CATAÑO, Puerto Rico, March 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bats are more than just an icon on a label for Bacardi. The company, synonymous with the world's only flying mammal, stepped up its environmental stewardship efforts at the world's largest premium rum distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico to create a full-circle bat conservation campaign in 2018. The initiative was applauded during the annual WHC Conservation Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, where Bacardi demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship by securing the WHC Conservation Certification. This is the first WHC certification for a program in Puerto Rico and the second certification for a Bacardi facility, the first was for the program at Bacardi Bottling Corporation in Jacksonville, FL, which recently achieved re-certification.
"Bacardi is an environmental leader, voluntarily managing its lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them," said Margaret O'Gorman, president, Wildlife Habitat Council. "Achieving certification at the Bacardi Corporation facility in Puerto Rico demonstrates the company's commitment to the environment, employee engagement and community relations."
The Bacardi bat program in Puerto Rico, spread over several months, offered education to company employees and the local community. The wildlife management process began with educating an all-volunteer employee team about bat species in the area, and their importance to the island's ecosystem, hosting a day-long exhibition on site, and participation at the "Puerto Rico during Climate Change" event, where booths provided education on the importance of bat conservation.
The initiative also marked the beginning of the Bacardi facility's ongoing restoration of the natural forest area near the front of the campus which is now home to four of the eight bat houses on property. The Puerto Rico team plans to expand the size of the forest over time with additional tree and shrub plantings in the surrounding open lawn areas. The goal is to connect the forest patch to the forested area on the south side of the campus. These reforestation efforts will enhance the area's value to birds, bats and other wildlife on site.
The program to develop and preserve wildlife on campus is part of the Bacardi group of companies' overall "Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future" corporate responsibility platform which includes a focus of environmental sustainability.
"Being Good Spirited means being responsible in every aspect of our business. This project, carried out by our Puerto Rico team is indicative of our company's culture, driven by a desire to support and care for our employees and give back to the communities in which we live and work," said Jose Class, Bacardi Corporation VP of Operations. "We look forward to rolling out future initiatives in Puerto Rico and around the world to protect environmental resources, which allow us to be a good business while doing the right thing for our communities."
The Bacardi Corporation initiative was one of the programs recognized at the WHC Conservation Conference as meeting the strict requirements of the WHC certification. Wildlife at Work certification recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management efforts at corporate sites and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs.
To learn more about Bacardi 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 Wildlife Habitat Council Wildlife Habitat Council partners with corporations, fellow conservation organizations, government agencies and community members to empower and recognize wildlife habitat and conservation education programs. Our members are environmental leaders at local, national and global levels, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them. Since 1988, WHC has certified more than 1,000 habitat and education programs worldwide; WHC Conservation Certification programs can be found in 48 states and 25 countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.
About Bacardi Corporation Bacardi Corporation was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1936, and is part of family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The current facility was built in 1958 on 127 acres in the town of Cataño. The rum production facility is the largest premium rum distillery in the world, and one of the more than 20 Bacardi manufacturing facilities globally.
Since 1961, Bacardi has operated the state-of-the-art Casa BACARDÍ Visitor Center, the second most-visited venue in metro San Juan, drawing nearly 200,000 visitors a year to learn about the rich history of the Bacardi family and brand, as well as its unique production. www.visitcasabacardi.com