Bacardi Approaches Sustainability in High Spirits

Here’s news to raise a glass to: Bacardi, the iconic spirits company​,​ is celebrating 152 years of business with a shift towards more sustainable business practices.​ ​The company recently announced that it intends to obtain 40 percent of its sugarcane-derived products from certified sustainable practices by 2017, raising it to 100 percent by 2022.

The announcement is part of a new global sustainability campaign the company has launched. Called Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future, the campaign covers more than 150 markets where Bacardi sells its brands, including more than 75 offices and 27 production distilling, manufacturing and bottling facilities. This way, it reaches out to every employee, including those in the company’s 76 corporate offices who will be able to track down their sustainability performance at home and in the office. The plan covers three main areas: responsible sourcing, global packaging and operational efficiencies.

“Protecting the natural resources we use to create our brands, at every step along the value chain, is central to our corporate responsibility,” said Ed Shirley, Bacardi's president and CEO.

Bacardi started to track its global impact on the environment back in 2006. Since then it has reduced its energy use by more than 25 percent while water use has been reduced by 54 percent. ​Among its achievements are wind power for Bacardi rum in Puerto Rico, ​hydro energy for Martini vermouth production in Italy and transforming a historic paper mill in England to a green-certified distillery for a B​ombay​ S​apphire​ gin that will be powered using biomass and hydro-electrical energy sources.

Its environmental efforts has place​d ​Bacardi at the forefront of sustainability within the spirits industry. The company is the only major spirits company to be certified for all its production facilities globally by both the Occupational Safety & Health Advisory Services (OSHAS) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The company’s new green ethos can trace its origin to the company’s ​birth​. When Bacardi founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, opened his first distillery on February 4, 1862, in Santiago de Cuba, he built the business on a challenge from the Spanish government to reduce surplus amounts of molasses in Cuba, leading to the crafting of Bacardi​ rum. ​Part of the plan was ​repurposing old whiskey barrels to age ​the​ rum—this is still in use today. ​ ​

Image credit: Bacardi​