HAMILTON, Bermuda, Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ongoing environmental efforts to protect Fiji's spectacular Great Sea Reef and lush tropical farmland include a model sugarcane farm initiative backed by Bacardi, maker of the world's favorite rum, and the conservation group, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Sugar is Fiji's oldest industry and has been the vanguard of economic growth and development in the country for more than a century; while the Great Sea Reef, one of the largest reef systems in the world, supplies as much as 80% of the domestic fish market.
"The key ingredient for our award-winning BACARDI® rum is molasses, a by-product of sugarcane," says Dave Howson, Global Sustainability Director for family-owned Bacardi. "To ensure viable sugarcane production, we're working with the WWF to improve farming practices and operations through model sugarcane farms. That, in turn, helps reduce degradation of the Great Sea Reef."
Simple changes – such as terracing, and carefully distancing rows of sugarcane – help control nutrient and seed runoff into waterways leading to the Reef. That protects Fiji's natural beauty – and the future of its economy.
"With the model farm program, lessons learned from other sugar producing countries now are being introduced in Fiji," explains Vinesh Kumar, Program Coordinator with the WWF.
"I see this as the way to the future," says Fiji sugarcane farmer, Pradeep Lal. "The collaboration will definitely help me to become a better farmer and, at the same time, increase the crop yield."
As the largest privately held spirits company in the world, Bacardi is out front in the effort to advance sugarcane farming, pledging that by 2022, 100% of its sugarcane derived products used for BACARDI rum will come from certified, sustainable sources. This pledge from Bacardi is an industry first.
"Our goal is to return to the environment at least as much as we take away. With such model farm programs, we're setting a sustainability standard for others in the spirits industry to follow," adds Howson.
As part of its ongoing commitment to responsible sourcing, Bacardi helped establish the global, multi-stakeholder nonprofit initiative called Bonsucro to improve economic, environmental and social conditions of sugarcane production around the world.
"It's important for companies like Bacardi to set the industry example by creating time-bound commitments for sustainably sourcing," explains Natasha Schwarzbach, Interim General Manager for Bonsucro. "This helps enable us to transform the sugarcane industry and make a real impact on the ground."
Since 2006, when the Company began tracking its global impacts on the environment, Bacardi has reduced nonrenewable energy use by 27.7%, supported by a 28.5% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from production. These activities are part of the Bacardi Limited "Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future" initiative that sets specific goals by 2022 for sourcing, packaging and operations across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits brands to help the Company reach its vision of a zero-net impact:
- 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 BACARDI rum from certified, sustainable sources – and 100% by 2022.
- 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.
- 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%. 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 for sourcing, packaging and operational efficiencies across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits brands, visit http://www.bacardilimited.com/good-spirited.
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 BACARDI® rum, the world's best-selling and most-awarded rum, as well as the world's most-awarded spirit; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world's leading super-premium vodka; DEWAR'S® Blended Scotch whisky, the world's most-awarded blended Scotch; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued and fastest-growing premium gin in the world; MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, the world's leading vermouth and the world's favorite Italian sparkling wines; CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, one of the most popular premium tequilas in Mexico and the United States; and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON'S®, the fastest-growing global Scotch whisky brand; ERISTOFF® vodka, one of the fastest-growing vodka brands in the world; and ST-GERMAIN®, a super-premium elderflower liqueur.
Founded 152 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. www.BacardiLimited.com
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter.
Bonsucro® is a global multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of sugarcane production while recognising the need for economic viability. Bonsucro links its name to a product or process that has been certified by an independent certification body as being in compliance with the Bonsucro Standard. It is the first global metric standard for sugarcane. With an ever-increasing membership list counting over 100 members from 27 countries representing all areas of the supply chain, and a Board of Directors that is similarly representative of the variety of industry actors, Bonsucro is a highly robust, transparent and democratic organisation that has the resources and commitment to bring about its vision: A sugarcane sector that is continuously improving and verified as sustainable. Visit www.bonsucro.com to learn more and keep up with the latest news by following @Bonsucro on Twitter.
LIVE PASSIONATELY. DRINK RESPONSIBLY.
BACARDI, THE BAT DEVICE & OTHER MARKS RELATED TO PRODUCTS ARE TRADEMARKS OF BACARDI & COMPANY LIMITED OR OF OTHER SUBSIDIARIES OF BACARDI LIMITED.
SOURCE Bacardi Limited