Progress in Positivity


Earth. The place we call home. It’s been aptly dubbed The Blue Planet, so named because it bears an abundance of water. And good thing too, because without it we wouldn’t be here—water being a key component of life. It also happens to be a necessary ingredient of industry: agriculture, manufacturing, municipalities, and yes, spirits; they all run on water. But here’s the irony: This Blue Planet of ours—able to sustain life only because of its abundance of water—is actually suffering a very serious water crisis.

Consider the following: While water covers a whopping 71% of Earth’s surface, only 3% of that water is fresh. And of that freshwater, as much as 68% is entirely inaccessible—frozen in the form of glaciers—which leaves a very small fraction into which people can actually tap as a way of meeting their basic needs. And while scarcity plays a major role in this crisis, it’s just one facet of a much larger issue: water stress.

Bacardi has laid out a bold solution to address its own water usage, one that will surely set the standard for the spirits industry for years to come. Its ambition: to be water positive by 2030 by giving back more water to the source than it withdraws.

Behind this bold ambition is the fact that water is an essential component of what Bacardi makes and how Bacardi goes about making it. More than that, there is a genuine desire to leave a legacy of good in every community from which it sources water.

Water stress is determined by a number of factors; water scarcity among them, but also other physical aspects, like water quality, accessibility, and environmental flows. When an entity (be it a community or a business) withdraws more water than its source can supply, it heavily contributes to the water stress of an area. And we live in a water-stressed world.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) reports that 17 countries—home to a staggering quarter of Earth’s population—face “extremely high” levels of baseline water stress every year, marked by the withdrawal of more than 80% of their water supply. Another 44 countries face “high” levels of water stress, affecting another one-third of the world. Water stress is real, which is why it’s more important than ever for Bacardi to lead the way in the spirits industry with this bold ambition of being water positive.

By proactively continuing to reduce water required for production, Bacardi will help de-stress those watersheds it relies so heavily upon. But that’s just one part of the solution. Additionally, replenishment projects (like tree plantings) and proper stewardship (like removing solids and sediments to increase water quantity) will help improve a watershed’s ability to both restore and retain water. Providing maintenance to water distribution systems will improve infrastructure, and implementing WASH (Water Accessibility Sanitation & Hygiene) programs will support community access to clean water.

But what does “water positive” mean? For Bacardi, it means:

  1. Reducing how much water the company withdraws from certain water sources by elevating its efficiency and implementing water circularity (treating and reusing water rather than taking additional water from the source)
  2. Giving back to the source more water than it withdraws by deploying proper stewardship and replenishment strategies

Our aspiration is to give back more than we take.  Because a company built from generations must embody a regenerative spirit if it wishes to benefit generations yet to come.

Facundo L. Bacardi
Chairman of the Board
Bacardi Limited

These strategies are already under way. Bacardi has made investments in infrastructure to treat water for reuse and is part of a pilot replenishment project called Charco Bendito in Mexico, where Bacardi is working alongside other organizations to support replenishment, provide people with clean water, plant trees, increase water infiltration and more to bolster the community.

Additional Good

While the world is producing twice as much plastic waste as it was just two decades ago, Bacardi is on a mission to eliminate it altogether from its products. Having committed to being plastic-free by 2030, Bacardi is on target to hit its first major goal by the end of 2023, eliminating all single-use plastic in point-of-sale materials and secondary packaging.

Cutting Plastic from Packaging

There’s a good chance you’ve seen it before: the little piece of plastic found in the neck of a bottle of alcohol designed to enhance the flow of liquid when poured. It’s called a non-refillable fitment (NRF), and it’s so commonplace in the spirits industry, it’s easy not to pay it any mind. But that little piece of plastic contributes to an awful lot of landfill waste every year. Starting in late 2022, Bacardi eliminated the NRF—along with plastic pourers—from its 1.75 liter bottles of BACARDÍ® rum in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, and from all bottles in its portfolio sold in Spain and Portugal. This single bold decision is a pioneering move for Bacardi—one that sets an example for the whole industry to follow—cutting approximately 140 tons of single-use plastic annually and bringing the company one step closer toward achieving its ultimate goal of being 100% plastic free by 2030.

