Bacardi Sustainability Report: Energy Efficiency Up 7%, Water Efficiency Up 9%
Drinks giant Bacardi reduced its absolute water use by four percent in 2011, while improving its water use efficiency by nine percent, according to the company’s 2010/11 corporate responsibility report.
In 2011 the beverage company used 1,640 million liters of water, down from 1,710 million liters in 2010. Its water use efficiency – the amount of water used per unit of production – has improved 35 percent in the five years since the company set environmental targets. Its five year target was a 15 percent improvement.
In those five years, the drinks company has cut water use in half, saving 1,630 million liters, the report says.
As water is a key ingredient in many Bacardi products, the company concentrates on reducing the amount of wastewater discharged during production and improving the quality of wastewater that is discharged. Almost 20 percent of Bacardi’s wastewater is used as irrigation or fertilizer for crops, with the remainder going to municipal water treatment or, after in-house treatment, back to local water courses, the report says.
As for water sourcing, the company garners 53 percent of its water from groundwater sources, 44 percent from public supplies and 3 percent from surface water.
The company reduced its energy use by 5 percent from 2011 to 2010. In 2011, Bacardi used 1.74 million Gj of energy, down from 1.83 million Gj in 2010. The company’s five-year trend since fiscal 2006 shows a drop in energy use of 29 percent.
Bacardi’s energy efficiency improved by seven percent year-on-year in 2011, and the company has beat its five-year target to improve energy efficiency by 12 percent, delivering a 28 percent improvement since fiscal 2006. The company says that its continued improvement in energy efficiency was achieved by “better operating discipline, conservation measures and installing new, more efficient equipment and energy recovery systems.”
The company’s improvement in energy use in fiscal 2011 was accompanied by greater use of renewable energy and a corresponding eight percent reduction in its dependence on fossil fuels year-on-year, the report says. Since fiscal 2006, Bacardi has increased its use of renewable fuels (mainly biogas) from 10 percent of its energy use to 17 percent, a 60 percent improvement. The company used no renewable electricity in 2006.
Last year saw the company’s Italian operations complete a switch to hydroelectric power, and its Puerto Rico distillery install a wind turbine. Renewable fuel and renewable electricity combined now account for 16 percent of Bacardi’s energy use.
In fiscal 2011, Bacardi reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by seven percent, compared to 2010. Figures for 2011 show that Bacardi released 90,300 metric tons of greenhouse gasses, down from 97,500 in 2010.
Unlike water and energy use, the company did not set a five-year target for greenhouse emissions, but it had expected a 12-to-15 percent drop in emissions, somewhat in line with its targeted renewable energy-use increases. However, since fiscal 2006, Bacardi has seen a 37 percent drop in its greenhouse emissions. This is equal to a 52,700 metric ton reduction in 2011, compared to 2006.
The company’s greenhouse gas intensity – the amount of greenhouse emissions per unit of production – has followed a similar trend. From 2010 to 2011 Bacardi’s greenhouse gas intensity improved nine percent. Since 2006 the company has reduced its greenhouse gas intensity by 36 percent.
In 2011 Bacardi generated 133,320 metric tons of non-hazardous waste, down from 152,528 metric tons in 2010, a 12.6 percent reduction.
Hazardous waste, much of which is waste alcohol, amounted to 37 metric tons in fiscal 2011, equivalent to 0.03 percent of the company’s total waste production. Hazardous waste production was down just shy of 16 percent from 44 metric tons in fiscal 2010.
Some 98 percent of the total waste that Bacardi produced in 2011 was recycled, reused or recovered. The company’s Switzerland site converts spent botanicals into pellets which are used by local farmers as fertilizer. At its Aberfeldy, Scotland, distillery a by-product known as pot ale is converted into a syrup which is sold as animal feed. Two percent of the company’s waste ends up in landfills.
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