MIAMI, Florida – Bacardi Limited is a family-owned corporation that is a “vibrant spirits company.” It is in the seventh generation of family ownership, and has become the third largest spirits company around the globe. It is the largest privately held spirits corporation in the entire world.
The company, according to the website, is based on quality, creativity, and perseverance. Bacardi Limited opened in 1862 as a tiny distillery for rum making. Bacardi Rum was the first product sold. Although a company that sells alcohol may not seem like a prime candidate for corporate social responsibility, with Bacardi Limited’s recent initiative, the company has shown that even a “vibrant spirits company” can care about the world and about its community.
The Bacardi Limited initiative was started in order to give back to global communities. In 2012, Bacardi Limited celebrated its 150th anniversary, and decided it was time to start giving back. The initiative was meant to revive, restore, and renovate communities on a global scale. This month-long initiative involved employee projects that were based on volunteerism, in communities around the world. There was a wide variety of projects in order to benefit the local communities of the world, as well as the environment. The catchphrase of this initiative was “Spirit for Life, Caring Together.”
Part of this initiative involved the Bacardi Americas Headquarters in Florida, where the employees spent time volunteering in order to engage in dune restoration with the Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter. The employees helped to remove the overgrowth of certain invasive and exotic plants from public beaches in Florida. They also helped to clean up the beach by removing weeds and garbage, in order to make it safer for local wildlife to growth, as well as safer and more enjoyable for the locals who would spend time at the beach. This example of a single project emphasized Bacardi Limited’s focus on environmental sustainability throughout the month-long initiative.
Another piece of the initiative has been a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and maximize the use of natural resources. This commitment is just a continuance of what has already passed; Bacardi Limited has reduced its water consumption by 50% and its energy use by 33% in the past six years, which is an incredible feat in itself. Other volunteer-based programs focused on disadvantaged people, such as those who do not have proper access to basic needs including food, water, clothes, and shelter.
Overall, over 2/3 of Bacardi Limited employees engaged in community programs over the month of May, in 35 different countries. Around 9,500 employee volunteer hours were logged over 98 different volunteer programs. Most of the programs were focused on helping the environment and disadvantaged people, but all of the programs did one thing: improved the community in some way. The President and CEO of Bacardi Limited, Ed Shirley, said that it feels good to give back, since the community has helped the company grow over the past 150 years, it was the least that they could do. In the future, Bacardi Limited will continue to pursue social corporate responsibility, and will most certainly continue to encourage employees to volunteer for local community projects, as well as make sure the company itself reduces its environmental harm.
– Corina Balsamo
Sources: WSJ, Syntao, Bacardi Limited