Plastic-Free Gift Packs

People love giving the gift of premium spirits during the holiday season. Last year, Bacardi delivered a gift of its own during the holidays—a gift to the planet—in the form of innovative new gift pack designs that were 100% plastic-free, and the announcement that all gift pack designs will be plastic free moving forward. Using cardboard certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®, Bacardi also employed a new biobased material for its ABERFELDY® gift packs that is 100% compostable, becoming the first spirits company to do so. These innovative gift packs will result in the elimination of nearly 275 tons of single-use plastic every year. And Bacardi is committed to driving further innovation for its packaging, exploring sustainable materials as an alternative to plastic. Simply because it’s the right thing to do.

Beyond Plastic Bermuda

Bermuda is a beautiful place. Not only is the island a prime destination for vacationers seeking a little sun, it is home to the global headquarters of Bacardi. In an effort to keep Bermuda beautiful—and serving as an example of what Bacardi is doing on a larger scale, worldwide—Bacardi has partnered with Beyond Plastic Bermuda, an environmental campaign group committed to reducing plastic pollution in Bermuda. The campaign is a joint collaboration between the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) and Keep Bermuda Beautiful, and seeks to educate the local community about the dangers of plastic pollution while encouraging the reduction of single-use plastic.

For its part, Bacardi conducted a plastic audit of its global headquarters, as well as its distributors, to find ways of further reducing the unnecessary use of plastic. Additionally, Bacardi co-hosted workshops with local bars and restaurants and offered alternatives to single-use plastic. The campaign is an active step forward in the direction of a toxic-free circular economy for Bermuda—and an example for the world.

Creativity is not bound by form or medium. In fact, sometimes the best “canvas” isn’t a canvas at all—it’s a farm.

Herbivore Farms in Mumbai, India is such a canvas; an exciting example of the good that can grow when you plant a seed of inspiration. Founders Joshua Lewis and Sakina Rajkotwala converted a vintage industrial house into Mumbai’s first climate-controlled indoor, hyperlocal, hydroponic farm, dedicated to the purity of produce. Capable of growing 7,000 plants, vegetables and herbs using only 30 liters of water per day—that’s 75-95% less water than traditional field farming requires—Herbivore Farms has developed a method of vertical agriculture that grows five times the amount of produce per square foot as a typical farm can grow. Lewis and Rajkotwala call this method “Kind Cultivation,” and it has opened the door to fresh produce delivered throughout the city for people to access and enjoy on the very day the produce was harvested.

Such a blend of creativity and sustainability caught the attention of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®. The brand teamed up with Herbivore Farms in FY23 for The Art of Botanicals, an experiential event developed to inspire creativity for change and a purpose-driven future. The collaborative event combined curated cocktails and a meal (featuring fresh produce, of course) with a live musical performance from the notable Delhi-based duo, Kamakshi Khanna & Emanuel, a botanicals screen printing station, and an art exhibition featuring Priyanka Shah, whose evolving series, Fantasy Botanicals, is a visual exploration of entirely invented plants.

As a family-owned company, Bacardi has spent more than 160 years pioneering change in the spirits industry and throughout the world. With aspirations of being the most environmentally responsible global spirits company, Bacardi consistently works toward a future that prioritizes sustainability—reducing waste, cutting emissions, restoring natural habitats, and facilitating a cleaner, healthier planet. It’s all part of the company’s legacy of good.

Bacardi Founder’s Day Tree Planting

The Bacardi legacy began in 1862, and every year the company celebrates its anniversary on February 4—Founder’s Day. To mark its 161st milestone, Bacardi committed to doing something special for its people and the planet by planting a tree for every one of its employees. The initiative will capture a combined 2.5 million kilograms of CO2 over the lifetime of the trees while supporting biodiversity and helping the local communities where they’re planted. Planting sites include areas in India, Nepal, Indonesia, Ecuador and Madagascar—all chosen because they represent locations where Bacardi sources key raw ingredients and botanicals used across its portfolio of brands. Eleven different tree species have been carefully selected to maximize the benefits in each location.

