Rebbl is an organic plant-based beverage company committed to making products that are not only good in taste but good for people and the planet. Their business began as a way to find a sustainable solution to reducing human trafficking and exploitation in Peru. To achieve this mission, the company uses native ingredients in regions that may be vulnerable to human trafficking and are in need of economic empowerment. Donating 2.5% of net sales of every bottle sold since its founding in 2011, Rebbl has donated more than $1 million to the organization Not For Sale which has supported nearly 35,000 survivors and at-risk individuals around the world with healthcare, education, housing, vocational training, and long term care. Overall, Rebbl provides a lot of information about their ingredients and the impact they have on the places they are sourced from. However, they could be more transparent about their greenhouse gas emissions and their manufacturing process.
Rebbl’s commitment to its green packaging initiative has been a success. Their bottles are made up of 100% recycled plastic which not only reduces plastic production but also water and energy consumption. By using 100% recycled plastic, Rebbl aims to create a market for existing plastic and reduce landfill pollution.
All of the ingredients of Rebbl elixirs are always organic, non-gmo, and are free of grain, cane sugar, and artificial flavors. The Rebbl - Reishi Chocolate Immunity Elixier is additionally vegan and does not contain honey like a couple of other products that they have. The main ingredients advertised for this product are coconut milk, cocoa, vanilla, and reishi mushroom extract. Unlike other plants milk (soy/almond), coconut milk requires less water to produce. It also contributes half the amount of greenhouse gases that soy requires for production. The reishi mushroom is known to help the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and much more. Other ingredients like baker’s yeast beta-glucan and quillaia extract also support a healthy immune system. To reduce the overall sugar content of their drinks by nearly 30%, Rebbl has also chosen to sweeten their drinks with coconut sugar and stevia extract instead of using cane sugar and agave which have a higher glycemic index. Rebbl is thoughtful about the ingredients they use.
To create a 100% recycled plastic bottle, Rebbl worked with environmental packaging and design experts for more than 18 months to find alternatives to virgin plastic resins. Rebbl claims that this was a complex and costly process. With further research, I found that many companies do not use 100% recycled plastic bottles because recycled plastic has lower mechanical properties than virgin plastics. The easy solution to improving this is to add virgin plastic with recycled. This information shared by the Alliance to End All Plastic Waste aligns with Rebbl’s claims about the complexity of developing durable 100% plastic bottles without using virgin plastic.
Along with using all organic ingredients, Rebbl also supports regenerative agriculture which prioritizes soil health, animal welfare, and workers in order to reverse the impacts of climate change. Using a Code of Conduct Compliance System to monitor practices of their suppliers, Rebbl is able to track their current progress and support areas that need improvement. As for their manufacturing process, Rebbl does not share much besides that their product is flash pasteurized. Flash pasteurization is a less intense thermal process used to kill bacteria and extends shelf life.
Rebbl takes a lot of pride in its sourcing practices and openly speaks out against the exploitation that often happens with globalization. Their company website provides an interactive sourcing map for their ingredients like cocoa, vanilla, and reishi mushroom extract. Using their source map, I found that the vanilla is sourced from family farmers within Madagascar, most of which have been cultivating vines for generations. Their supply partner has also landed a clean water project in the area that aims to install freshwater wells in remote villages located in the vanilla bean-growing regions of Madagascar. The cocoa comes from suppliers in the Dominican Republic who have partnered with local farmers as part of the Equal Partner Direct Buying Program. This program ensures farmers are fairly paid and their communities improve with a growing economy. Reishi Mushroom extract is one of the few ingredients sourced in the United States and comes from a father and son owned business in Southern California. Although the majority of their ingredients seem to be ethically sourced from outside the United States, their greenhouse gas emissions are an important factor considered for this rating. It’s unclear what those numbers look like due to the lack of information they provide. Because they depend on ingredients from other countries, it is likely they are high.
Making a positive environment for their employees is also important to Rebbl. Looking at their 2018 Impact Report, I found that in addition to traditional benefits, employees are given company co-ownership, two volunteer days a year, on-site yoga classes and massages, flexible work hours, paid leave for primary and secondary caregivers who have birthed or adopted babies, and sabbatical after five years. It’s refreshing seeing a company that cares about the well-being of its employees. However, I feel like their team could be more diverse due to the fact they reported only 28% of them are people of color. On a positive note, about 60% of their team are women.
As a B Corp Certified company, Rebbl is ranked in the top 10% of companies that are effectively making an effort to have a positive social and environmental impact. Despite this and their lack of transparency about greenhouse gas emissions, they are still one of the leading members of The Climate Collaborative initiative which includes over 700 companies. This initiative aims to reverse climate change through better producer action and policy. Of the 9 commitments that a company can commit to, Rebbl strives to improve 6: transportation, packaging, regenerative agriculture, deforestation, food waste, and policy engagement. Unfortunately, improving emissions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy is not a commitment.