It takes time – in some cases, many years – for Bacardi rum to mellow and come of age. It’s the length of time the rum spends in American white oak barrels that determines the spirit’s richness, aroma and smoothness.
When the rum is ready, and it’s time to retire the barrels – usually after approximately 20 years of continual use – caretakers make sure the signature containers live on. At Bacardi Corporation in Puerto Rico, old barrels are ground into woodchips that are then spread as mulch for landscaping.
This recycling effort not only helps beautify the 127-acre campus of the world’s largest premium rum distillery, it also supplies employees with nutrient-rich mulch that they can use on their own lawns and gardens at home.
“If we didn’t recycle, our barrels would eventually go to a landfill, which is not the best option for a small island like Puerto Rico,” says Lissette Sepulveda, Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator for Bacardi Corp. “Turning old rum barrels into mulch helps achieve our global sustainability goal to return to the environment at least as much as we take away.”
Building on current programs and efficiencies to reduce water and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the Bacardi Limited “Good Spirited” global sustainability program sets specific goals in three areas:
- Responsible Sourcing: Bacardi strives to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers. By 2017, the goal is to obtain 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make Bacardi rum from certified, sustainable sources – and 100 percent by 2022. This pledge from Bacardi is an industry first.
- Global Packaging: Bacardi commits to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials. By 2017, Bacardi plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10 percent and achieve 15 percent by 2022.
- Operational Efficiencies: Bacardi continues to focus on reducing water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with a 2017 goal to cut water use by 55 percent and GHG emissions by 50 percent. In addition, Bacardi aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.
To learn more about Bacardi Limited and its “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” environmental initiative for sourcing, packaging and operational efficiencies across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits brands, visit here.