so many reusable shopping bags because it is not an everyday item. His innovation was inspired by this revelation. After three months of planning, the company Cupanion was born. Matt chose the reusable water bottle industry because he was passionate about helping the environment and encouraging the public to reuse. He also realized that people use water bottles everyday and that he could make a big impact on people’s everyday waste.

Overall impact

The overall impact of Cupanions innovation is not just reusing but connecting their customers with the issue of waste. A short term effect is Cupanion’s mission, most importantly the educational Fill It Forward app. This helps companies and people understand their direct impact on the world. With the increase in customers and people drinking water, they are able to fund and help water projects around the world faster. As a growing business Cupanions long term effects include educating more people about the effect their waste has on the world, and maintaining the wells donated by previous water projects. Matt’s goal in the future is to move outside of just the water industry and grow as a company to create more environmentally impactful innovations.

Business benefit

Cupanions innovation benefits their business because they have a point of differentiation. In the competitive market their products stand out from the rest. They have the opportunity to sell reusable, sustainable water bottles to their customers, and with the new tracking technology, it makes drinking water and helping the environment easier. With only 10 employees, Cupanion has grown as a company now encouraging businesses to be more sustainable. They are not only making an impact locally, but globally as well. This small business took the chance and introduced this unique product to the community and according to their app, they have been able to supply 3,440,236 total cups of clean drinking water.

Social and environmental benefit

Cupanion does an excellent job of benefiting society. Rather than doing their own water projects they partner and sponsor non-profit organizations such as Water First, Water Aid Canada, Water.Org and Dig Deep. They chose to do what their best at, making stylish, affordable, reusable water bottles. All of these partnerships play a large part in the social impact of Cupanions company. Their water projects have been very successful. They don't just supply communities with access to water but they also provide them with the tools and knowledge to maintain their wells.

As of January 2019 this local company has recorded a total of 33,553 reuses, reduced 162.87 oz of plastic and 1,134.95 lbs of waste out oceans and landfills using the Fill It Forward app. This is an innovative way people can look at their impact on the environment. This app also allows people to see the real, accurate impact they're making. Rather than buying just any ordinary water bottle, Cupanion's mission is to allow a real connection between their products and customers.

Interview

Matt Wittek, Cupanion Reusable Water Bottle Innovation

Matt Wittek, Cupanion Reusable Water Bottle Innovation

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Cupanion

Cupanion

Guelph, Ontario, CA

Business Website: http://cupanion.com

Year Founded: 2012

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Cupanion makes various types of water bottles with the hope to encourage people to help reduce their environmental footprint in landfills. With the use of technology, Cupanion connects the consumer with the product. Not only that, but Cupainion is partnered with many non-profit organizations to help water projects around the world.