BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Makes Its Laverstoke Mill Distillery Bat-Friendly

Bats living inside new distillery humanely captured and released to roost another day
May 12, 2015 7:05 AM ET

Hamilton, Bermuda, May 12, 2015 /3BL Media/ — The iconic BACARDÍ bat emblem is one of the most recognizable trademarks in the world, so coincidentally, as a Bacardi-owned brand, it's only natural that BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® had to deal with bats during the recent renovation of the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in England.

When the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill renovation began, restoration crews found that the empty buildings they thought to be vacant had some very agile, yet shy, nocturnal tenants. The 18th-century, no longer used Georgian and Victorian structures provided the perfect roost for a colony of bats that seemed none-too-prepared to leave. In the English countryside, bats are protected by law and those knowingly disturbing their roosts can be fined or imprisoned.

For this reason, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE restoration crews took extra care when re-roofing all of the dilapidated buildings on the Laverstoke Mill property, a stately industrial site once used as a paper mill for the British Empire. Craftsmen turned and lifted each roof slate a certain way to ensure the protection of any little creature on the other side and even called in an expert to help remove bats humanely when they encountered one.

The Laverstoke location in Hampshire is rich in fauna and industrial history, which can be traced back a thousand years. Because of this and its natural splendor, the entire site is government-protected through its SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) status. It's hard to imagine that the peaceful, rural English landscape bustled with industry when one sees the natural stream that runs through the heart of the property. In the spring and summer, it’s not unusual to see a range of insects such as butterflies and bees fluttering down the River Test, stopping randomly, flower to flower. All around the property, life now buzzes, both inside the recently redone facility and outside, where an abundant amount of wildlife, aside from the bats, can be found including otters, kingfishers, ducks and fish.

While the little bats posed a small complicating factor in the restoration of the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill, in the Bacardi tradition, they also symbolized good fortune and family unity. For Bacardi, this unity extends to all of its owned brands with its Good Spirited global environmental sustainability initiative, a companywide eco-conscious campaign to address three main areas within all of its brands including responsible sourcing, global packaging and operational efficiencies. Within this spirit, the entire Laverstoke Mill redevelopment, while difficult, is a model for industrial sustainability as teams made every effort to minimize any impact on the outstanding environment, including its precious wildlife.

“As the steward of the property, we have wholeheartedly embraced its little winged tenants while we improve the quality of the ecology and biodiversity at our new brand home. With our good-spirited consideration, we are happy to be their landlord and thoughtfully placed 20 bat boxes onsite in likely roosting locations to ensure a peaceful co-existing living arrangement for years to come,” says Will Brix, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Estate Manager.

Building on current programs and efficiencies that reduce water and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the Bacardi Limited Good Spirited platform reinforces the Company’s years of leadership in corporate social responsibility – and sets specific, new goals in three vital areas:

  1. 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% of the sugarcane-derived products used to make BACARDÍ premium rums from certified, sustainable sources – and 100% by 2022. This pledge from Bacardi is an industry first.
  2. 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% and achieve 15% by 2022. Bacardi collaborates with its partners – including glass and paper suppliers – to make packaging more environmentally friendly.
  3. 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% and GHG emissions by 50%. The Company further seeks innovative treatments for water left over from production. 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 across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits brands, visit



BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is the fastest growing of the major premium gin brands and the world's No. 1 premium gin by value. Based on a secret 1761 recipe, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin is created by perfectly balancing a unique combination of 10 hand-selected exotic botanicals from around the world. The natural flavors of the botanicals are captured through a delicate distillation process called Vapour Infusion, which results in the tantalizing, smooth and complex taste that is BOMBAY SAPPHIRE.

The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.


About Bacardi Limited

Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and Italian sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky, ERISTOFF® vodka, and ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur.

Founded 153 years ago in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, family-owned Bacardi manufactures its brands at 29 facilities and sells in more than 160 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.


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