Sustainability is no longer a little-known cause pushed by a small group of activists. The environment is officially a major player in the drinks industry, factoring into the calculations of big brands. Bacardi is one heavyweight producer leading the charge. The company officially released the results of their three year push towards sustainability and admittedly, it’s pretty impressive. Pushing ahead, Bacardi also announced some ambitious goals to keep up the momentum.
The original Good Spirited program was announcing in 2014. The family owned company vowed to make significant reductions to Green House Gas (GHG) intensity and water usage; in addition, commitments were made to zero waste to landfill and a push towards sustainably sourced sugarcane. The spirits giant announced that they met those goals.
“Every Bacardi employee should take pride in what we have achieved to make the world a better, more sustainable place,” said Jean-Marc Lambert, Bacardi’s Senior VP for Global Operations in a statement. “While we are pleased with our almost 60% reduction in GHG intensity and 50% reduction in water usage, we’re not stopping here—we’re working to achieve a net-zero impact throughout the value chain of our world-class brands. Our goal remains to return to the environment at least as much as we take away.”
The distiller’s GHG emissions are down 59%, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road, according to the company. New implementations of biogas, heat recovery systems, and wind turbines was a major factor. Biomass boilers at Cazadores, Aberfeldy, and Royal Brackla also contributed to there reduction.
Conservation measures at 25 manufacturing sites resulted in the 50% water use reduction between 2006 and December 2017.
Bacardi also reported that as of December 2018, 99.8% of their waste was diverted from landfills. 2022 is the target date to achieve full zero waste to landfill.
The report was not all roses. The 2014 goals also included a commitment to reduce glass weight via a 10% packaging reduction— a target that the producer missed. “his missed target was mainly driven by two factors: new packaging design implications and a refocus to overall GHG impact instead of only weight reduction,” offered the company in a statement.
Bacardi is also signing up for the Bonsucro standard. The certification is awarded to sugarcane producers who adhere to base level standards covering sustainable agriculture, labor conditions, and human rights. At the close of last years, Bacardi reported that 86.3% of their sugarcane is sourced from Bonsucro certified farmers.
For the next phase of the Good Spirited program, Bacardi turned to parameters set out its official sounding UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, future emphasis will include diversity, responsible drinking, community involvement, responsible sourcing, and additional focus on the environment.
Direct from the source, the official agenda for Bacardi’s Good Spirited expansion follows…
1. Support the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol (UN SDG #3)
- Increase support of responsible drinking initiatives and partnerships in the top 80% of Bacardi markets
- Carry responsible drinking messaging and website designation on 100% of brand labels
- Make available to the consumer nutrition information for all brands
- Lead efforts, along with other industry members and partners, to put in place measures and standards to ensure digital marketing messages are targeted to adults of legal drinking age only
2. Care for and support our people, and reflect the diversity of our global operations (UN SDGs #5, #8)
- Less than one Lost Time Accident per 1,000,000 worked hours (previously set to achieve by 2023)
- Support equal opportunity and leadership for women at all levels by having at least 45% of a female workforce and an increase in women in leadership positions
- 90% of employees participate in training and development programs
3. Return to the environment at least as much as we take away (UN SDGs #6, #7, #12, #13, #14)
- 25% reduction of water consumed (focusing on water not returned to original source) at our operations*
- 50% replenishment of water incorporated into final product*
- Reduce absolute Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions 50% and reduce absolute value chain GHG emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3) 20% (approved by Science Based Targets)*
- Zero Waste to Landfill at all manufacturing sites (previously set to achieve by 2022)
- Eliminate one billion single-use plastic straws in collaboration with others (by 2020)
- Analyze and develop single-use plastic reduction across operations and supply chain
- *As compared to 2015 baseline (using earliest reliable data available)
4. Source our materials responsibly (UN SDGs #8, #12, #15)
- 100% of key raw materials sourced from sustainably-certified suppliers
- 100% paper and board used for shipping and labels sustainably certified
- 100% of product packaging to be recyclable
- 40% recycled content of product packaging materials
5. Take care of our communities (UN SDG #17)
- 95% of Bacardi offices and manufacturing sites to participate in at least one CR employee engagement activity in partnership with local organizations
- 90% of employees to volunteer one work day to a personal cause or organization