Bacardi reduces water use but energy consumption up 7%

Bacardi improved its water efficiency per unit of product by 11% in 2012 compared to 2011, due to increased production volumes and water efficiency measures.

According to the spirits company’s 2012 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, released yesterday, the improvements were delivered through a combination of water conservation measures, new water-efficient equipment and advanced water recycling systems.

However, water use at the company’s production facilities remained almost level from 2011. Since the spirits company set its environmental targets in 2006, it has cut water use by almost half (49.4% reduction), saving 1,620 million litres in 2012.

Last year, Bacardi also discharged a total of 1,470 million litres of treated wastewater and used 340 million litres of spent process water for land application.

President and CEO of Bacardi Limited, Ed Shirley, said: “We aim to chart a new path in sustainable business practices. Our goal is to set the standard against which sustainability efforts in the spirits industry are measured.”

The report also showed that the company’s total energy use increased by 7% in 2012 from the previous year, mainly due to production increases. However, its total primary energy use has decreased by 24% since 2006.

This increase in energy resulted in a 6% year-on-year rise in greenhousegas emissions (GHG) to 95,600 tonnes.

“This increase is directly linked to the growth in production in fiscal 2012. Around two-thirds of these emissions are direct emissions from fuel use at our operations and one-third is indirect emissions coming from the electricity we use,” the company states.

However, compared to 2006, its total GHG emissions have fallen by 33%, a reduction of 46,500 tonnes over the six-year period.

The company’s non-renewable energy use, which it defines as electricity supplied from the power grid, increased by 5% in 2012. But despite a year-on-year increase, the report shows a 29% reduction in non-renewable energy use since its 2006 baseline year.

In addition, it has increased the use of renewable fuels, mainly biogas, from 10% to 19% of total fuel use, a 90% improvement. Similarly, the use of renewable electricity has increased from zero in 2006 to 16% in 2012.

The company’s CSR report also showed that in 2012 the company generated 153,460 tonnes of non-hazardous waste, a 15% increase from 2011. As with the increase in energy use, this is the result of increased production, particularly of distilled products.

Leigh Stringer

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