BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Reinstates Water Turbine on River Test at its Laverstoke Mill Distillery

Water wheel provides high, reliable and free power to light state-of-the-art gin visitor centre and displays
Jun 2, 2015 7:05 AM ET

Hamilton, Bermuda, June 2, 2015 /3BL Media/ — The renovation plan for the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Distillery at Laverstoke Mill got the sustainability wheels turning as teams figured out how to reinstate the former paper mill's water turbine to once again harness the power of clean energy. Now operational, the refurbished water turbine provides green energy to power the new distillery's state-of-the-art visitor centre, and all of its displays, at the restored facility, which recently opened to the public in October.

For hundreds of years, the historic Laverstoke Mill bustled with industry as it churned out the paper needed to make bank notes for the British Empire. Ingenuity of the 19th century captured the power of nature at the heart of the mill as its turbine motorized the belts and pulleys needed to bring the factory's machines to life. The mill's automated inner-working parts pumped with a rhythm, animating the buildings with the lifeblood current from the River Test, which always provided an abundant flow of unfailing water power.

With years of disuse, Laverstoke Mill fell into disrepair, and its engine, the original water wheel, was long gone—only a big hole remained in its place. The original turbine building stood lifeless, without its core, but redevelopment plans included designs to lovingly restore the heart of the property, to revive the buildings and bring industry back to the historic Laverstoke Mill site. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill is the new brand home of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, known for its production of the world's number one premium gin, and for being one of the most forward-thinking, sustainable gin brands in the world.

“Through careful consideration of the historic site and buildings, which are government protected, the redevelopment team commissioned a specialist to find and recondition a suitable turbine for the distillery. Today, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery uses the same constant, renewable power from the River Test that brought industry to the Laverstoke Mill riverbanks for a thousand years,” says Will Brix, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Estate Manager.

As a Bacardi-owned brand, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin brand is doing its part to fulfill the Bacardi Limited Good Spirited campaign, which strives to improve sustainability within three main areas: responsible sourcing, global packaging and operational efficiencies. Across all its brands, Bacardi has already reduced both nonrenewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 28% and seeks to attain a net-zero impact on the environment, companywide. With the added benefit of the clean energy from the newly reinstalled turbine at the renovated distillery, these percentages will certainly improve. In fact, together with other renewable sourcing on the Laverstoke Mill campus, in addition to solar power and the hydroelectric turbine, the distillery already provides a carbon savings of more than 30%.

The distillery has garnered great attention for its environmental sustainability as it won the 2014 BREEAM Industrial award, which represents an amazing accomplishment worldwide as the first distillery to achieve this honor. BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. The organization made specific mention of the distillery's low-carbon energy use when it bestowed the award.

At the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill, a hole has been filled, and the heart of the property, a turbine wheel, carefully restored to make use of what nature has provided, and to drive the brand's sustainability for the future.  

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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