HAMILTON, Bermuda, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With sustainability, small steps add up; however, Bacardi has forged ahead with giant leaps. The largest privately held spirits company cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity, worldwide, in half—more than a year earlier than its end of December 2017 target. This astounding 50% reduction in GHGs is equivalent to taking 15,000 cars off the road each year, reducing oil use by 165,000 barrels annually or installing 18 wind turbines.
"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. We set an ambitious corporate responsibility goal, and we reached it nearly 15 months early. We not only achieved it; we surpassed it with outside-the-box thinking, hard work and the passion of Bacardi employees," says Mike Dolan, chief executive officer of family-owned Bacardi Limited. Moving forward, Bacardi will set new targets in alignment with the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in Paris(COP21) late last year, and supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. For Bacardi, this achievement comes as no surprise given the hundreds of energy reduction initiatives implemented globally at the company's distilleries, bottling lines, visitor centers and offices. Bacardi realized this astonishing goal through systematic objectives laid out within its Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future global environmental sustainability platform, which reinforces the company's years of leadership in corporate social responsibility. From operations to improved energy efficiencies, every area was addressed, including lighting, motors, HVAC and compressed air systems. Further, continuous audits ensured real gains, which helped refine methods and accelerate the GHG reductions achieved. The original target date to accomplish the 50% reduction was December 31, 2017. "Through full-circle thinking, we were able to stay the course on this 10-year vision," adds Jean-Marc Lambert, senior vice president, Global Operations. "We're not stopping here—we're working toward a net-zero impact throughout the entire value chain in the production of our world-class brands. Our goal is to return to the environment as least as much as we take away." Among the many energy-focused initiatives, the company focused on renewable electricity from wind turbines and heat recovery systems at operations sites. Additionally, new biomass boilers at the Tequila CAZADORES ® facility, and ABERFELDY ® and ROYAL BRACKLA ®Scotch whisky distilleries reduce the amount of fuel needed for reliable, cleaner energy. Instead of oil, renewable organic material, such as wood pellets and chips, and agave fibers leftover from the production of the company's premium brands is used as fuel for the biomass boilers. As a model of sustainability, the refurbished CAZADORES facility in Mexico is 100% biomass fueled, with 0% of its waste deposited in landfills—nothing goes to waste…not even the biomass boiler's ashes, which are used to enrich the soil in the agave fields. 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, creating biogas in the process. The biogas is fed into the boilers which power the distillery. This saves about half the energy needed to run them and reduces the need for imported oil or gas. Bacardi will continue its Good Spirited initiatives on the course to its net-zero vision. Rigorous evaluations to ensure every ounce of energy is well spent will continue as the Good Spirited momentum turns eco-conscious passion into real environmental returns.