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Bacardi uses propane to power new CHP system

November 21, 2023 By    

Bacardi opened a new combined heat and power (CHP) system in Puerto Rico with which the international spirits company plans to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its Bacardi rum brand in half. Bacardi marked the opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its rum distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico.

The new CHP system replaces heavy fuel oil with propane, which, the company says, shifts the site to even cleaner energy. The system will generate 100 percent of the energy used at the campus, including for the distillery, offices and the visitor center.

Bacardi says it is committed to cutting 50 percent of its GHG emissions globally, across the business, by 2025.

“We are committed to cutting our GHG emissions by reducing our energy consumption and switching to the most sustainable form of energy where we make our beloved brands. We are continuously exploring ways in which we can take more positive steps towards our ultimate goal of net zero across our sites,” says Edwin Zayas, vice president of operations for Bacardi Corp. in Puerto Rico. “We are proud of the work we are doing in Puerto Rico, and across the globe, to be greener and cleaner with our energy.”

Bacardi says it is finding ways to implement new environmental practices, including:

  • The creation of biogas through the cleaning of wastewater to power the distillation and create electricity – more than 60 percent of the distillery’s energy is generated this way;
  • A new treatment system that helps clean the biogas and reduce environmental impacts;
  • Recapturing 95 percent of the heat generated during distillation to reduce the energy required;
  • Developing a new project to capture CO2 from the fermentation process and supply it to the sparkling drinks industry on the island;
  • Planting and nurturing pollinator gardens to support local wildlife in Puerto Rico;
  • And to mark its 161st anniversary, Bacardi will plant 161 coconut trees in Puerto Rico this year. The trees will help regenerate and protect a beach located near the rum distillery, an area that has suffered significant hurricane damage in recent years.

The company says it’s also set other sustainability goals it aims to achieve by 2025. These global targets, which are in addition to its commitment to be 100 percent plastic free by 2030, include:

  • 25 percent cut in water consumption at Bacardi production sites;
  • 100 percent key raw materials and packaging sourced sustainably;
  • 100 percent of product packaging to be recyclable;
  • 40 percent recycled content of product packaging materials;
  • Zero waste to landfills at all Bacardi production sites.

Bacardi Corp., part of Bacardi Ltd., was founded in Puerto Rico in 1936 and has been manufacturing rum since. The current distillery, built in 1958 on 127 acres in Cataño, is the largest premium rum distillery in the world, according to the company.

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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