Each month we tell the story of one company, exploring how and why it has chosen to prioritize climate action. To learn more or be considered for a future story, email us at [email protected].
This month we talked with Dani Dhanoa, the Sourcing and Impact Manager at REBBL, to learn more about the beverage company's deep commitment to impact sourcing. REBBL was one of the earliest companies to make commitments through the Climate Collaborative, and they have committed to agriculture, food waste, packaging, policy, deforestation, and transportation.
Why does REBBL prioritize action on climate change?
REBBL was co-founded by anti-human-trafficking organization Not For Sale as a tool to leverage our supply system to help create a future without human trafficking, by addressing it at two of its root causes: economic instability, and climate change. We prioritize action on climate change because it is inextricably linked to human trafficking. Our company is built on the principle that humanity and the natural world have vital interconnections.
The destructive effects of climate change can be felt in the short-term through natural disasters and in the long-term through degradation of the environment—both of which negatively impact agriculture and food security, biodiversity and ecosystems, water resources, public health, human settlements and migration patterns, and energy, transport, and industry.
While natural disasters and erratic weather impact the supply and price of ingredients, far more significant is its impact on livelihoods and well-being of rural farming communities all over the world. In those communities, the most severely impacted groups are women and girls.
It is REBBL’s calling to fight human trafficking through impact sourcing and supply chain in partnership with Not For Sale, and to do all we can to address climate change – two problems that are connected and in need of our full commitment on behalf of this earth and its people.
What are some of your most exciting climate projects?
We know businesses have a critical leadership role to play in driving positive climate impact. REBBL has stepped up to the plate to take on a leadership role in the Climate Collaborative by becoming a donor and making progress on the following focus areas:
Regenerative Practices: To implement regenerative agricultural practices in our supply system, we work closely with our suppliers and incentivize them to make changes. We developed our Code of Conduct Compliance System to monitor current supply chain practices and drive continuous ecosocial improvements for each of our 70+ raw materials, sourced from 29 countries and counting. In our Code, we require suppliers to establish environmental policies to assess, minimize, and prevent negative impacts on the environment. Additionally, we call for options for region-specific regenerative agricultural practices including (but not limited to) cover crops, compost, crop rotation, agroforestry, and reduced tillage.
Transportation: REBBL utilizes EPA’s SmartWay program which “helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency.” (1)
We currently work with a mix of carriers for product transportation to distribution centers, 35% of which are SmartWay certified, with that percentage growing as new SmartWay carriers are identified and added to the mix. We are also constantly working with their transportation partners to identify ways in which shipments can be consolidated onto the same truck going to similar regions, which decreases fuel usage and GHG emissions.
Packaging: As part of REBBL’s packaging pledge, we have been working towards reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that our specific packaging contributes to. To lessen our use of resources associated with our packaging, we switched from white cardboard cases to brown, and also transitioned to a lighter, less-strength box. This change in our box means we use less cardboard overall.
What impacts/results are you seeing from your climate action?
As a business, we’re successfully leveraging our company as a tool to effect positive impact. Our business model based on impact sourcing, climate action, regenerative practices, and the fight against human trafficking is at the heart of what we call A Botanical Revolution For Good. Our business model is working because it empowers the consumer to create change through responsible purchasing decisions.
With their support, we are able to promote a positive impact on communities across the globe. Today, REBBL gives 2.5% of the net revenue of every bottle sold back to Not For Sale to help fund its projects around the world, rehabilitating survivors of trafficking, and preventing it before it happens by developing sustainable social projects globally. Not For Sale has 8 projects in 9 countries across the world, and each with the same end goal of a sustainable future without trafficking and exploitation. We share our projects publicly at rebbl.co/botanicalrevolutionforgood
Additionally, we're leading the OSC2 Operations Working group which is intended to drive systemic change in the industry. Although we're small, we want to take learnings from the larger companies who have done more, and bring this information to other companies of a similar size as us, so we can collectively move the needle.
"REBBL was born out of Not For Sale, our non-profit partner in creating a future without human trafficking, a commitment is deeply rooted in the purpose of our company. We realize the ripple effect climate change has on our supply chain and our stakeholders, and this is of paramount importance to us. As business leaders in the natural products company space, we have the opportunity to lead the the change we need to see – not just in the future, but right now. This is our moment, now let’s lead the charge." - Sheryl O'Laughlin, CEO, REBBL