Genki Forest is making a pioneering move to build its own ‘forests’ for its supply chain. However, it lacks the awareness about sustainability, makes no commitment towards more sustainable production and lacks of transparency in relevant data. This is common among Chinese firms but it needs to put more efforts into considering sustainability impacts instead of just business costs, revenue and profits.
Bubbly drinks produced use non-recyclable plastic to produce bottles and caps. Environmental awareness are lacking in many beverage companies, as they produce no sustainability reports, have no sub-sections on their websites and no related advertisements. Not even any criticism reports can be found on either Chinese or English search Engines. Consumer awareness is lacking, probably attributing to why this relative new company have not made any recycling efforts.
As for the ingredients of the sparkling water, Genki Forest does not publish where its sources are bought or transported. This lack of transparency might be due to a lack of environmental awareness, or potentially because lowering business costs is more of a consideration for this fast-growing start-up compared to sustainability. Hence, there is the possibility that water, flavourings and other ingredients are in fact sourced afar from the production site, which implies a highly unsustainable supply chain with huge carbon footprints.
Genki forest has been building its own factories so that it can directly control how to produce, where to source materials and how to build its supply chains. By July 2021, it has built 5 factories in China. However, the company has neither information publicly available on its carbon emissions nor any statements announcing its ambitions in pushing for sustainable development. This lack of transparency and lack of commitments is quite common among Chinese retailers, but this is not a good excuse for Genki to harm the environment. I rate this section at .5 planets because of lack of transparency about how Genki products are produced and their impact on laborers and the environment.
Founded in 2016, Genki Forest is an innovative beverage company in China. Genki Forest’s series of brands and products include Spring Sparkling Water, Milk Tea, Burning Tea, Bodybuilding etc. The products cover the whole country and are exported to the United States, New Zealand, Singapore and other countries. The brand upholds the mission of "consumers first" and the concept of "global service to the globe", delivering a healthy lifestyle and providing a more intimate user experience. Its perspectives in ‘0 sugar’ and ‘no sweeteners’ are quite positive.
As it is building its own factories in forest complexes, it can on the one hand be seen as a pioneer in sustainability among Chinese beverage producers.They have numerous news articles published online in July 2021 which commends how they are integrating eco-tourism with production in the local community. They have an idealised photo of how the factory will be immesed in lush green canopies.
On the other hand, this is highly likely to be a greenwashing exercise. Their main concerns are certainly commercial orientated (95% of the substance in news reports about them are about product costs etc.) They might have name themselves ‘Forest’ to appeal to rising green awareness among Chinese consumers, and added a ‘green forest’ as facade to glamorise why they are building new factories complexes, which usually attract huge criticisms as local greeneries are removed and pollutive substances are released into the local biosphere. In the end, their factories might end up as a concrete block just like every other manufacturer so just by posting a greenwashed photo does not make Genki Forest (even the name might be greenwashing!) really environmentally-friendly.