Additionally, Bacardi intends to plant 161 coconut trees in Puerto Rico to honor the home of the world’s largest premium rum distillery. But that’s not all: Every employee also received an anniversary edition bottle of BACARDÍ® Carta Blanca, packaged with a QR code that enables them to plant their own tree and track its progress via an online platform as a way of encouraging a deeper and long-lasting connection between each employee and the initiative.

ANGEL’S ENVY® Toast The Trees

Hosted by ANGEL’S ENVY® Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, Toast the Trees is an initiative that aims to bolster the bourbon industry by planting American white oaks, a necessary component of the spirit’s aging process. In 2022, ANGEL’S ENVY® sought to make the 9th year of its program bigger and more successful than ever before. The bourbon maker kicked everything off with an exclusive event featuring custom forage-inspired cocktails, food, and a cocktail kit, and partnered with influencers to generate hype.

It worked.

Toast the Trees successfully hit its goal of 75,000 trees planted, bringing the total number of trees planted since the 2014 launch of the program up to 275,000. Not only will this positively impact the bourbon industry, over the next 40 years the trees planted to date will capture an estimated 72,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere (the equivalent of 16,000 fewer cars on the road); add 8.3 million gallons of cleaner water to the ecosystem (the equivalent of providing 95,000 people with cleaner water); and remove more than 230 tons of pollutants from the air (the equivalent of providing enough oxygen for more than 50,000 people).

TEELING® Sustainability Practices

Having earned recognition as Ireland’s most sustainable distillery, TEELING® has no intention of slowing down its efforts to maximize sustainability. The brand continues to adopt better business practices and prioritize social responsibility initiatives.

  • Named “Sustainable Distillery of the Year” by Whisky Magazine in its Icons of Whisky Ireland 2022 awards
  • Origin Green verified member
  • All bottles are made from 75% recycled glass and are 100% recyclable
  • Spent grain is repurposed as high-quality animal feed and distributed from its distillery to local farmers
  • A rainwater harvesting system paired with private well access empowers water regulation and conservation
  • The distillery’s rooftop is home to 500,000 bees, which supply organic honey for onsite craft cocktails

CAZADORES® Sustainability Practices

The name Cazadores (or “the Hunters”) represents the majestic stags that roam the tequila brand’s agave fields and the quest to find the perfect tequila recipe. And while the brand has a rich legacy dating back more than a century, that quest is very much alive today—to make exquisite tequila products and ensure sustainable methods.

  • “Clean Industry” certification from the Mexican government’s Environment Council
  • Leftover agave fibers without sugar are converted into biofuel to power biomass boilers used during extraction, cooking, and distillation processes
  • Treated bioproducts are used as organic fertilizer for agave fields after distillation
  • Zero waste going to landfills
  • 80% reduction in GHG emissions due to the use of its biomass boiler
  • 100% of Blue Weber Agave will be sustainably sourced by 2025
  • 100% of the distillery’s electrical power needs are generated by renewable energy
  • 100% of cardboard in packaging is certified sustainable
  • On target to achieve its goal of 50% of water in every bottle to be replenished by 2025

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Sustainability Practices

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® is harnessing the power of creativity to pioneer a more sustainable future. The brand prioritizes sustainability practices across every facet of its business—from production to packaging, ingredients to its distillery.

  • 100% of botanicals are sustainably sourced
  • Iconic blue glass in every bottle is 100% recyclable
  • Bottle labels are made from paper certified as sustainable by the Forestry Stewardship Council
  • Distillery design was awarded “Outstanding” by BREEAM, the world’s leading environmental assessment on buildings
  • Distillery uses 100% renewable electricity, achieving the Carbon Trust Standard
  • Distillery sends zero waste to landfill (all waste is recycled or converted into energy)

BACARDÍ® Rum Sustainability Practices

BACARDÍ® rum goes to great lengths to set the standard for sustainability practices, doing what’s right for the world, its people and the communities it touches.

  • 95% of steam from distillation is used to create clean energy
  • By switching from oil to gas in 2023, we expect to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Casa BACARDÍ pollinator gardens create habitats for wildlife (including seven different types of bats)
  • Ensures workers’ rights and fair compensation for sugarcane sourced to make its rum
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Good Choices

Good Footprint

Good Futures

Good Sources