fill it forward

Students show their new Fill It Forward water bottles, part of Hyundai's campaign which will award the winning university $100,000 to devote to sustainability. 

Hyundai has launched the Fill it Forward Challenge in partnership with LMU, Santa Clara and Pepperdine as part of their "Drive Towards a More Sustainable Future" campaign.

Hyundai has partnered with the universities to launch the Fill it Forward Challenge, an environmental campaign to spread awareness about water sustainability.

Last week, Hyundai representatives set up campus-specific exhibits in front of the Burns Recreation Center and on Palm Walk to spread the word about Hyundai and LMU’s partnered environmental efforts. These stations also featured student waste art exhibits and the opportunity to ride and drive one of Hyundai’s alternative fuel powered vehicles.

“The purpose [of this campaign] is about connecting our brand and what we stand for to future drivers,” said Erik Thomas, senior group manager of Hyundai’s Experiential Marketing branch. “We all have to start thinking about what we are doing that contributes to a healthier society and world.”

Students, faculty and staff of all three schools have been given branded water bottles and university-specific tags which are linked to the Cupanion Fill it Forward app. Each time that a participant scans their tag, Cupanion gives funding to water-based projects around the world, providing those in need with clean water.

“This campaign encourages students to think about their individual ecological impacts, whether it be through reflecting on their interactions with single use plastics or realizing that they take access to clean water for granted,” said Sierra Barsten, ASLMU’s director of sustainability.

The Cupanion app has tracked the number of scans by participants for each of the three schools since Nov. 4, and will continue to do so until Nov. 22. The school with the greatest number of scanned refills will receive a $100,000 grant to their sustainability programs.

“[Environmental sustainability] is a collective effort,” said Thomas. “This platform that we are doing in particular enables students to start their contribution to the effort right away.”

In addition to the $100,000 grant, prizes will be awarded to individuals with the most scanned refills, weekly scan leaders and daily scan leaders. Participants are encouraged to spread awareness about the effort by posting on social media with the hashtag #FillItForwardLMU.

“I think that LMU definitely takes pride in its on-campus sustainability, but we still have a long way to go if we want to be truly sustainable,” said Barsten. “I hope that our participation in a sustainability contest of this size can set a precedent [for] LMU’s willingness to let students take the lead on sustainability efforts.”

The Fill it Forward Challenge is part of the “Drive the Future: A Hyundai Experience” marketing activation, which encourages participants to consider simple contributions to bettering the environment. The program not only promotes water sustainability, but also offers a look at Hyundai’s alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles as a promotion of the importance of sustainable energy.

“I’m glad that LMU has partnered with companies such as Hyundai in order to achieve environmental sustainability, and to educate students on the importance of water conservation and environmental protection,” said Hugo McMillan, a sophomore urban studies major.

The winning school of the Fill it Forward Challenge will be announced by early December. Remember to keep scanning your water bottles — they can be scanned up to four times a day!


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