Greenhouse Pioneer: Chris Forbes, The Cheeky Panda

Every person uses 2.8 miles of loo roll every year, Greenhouse spoke to Cheeky Panda, the innovator providing a 100% sustainable bamboo alternative that could save 27,000 trees every day.

What drives you?

I am driven by the people I work with and achieving positive outcomes in almost everything I do. The Cheeky Panda is about coming up with the right strategy to drive the adoption of our product, replacing the use of trees for bamboo in bathroom tissue products.

What is the campaign/innovation you are most proud of this year?

The Cheeky Panda has had several successful campaigns: initial crowdfunding success, sponsorship from Essex County Council for innovation and Angel Investment. However, I am most proud of The Cheeky Panda\’s nomination for the 2016 BusinessGreen Awards in two different categories; fast track company and entrepreneur of the year. It’s an amazing achievement considering we only incorporated in January of this year.

What are the key characteristics that inspire change?

The iceberg theory, seeing only a fraction of the reality, is just as relevant to behavioural change as it is to Hemingway’s literature. Just because you see someone’s head nodding it doesn’t mean they agree, in order for people to implement change you need them to embrace the idea of it with both their hearts and their minds.

cheeky panda foundersHow is what you are doing inspiring change in others

I am a big fan of leading by example, it’s very easy to have meetings and say words like ‘going green’ and ‘being sustainable’ but to break the status quo it’s innovation, action and leadership that count. Once people see that a green product doesn’t require sacrifice and a green business that doesn’t cost the Earth, it inspires others to follow.

Who are your green business heroes?

My first green hero would have to be Nicolas Tesla who wanted to create free energy for the world. Elon Musk would be my current green hero for designing affordable and desirable electric cars.

What excites you about the future and our progress towards a low carbon economy?

Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Future and technology really does have many of the solutions for a low carbon economy and a sustainable world. Our current biomass consumption is 1.5 times capacity so over the next 20-30 years, resource efficiency, clean water supplies, crop production and ecosystem management – will become paramount in keeping the planet for future generations.


Find out what the Cheeky Panda team are up to next by visiting their website. Here at Greenhouse we celebrate the pioneers and leaders who are driving the change to a more sustainable way of life through the pioneer blog series. To read other pioneer blogs click here.