The Long-Term Benefits of Sustainability in Distilleries

by Nicola Carruthers
Mar 28, 2018 12:30 PM ET

Originally published by The Spirits Business

Spirits producers are learning that sustainability is not just in the best interest of the environment but it’s also beneficial for business. The issue of sustainability has been around for a long time but in the past five years the industry has undergone something of an energy revolution. The benefits are numerous; being consistently aware of the environment helps distilleries cut back on long­term costs, appeal to new markets and improve brand image.

And when it comes to reducing environmental impact, spirits makers are taking many approaches. One of the biggest players in the sustainability game is Bacardi, which has championed the approach since the beginning of the company, more than 155 years ago.

The Bermuda-­based group launched an ambitious environmental sustainability initiative called Good Spirited, with specific goals in sourcing, packaging and operations. The firm cut its greenhouse-­gas emissions intensity in half in 2016 – more than a year earlier than its end­-of­-December-2017 target.

The company has made a wealth of changes as part of its sustainability mission: installing biomass boilers at its Tequila Cazadores, Aberfeldy and Royal Brackla facilities, and fuelling them with renewable organic material; harnessing wind power to produce Bacardi rum in Puerto Rico; and introducing a ‘green’ distillery for Bombay Sapphire. Other such initiatives include the creation of an energy­-efficient blending­-and­-shipping centre for Dewar’s and William Lawson’s Scotch whiskies.

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