The net-zero martini: How Bacardi's uses biomass to distill gin

The net-zero martini: How Bacardi's uses biomass to distill gin

Bacardi Bombay Sapphire Laverstoke Mill net zero distillery
Bombay Sapphire
Beverage giant Bacardi is pushing the envelope on sustainable spirits with its new Bombay Sapphire gin distillery, the U.K.'s Laverstoke Mill.

As increased emphasis on sustainability transforms the way businesses manage economic, environmental and social risks, individual companies are seeking out new ways to gain global competitive advantages and achieve long-term stakeholder value.

Bacardi, the world's largest privately owned spirits company with some 200 brands in its portfolio, provides one example of how that process is playing out with is premium gin offering, Bombay Sapphire.

The company is setting new standards in industrial sustainability at its new distillery at Laverstoke Mill in England, which was opened in October.

From the outset, Bacardi had drawn up ambitious plans to create a model for sustainabile spirits when it set out to redevelop Laverstoke Mill. Now, Bombay Sapphire has made sure that nothing is wasted at the distillery, helping to fulfill Bacardi’s company-wide vision of net-zero impact on the environment.

The distillery’s eco-conscious design includes a simple system to collect used gin botanicals and deliver it to a biomass boiler that can burn any suitable organic matter. This process generates immense heat that is required to distill the gin.

Apart from generating energy from leftovers, the distillery has embraced a sustainable approach in various other facets of the operation.

BREEAM, the world’s leading environmental rating system for buildings, has conferred the coveted 2014 BREEAM Industrial Award to the Bombay Sapphire distillery.

BREEAM gave the project top marks for the lowest possible environmental impact because of its use of renewable materials and the low-carbon energy it generates from the biomass boiler.

At a company-wide level, Bacardi’s “Good Spirited” platform also promotes sustainable business practices across its portfolio.

The company is consistently improving operational efficiencies to reduce water and energy use and cut down GHG emissions. Bacardi has made an industry-first pledge to obtain 40 percent of its sugar-cane-derived products from certified, sustainable sources by 2017, and 100 percent by 2022.

In terms of sustainable packaging, Bacardi plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10 percent by 2017, and 15 percent by 2022.

The company’s commitment to improve operational efficiencies includes a goal to reduce water use by 55 percent and GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2017. Additionally, it aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.

This article originally appeared at JustMeans.