Bacardi Sustainability Report: Water Intensity Down 11% in a Year

by | Mar 29, 2013

Bacardi’s greenhouse gas intensity fell by six percent in FY 2012, and its water use efficiency improved by 11 percent, beating goals set for the year, according to the company’s latest sustainability report.

The drinks maker says it had a goal of a 1 percent improvement in both metrics.

Water use, sourcing and discharges

In fiscal 2012, water use at Bacardi production facilities remained essentially static year-on-year at 1.65 billion liters, but efficiency improved substantially due to increased production volumes. The company has improved water efficiency by 44.4 percent since 2006, and cut water use by 49.4 percent on an absolute basis, through water-efficiency equipment, water recycling systems and operational improvements, the report says.

For example, the company’s plant in Beaucaire, France, optimized its cooling water system, modified its cleaning systems to eliminate unnecessary equipment rinsing, and invested in a new water treatment system that reduced reject water by two-thirds. The plant cut water use per unit of production by nearly 8 percent, and by half since FY 2006, with the added benefit of improving energy efficiency by 27 percent over the same six-year period.

The company’s water data does not include its malt whisky distilleries, which use water for distilling and production, along with a large quantity for cooling, although this water does not come into direct contact with production and therefore does not create wastewater. Bacardi says it is developing a method for measuring this water use separately and will include it in future reporting. In FY 2013, it is targeting a 1 percent improvement in water use efficiency.

The report does not say how Bacardi’s water discharges changed over time. It does say that 43 percent of used process water was discharged to bodies of water following on-site treatment, while 38 percent was discharged to municipal treatment facilities (for a total of 1,470 million liters of discharged water in FY 2012) and 19 percent (or 340 million liters) went to beneficial land applications. Last year Bacardi’s direct treated wastewater discharges included 3,500 metric tons of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and 4,300 metric tons of total suspended solids (TSS).

Greenhouse gases and energy

In 2012 Bacardi cut its GHG intensity by 6 percent year-on-year, for a total of 32 percent since 2006. Its total GHG emissions rose 6 percent to 95,600 metric tons, due to growth in production and increase in non-renewable energy use, although absolute GHG emissions fell by 33 percent over the six-year period.

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