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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Bacardi Reduces Energy and Water Use


Reading through Bacardi Limited’s recently released corporate social responsibility report, there is much to like when it comes to energy and water use reduction. Bacardi managed to reduce energy use by more than 25 percent and water use by 45 percent. The water saved is, according to Bacardi "equivalent to 10.3 million people showering."

The CSR report also reveals that Bacardi recycled, reused or recovered 98.6 percent of its waste in 2013. The rum manufacturer reduced the weight of its packaging by 23,000 tons since 2008, or 7.1 percent. The company’s goal is to reduce packaging weight by 10 percent by 2017 and 15 percent by 2022.

"Bacardi Limited is committed to the responsible management of all business activities," said Ed Shirley, president and CEO of Bacardi Limited, in a statement. "We aim to be best-in-class in corporate responsibility in the spirits industry and believe that, through responsibly managing our environmental and social impacts, Bacardi will be a more sustainable business in the long-term."

Bacardi achieves great water and energy savings

In 2012, Bacardi reduced its total water use by almost 10 percent (9.6 percent). Over the last four years it has reduced water use by more than 2,750 million liters. In 2013, the company became 6.3 percent more efficient in its water use than in 2012 by using more of its residual water from production for beneficial use and reducing the amount of wastewater discharge. In the last five years Bacardi has improved its water use efficiency by 36.1 percent and its water use efficiency index score showed a gain of 6.3 percent.

A total of 18 percent of Bacardi’s total primary energy is renewable. Part of the renewable energy is sourced from anaerobic reactors that the company uses to treat wastewater and convert the organic residues into biogas, which is then used as electricity to run a facility. Wind power is another part of the renewable energy mix. The Bacardi rum distillery at Catano, Puerto Rico is partly powered by two wind turbines that generate 500 kilowatts.

The company’s non-renewable energy use in 2013 actually increased, although its total energy use decreased. It blamed the increase on the failure of a wastewater reactor at a distillery in Puerto Rico, which resulted in less biogas production that required the company to burn more heavy fuel oil. However, its non-renewable energy use efficiency increased by 15.6 percent from 2006 to 2009 and by an additional 18.6 percent from 2009 to 2012. Its efficiency index score in 2013 was 25 percent better than it was in 2006.

Not everything in the report is so rosy. Bacardi's greenhouse gas emissions actually increased. The company's carbon emissions increased for the second year in 2013 by 4.7 percent. The company's overall GHG emissions increased by 12.5 percent. Bacardi blames the increases in 2012 on higher production, and the increases in 2013 to the lower biogas production due to the failed wastewater reactor. "Unfortunately, this year we had a setback arising from decreased renewable energy generation," the report stated. "Remedial actions are in place to return the distillery's GHG emissions to a reduction trajectory in the future."

Image credit: Graeme Maclean

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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