Bacardi Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half with New Heat and Power System

casa bacardi cathedral 8 in Puerto Rico with flags flying and the sun setting.

(Credit: Bacardi)

by | Oct 3, 2023

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Bacardi, the largest privately held international spirits company in the world, has announced the opening of its new combined heat and power (CHP) system that will cut the brand’s greenhouse gas emissions in half.

The new system, located at the world’s largest premium rum distillery located in Cataño, Puerto Rico, replaces the heavy fuel oil with propane gas. The system will generate 100% of the energy used at the distillery, Bacardi’s offices and the Casa Bacardi visitor center.

Bacardi’s portfolio includes more than 200 brands and labels, including several well-known spirits, Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Patron tequila, Dewar’s Blended Scotch whisky, Bombay Saphire gin, Martini vermouth and sparkling wines, Cazadores tequila and more. The distillery was built in 1958 on 127 acres in the town of Cataño. It is the largest premium rum distillery in the world and is known as the “Cathedral of Rum,” the company said.

The move with the CHP system is part of Bacardi’s Good Spirited, its corporate responsibility program that is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Bacardi’s goals include a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at Bacardi production sites, a 25% reduction in water consumption at Bacardi production sites, as well as sourcing 100% of key raw materials and packaging, using 100% recyclable product packaging and 40% recycled content of product packaging materials. In addition, Bacardi is aiming for zero waste to landfill at all production sites. 

The company’s environmental changes come as consumers are more concerned than ever about the sustainability of the brands they use. Recent studies have shown shoppers are prioritizing social and environmental responsibility in food businesses in particular.

“At Bacardi, we are committed to cutting our GHG emissions by reducing our energy consumption and switching to the most sustainable form of energy where we make our beloved brands. We are continuously exploring ways in which we can take more positive steps towards our ultimate goal of net zero across our sites,” Edwin Zayas, vice president of operations for Bacardi Corporation in Puerto Rico, said in a statement. “We are proud of the work we are doing in Puerto Rico, and across the globe, to be greener and cleaner with our energy.”

Beyond the new CHP system, Bacardi is implementing other energy-saving measures and environmental practices, such as creating biogas through the cleaning of wastewater that can power the distillation and create electricity. Already, more than 60% of the distillery’s energy is generated this way.

Plus, the distillery recaptures 95% of the heat generated during distillation, and Bacardi is developing a new project to capture carbon dioxide from the fermentation process and supply it to the sparkling drinks industry in Puerto Rico.

The spirits company is also taking other measures, including planting and nurturing pollinator gardens to support local wildlife in Puerto Rico and planting 161 coconut trees in Puerto Rico last year. 

“As a family-owned company, we take great responsibility in protecting the legacy of generations to come,” Magaly Feliciano, global sustainability director, said in a statement. “The work we are doing today will help build a more sustainable future for our people and the planet.”

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