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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.

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