For every gallon of rum Bacardi produces, five gallons of organic waste material are generated. Bacardi is at the forefront of using this waste to generate biogas (methane) as a by-product of the treatment process.
The untreated waste goes through three filters where biogas is produced by the anaerobic digestion of the biodegradable waste molasses. The gas is cleaned using a biogas sulphur removal system. The biogas generated is kept in a storage sphere until needed, at which point it is used to fire boilers that produce steam to heat the stills, or it can be used to drive turbines to make electricity. Anaerobic biogas producing 75 per cent of the energy used in the plant.
Although Puerto Rico is an island, fresh water supplies are very limited on the island. Bacardi has built a waste water treatment plant. It uses an ultraviolet system and filtration to clean waste water so it can be re-used in the production process, so reducing water consumption by approximately 22,000 gallons per day.
Bacardi also boasts two of Puerto Rico's largest wind turbines which have become landmarks on San Juan Bay. Installed in 2010 and operated by Aspenall Energies LLC, a locally based renewable energies specialist, each 250kw wind turbine has a height of 137ft and a rotor diameter of 75ft. Together, they harness sea winds to produce 100 per cent of the energy required to power Bacardi's large visitor centre.
Bacardi is also very active when it comes to recycling. Unwanted or broken wooden pallets are chipped to turn the wood into garden mulch and Bacardi also supports a local cooperative which manufactures eco-friendly carrier bags from recycled promotional banners.