There’s a new benchmark for the Bacardi rum brand – a global Good Spirited commitment to protect the environment – from the timberlands of southern Georgia to the sugarcane fields of Fiji.
The program is far-reaching for Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest privately held spirits company, which crafts its award-winning rums in Puerto Rico and other locations, then bottles them in the United States and abroad to distribute to 150 countries around the world. “We have all hands on deck to ensure we deliver on our sustainability commitment to return to the environment at least as much as we take away,” says Jon Grey, Bacardi Senior Vice President of Global Operations. “Manufacturing sites, suppliers, offices, operations, sales teams and customers all play an important role in creating a more sustainable future.”
Bacardi rum production has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 48 percent and water use by 72 percent worldwide since 2006. “To put that into perspective, the amount saved would provide a glass of water to every person on Earth,” adds Grey. “Since spirits production relies on water, we’re extremely conscious about its conservation.”
Globally, BACARDÍ rum facilities strive to reach zero solid waste. The bottling site in Buxtehüde, Germany, leads the way, with zero percent waste to landfill, while the bottling facility in Brampton, Canada, follows closely behind, with a recently achieved 1.1 percent waste to landfill. At production sites globally, efforts to reach zero solid waste center on sorting and collecting for recycling a variety of leftover packaging materials, including plastic, paper, glass, aluminum and cardboard.
These activities are part of the “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” initiative unveiled by the rum brand’s parent company, Bacardi Limited, earlier this month. This initiative sets specific goals by 2022 for sourcing, packaging and operations across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits brands. The family-owned Company believes that it will be a more sustainable business in the long term by setting an industry-first example in responsibly managing the environment.
It takes people, process and technology to streamline production lines, design lighter-weight bottles and other packaging, reduce transportation costs and recycle every material possible, including office paper, ink cartridges, promotional materials, plastic cutlery and drinking cups.
Consider these innovations at the world’s largest premium rum distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico:
-Wind turbines harness ocean breezes to help power the Casa Bacardi Visitor Center
-Retired rum barrels are chopped into mulch to beautify the grounds
-Solar skylights save energy and control temperatures in warehouses used for aging rum=
-Concrete from on-site demolition was recycled for use in new construction on the 127-acre campus
From one end of the world to another, Bacardi rum also holds suppliers to high sustainability standards. In partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the brand helps sugarcane growers in Fiji develop model, sustainable farms that protect the Great Sea Reef. “I’ve learned a lot,” says Pradeep Lal, a sugarcane farmer participating in the sustainable farm pilot program. “I know this is a good way for the future. This project will definitely help me become a better farmer and, at the same time, increase my harvest.”
All Bacardi rum cardboard cases in North America are made from pulp sourced from sustainable-certified yellow pine forests in the United States. “It’s gratifying that BACARDÍ rum, with its 152-year history, is using a product that’s grown on our land,” says Joe Hopkins, a fourth-generation forester in Georgia. “Our companies are working in the same direction, with the same long-term view for viability.”