HR & Culture
 min read

Give back with Fill it Forward

Give back with Fill it Forward
May 5, 2020

In this article

How did Fill it Forward start? / What challenges did Fill it Forward see in the market to feel the need to create the Cupanion bottle?

Nearly a decade ago, we started Fill it Forward because we wanted to inspire people to make reusable choices. Together with our partners, we are making a lasting impact for the planet and the people on it. 

We know that reuse can change the world as it's the first step towards a sustainable mindset that can impact generations. Our ongoing commitment to sustainable initiatives will continue to empower people to make an impact. With our growing family of products and focus on technology, we bring innovation together with environmental and social responsibility to inspire action around the world.

“Our technology integrates with and allows our products to come to life and tell a story around reuse,” shares Matt Wittek, the company’s founder and CEO, “It makes the environmental footprint of using a Cupanion product measurable and more impactful.”

What impact has that had? 

Fill it Forward’s impact has spread far — the company works with water charities such as WaterAid, Water.Org, DigDeep, Water for People, and that’s just the start.

“These charities help with providing access to clean water, decent toilets and sanitation, and basic human rights,” Ruby Bowry, Fill it Forward’s Customer Success Manager, says.

Through Fill it Forward’s sustainable products, interactive technologies and global giving initiatives, the company has funded over 200 global water projects in partnership with various water charities, and has helped to divert over 200,000 pounds of waste from our landfills and oceans.

How does it work? / How does it provide clean water to someone in need?

So how does Fill it Forward work? “Each bottle comes with a Fill it Forward sticker, which can be co-branded,” shares Ruby. “This sticker has a barcode on it, which can be scanned by a smartphone through our Fill it Forward app. Every time you refill and reuse the bottle, we encourage individuals to scan the barcode within our app. Each scan (being a minimum of a $0.02 donation) goes towards the water charity project that is being highlighted within the app experience at that time.”

Interested in getting a custom charity program for your company or organization? Fill it Forward does that too. “If a company wants to participate in a custom program, they are welcome to choose a custom water project that they would like their unique barcode scans to go towards,” Ruby says. “If an organization feels passionate about helping a geographic location or a certain cause that matters deeply to them, we can work alongside them to make that the focus of their impact.”

Fill it Forward works closely with their charitable partners and clients to make sure water projects are set-up successfully through the various program offerings available. Once a custom water program is fulfilled, the ongoing scans made by end-users continue to contribute to ongoing water projects within the app, so an individual is always giving.

Like its ethos, joining the movement Fill it Forward is leading is simple: drink water, give water.

How many single-use items have they saved as of 2019?


  • 4,930,820+ Single-Use Items Diverted
  • 200,000 lbs Waste Saved
  • 2,359,964.92 kWh Power Saved
  • 2,081,251.85 lbs Emissions Saved

Learn more about how you can join the movement at Fill it Forward

What are some of the projects Fill it Forward is working on? / What has been the most impactful project to be a part of?

Ruby remembers a particularly exciting event in Las Vegas last December. “I was able to attend the Amazon AWS:ReInvent annual conference, and there were over 60,000 people in attendance. The impact made by attendees engaging with our Fill it Forward app over the course of the four day event equated to over a quarter million single-use bottles diverted. Plus, attendees funded a water project in Kolkata, India which helped to benefit 300 students with a school water filtration system. That’s just one example of the types of partnerships that are very powerful...and it's simply founded on what we do every day - and that’s staying hydrated.”

Fill it Forward values their client relationships and applauds the sustainability efforts and the impacts they help to make towards their charitable partners’ projects.

Another partnership that highlights impact is with their client, Salesforce. If you use Salesforce, you’ve probably heard of Dreamforce, an annual event known to bring together thought leaders, industry pioneers, and fellow innovators for learning, inspiration, equality, and fun.
With a goal of focusing on one key giveaway for full-conference attendees to reduce their impact on the Dreamforce campus, Salesforce partnered with Fill it Forward in both 2018 and 2019 to eliminate the need for single-use plastic water bottles; distributing reusable, shatter-resistant bottles to all attendees, and conserving 250,000+ single-use plastic bottles in doing so.

But it’s about more than just the bottles. Attendees supported clean water initiatives in Tanzania thanks to the partnership between Salesforce, Fill it Forward and WaterAid’s Deliver Life Program. By scanning their bottles at the filling stations around Dreamforce, attendees helped to fund a water infrastructure project - a Rainwater Harvesting System in Bugulula, Tanzania, which supported 8,000+ people. This initiative focused on a local dispensary to address maternal, newborn and child mortality in the village, impacting the entire community that typically sees 27 to 30 babies delivered per month. In addition, with every scan using the Fill it Forward app, Fill it Forward made a donation towards Community Staff Training and Education to make the project a reality.  

I think that this element of empowering individuals to feel educated and trained on how they can be quality members of their community is very powerful in and of itself, too. It brings our tagline, Always Giving to life. Through the power of reuse, all of us are always giving in more ways than one, through the Fill it Forward movement.
Ruby shared.

Contact a Swag Agent today to design your own eco-friendly swag pack, complete with a Cupanion bottle. Fill it Forward!

Ready to use the Swag?

Our easy-to-use dashboard enables you to quickly customize, manage, ship, and re-order swag.