Bacardi Gives New Life to ‘Good Spirited’ Barrels

By Erik Oster 

Bacardi has launched “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future,” described as an “environmental initiative for sourcing, packaging and operational efficiencies across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits brands.” The new initiative builds on existing programs and efficiencies in an attempt to “reduce water and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.”

One aspect of the in-house campaign, highlighted in the above online video, is recycling of oak barrels used for aging Bacardi rum. Bacardi ages their rum in American white oak barrels, in some cases for many years, to instill their product with “richness, aroma and smoothness.” Usually these barrels are used continuously for about 20 years or so until they are retired. But even at this point, they haven’t become useless. At the Bacardi Corporation in Puerto Rico, “old barrels are ground into woodchips that are then spread as mulch for landscaping.” This commendable recycling effort helps beautify Bacardi’s 127-acre campus, while also supplying employees with nutrient rich mulch for their own lawns and gardens. “If we didn’t recycle, our barrels would eventually go to a landfill, which is not the best option for a small island like Puerto Rico,” explains Lissette Sepulveda, environmental health & safety coordinator for Bacardi Corp.


The “Good Spirited” campaign is built around specific goals in three areas: responsible sourcing, global packaging, and operational efficiencies. Bacardi pledges to source “all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers,” to “use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials,” and has pledged to reduce water use and greenhouse gas emissions — with a “2017 goal to cut water use by 55 percent and GHG emissions by 50 percent.” To learn more about Bacardi’s “Good Spirited” campaign, head on over the the campaign website and check out the video above for more on their barrel recycling efforts.