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Bacardi rum recycles water through ‘Good Spirited’ sustainability initiative

Ecological goals also focus on sustainable packaging

March 25, 2014
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Because water is key to its production processes, Hamilton, Bermuda-based Bacardi Ltd. has set new goals through its “Good Spirited” global sustainability program in order to become more ecologically responsible for the production of its flagship brand, Bacardi Rum, it says.
Building on current programs and efficiencies that reduce water and energy use as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the program sets specific goals in three areas:

  • Operational efficiencies: Bacardi continues to focus on reducing water use and GHG emissions with a 2017 goal to cut water use by 55 percent and GHG emissions by 50 percent. In addition, Bacardi aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.
  • Responsible sourcing: Bacardi strives to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers. By 2017, the goal is to obtain 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make Bacardi rum from certified, sustainable sources and extend this level to 100 percent by 2022.
  • Global packaging: Bacardi commits to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials. Bacardi plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10 percent by 2017, and by 15 percent by 2022.

These initiatives build on the company’s efforts that it began in 2006 to reduce its global impact. Since then, Bacardi has reduced global water use by 54 percent, supported by a 72 percent reduction in water left over from the production of Bacardi rum, the company says.

On average, it takes 12 liters of water to create 1 liter of any distilled spirit, it notes. Bacardi uses water to clean the American white oak barrels in which Bacardi rum ages, it says. But instead of dumping this water, the company collects it and reuses it to spray down and reduce the temperatures of the cooling towers used in the rum distillation process. Engineers at the company’s Puerto Rico facility, the world's largest premium rum distillery, have calculated the savings.

"We recycle about 15,000 gallons of water per day," said Magaly Feliciano, environmental health and safety manager for Bacardi in Puerto Rico, in a statement. "That's enough to supply the daily water needs of 40 families of four."

To learn more about Bacardi Ltd. and its "Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future" environmental initiative for sourcing, packaging and operational efficiencies across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits brands, visit www.bacardilimited.com/good-spirited.

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