Bacardi Ltd., which touts itself as the largest privately held spirits company in the world, has reached its target of 50% greenhouse-gas (GHG) reductions much earlier than planned.
The company had put forth a Dec. 31, 2017, target to cut its global GHG emissions in half. Founded 154 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, the family-owned company manufactures its brands at 29 facilities and sells in more than 160 countries.
Bacardi says its 50% reduction in GHGs is the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road each year. Among its many energy-focused initiatives, the company focused on renewables from wind turbines and heat recovery systems at operations sites.
Additionally, Bacardi installed new biomass boilers at several facilities. Instead of oil, renewable organic material – such as wood pellets and chips and agave fibers leftover from the production of the company’s products – is used as fuel for the biomass boilers. The company’s refurbished CAZADORES facility in Mexico is 100% biomass-fueled.
In Puerto Rico, Bacardi harnesses wind power to produce BACARDI rum, and improvements to an existing cogeneration system considerably increased the rum factory’s fossil-fuel independence. This system’s boiler uses a mix of fuel and biogas (or methane) generated during the anaerobic treatment of the distillery’s wastewater. In that process, micro-organisms naturally degrade waste materials and create biogas in the process. The biogas is fed into the boilers that power the distillery. This saves about half the energy needed to run them and reduces the need for imported oil or gas, says Bacardi.
In Italy, the company switched from fossil fuel to hydropower to produce MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, and it transforms botanical discards into fertilizer and livestock bedding. On campus, employees use bicycles instead of cars to traverse the 40-acre site.
“This is great news, and we should all be very proud as we recognize that climate change poses one of the greatest challenges to the continued prosperity of society,” comments Mike Dolan, CEO of Bacardi Ltd. “We set an ambitious corporate responsibility goal, and we reached it nearly 15 months early.”