Bacardi Cuts Emissions by 20K Tonnes, KPMG Reports 7 Percent Drop

Bacardi Cuts Emissions by 20K Tonnes, KPMG Reports 7 Percent Drop

[Editor's note: Updates with clarified percentages for KPMG goals.]

Bacardi Ltd., the world's largest privately held spirits company, cut greenhouse gas emissions 9.2 percent in the last fiscal year by increasing efficiencies and the use of renewable energy, while KPMG LLP shrank its carbon footprint in the U.S. by 7 percent by reducing air travel, use of electricity and waste.

The two firms detailed their progress toward environmental goals in reports released Thursday.

Bacardi makes the rum that bears the same name, Grey Goose vodka, Dewar's Scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Martini vermouth, Cazadores tequila and 200 other brands and labels.

With 27 plants in 17 countries, Bacardi says all its production facilities are now certified to the global standards ISO 9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001 for quality, environment, and health and safety. It is currently the only major spirits company to have done so.

Its corporate responsibility report (pdf) says that in fiscal year 2009, Bacardi:

  • Decreased total water use by 4 percent, bringing it to 2.6 million cubic meters. Total water use in the past three years decreased 19.3 percent. Water efficiency -- the amount of water used per unit of output -- rose 2.8 percent since 2008, making improvement in the past three years 9.5 percent and placing the company on track for its five-year target of 15 percent improvement by 2011.
  • Decreased total energy use 6.1 percent, bringing it to 2,225,000 giga-joules. Overall energy use has dropped 9.2 percent in the past three years. Energy efficiency improved 7.2 percent in 2009, bring the improvement over the past three years to 11.2 percent. The company's five-year target is 12 percent improvement by 2011.
  • Met its goal of obtaining more than 12 percent of the direct energy it needed from renewable sources. The achievement represents a 20 percent improvement over the last three years and enabled the company to hit its five-year target for improvement in this area two years early.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 9.2 percent, making its reduction in the past years 14.5 percent. Total CO2 equivalent emissions were 121,598 tonnes in 2009, compared with 142,212 in 2006. GHG emissions per unit of production improved 11.1 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, with improvement over the past three years coming to 17.5 percent.
  • Became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, which commits the company to aligning with the compact's principles on human rights, labor standards, environment and anti-corruption.
  • Was elected to the Management Committee of the Better Sugarcane Initiative, which works toward more responsible sourcing of sugarcane.

Audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP is the U.S. member company of the KPMG International Cooperative. KPMG LLP, which has 90 offices in the United States, began analyzing its carbon footprint in 2007 and committed to developing and implementing sustainable business practices through its program called Living Green in 2008.

KPMG's second Living Green report (pdf) says the company exceeded all seven of its first-year targets in 2008 and details the efforts that contributed to the 7 percent reduction in its carbon footprint, compared to the baseline year 2007.

Data on 2008 performance was collected and analyzed in 2009 to compile the report that was released last week.

The firm's achievements include reducing non-recycled solid waste by 54 percent (the target had been a 10 percent drop within three years) and increasing recycling by 13 percent, the report says. The company credits its 90 Living Green teams, which were formed by employees in each office, for the accomplishments.

The firm, which determined that 90 percent of its carbon footprint resulted from air travel and electricity consumption, also brought its:

  • Air travel to 304,332,846 miles. Its goal for 2008 had been no more than 310,741,590 in air miles, which would represent a third of KPMG's three-year goal of cutting air mileage by 5 percent.
  • Energy consumption in offices to 99,896,876 kWh of electricity. Its goal had been electricity consumption of no more than 100,491,038 kWh in 2008, which also represents a third of the firm's three-year goal for a 5 percent reduction in this category.
  • Use of paper to 3,926,108 pounds. The goal was to bring paper use to 3,937,608 in 2008, about a third of the targeted three-year reduction of 15 percent. Of the paper the company uses, 82.7 percent contains recycled content and the same percentage comes from sustainable forests; the goals for each in 2008 had been 17 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

In addition, KPMG's Living Green strategy includes a commitment that all new construction and major renovations are certified to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in no more than three years. One hundred percent of the company's building projects in 2008 met those standards, exceeding the company's target of at least 27 percent in the first year.

In 2009, the firm's offices in Orange and San Diego counties moved to new green quarters, its campus in Nashville was LEED certified and KPMG formally unveiled it new state-of-art technology center at its site in Montvale. N.J.

Earlier this month, the 25-story KPMG Building in San Francisco, which was acquired by Hines US Core Office Fund in 2004 and has KPMG as its major tenant, attained LEED-Gold certification as an existing building.

Elements of photo illustration courtesy of Bacardi Ltd. and KPMG LLP.