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Tequila Cazadores installs biomass boiler to produce biofuels for spirit production process

Mexico-based Tequila Cazadores distillery has installed a biomass boiler that is designed to harness as much green energy it can from the discards made during regular production of the brand's top-shelf spirits. These discards are then transformed into fuel.

The ashes created within the boiler are used for composting and transforming the ashes into a nutrient-rich soil supplement.

About 60% of the biofuel used to produce Tequila Cazadores, known for using only blue agave, comes from spent agave fibres, which equates to about 11,000 tonnes a year.

The other 40% is made up of about 8,000 tonnes of carbon-neutral, renewable fuel sources such as clean waste wood, biomass briquettes, sawdust, coconut shell, and tree cuttings.

Together, the organic materials fill the enormous biomass boiler where they are transformed into the fuel needed to generate the steam power required for the agave sugar extraction process, cooking and distillation of the brand's tequila.

As part of the Bacardi portfolio of premium spirits brands, Tequila Cazadores is doing its part to advance the company's corporate responsibility to be "good spirited."

The distillery, established in 1973, adeptly reduced greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by more than 80% when it swapped out the two fossil-fuel dependent boilers that used 2,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil each year for the new, clean-burning biomass boiler.

This GHG reduction is equivalent to 6,500 tons of CO2. However, the benefits of the conversion didn't stop there—the new boiler also reduced noise pollution by about 20% compared to the old boilers.

"Global climate changes have the potential to affect Bacardi and the production of our brands. Understanding these realities, we are continuing our focus to minimize environmental impacts companywide," said Eduardo Vallado, vice president of supply chain and manufacturing for Bacardi in the Americas.

He added: "Our Good Spirited initiative is part of our legacy, vital to our growth and sustainability, and this biomass boiler changeover in Mexico, one of many to come, represents our steadfast commitment to our customers and consumers to make the best quality spirits in the most responsible ways."

The boiler conversion took 18 months to plan, 10 months to execute and has been in operation for more than one year. The Arandas facility's biomass boiler is the largest among all of the Bacardi facilities worldwide.

Since 2006, when Bacardi began tracking its global impact on the environment, it has improved water use efficiency by 46% and reduced GHG intensity ratio by 46%. Building on current programmes and efficiencies that reduce its environmental impacts, the Bacardi Limited "Good Spirited" sustainability program sets specific goals in three areas to help the Company reach its vision of a net zero impact:

  • Responsible Sourcing: Bacardi strives to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers. By 2017, the goal is to obtain 40% of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rum from certified, sustainable sources—and 100 percent by 2022.
  • Global Packaging: Bacardi commits to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials. By 2017, Bacardi plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10% and achieve 15% by 2022.
  • Operational Efficiencies: Bacardi continues to focus on reducing water use and GHG emissions with a 2017 goal to cut water use by 55% and GHG emissions by 50%. In addition, Bacardi aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.