Lisa Pfenning of Bacardí Talks About the Brand’s Heritage and History

Nov 15, 2019 4:25 PM ET

BACARDÍ is one of the most iconic spirits brands in the world.

The rum house has been around for more than 150 years, and it continues to push innovation with each passing decade. To learn more about how BACARDÍ celebrates its heritage and history, we chatted with Lisa Pfenning, the Vice President Americas, BACARDÍ Rum Portfolio. Pfenning shares insight about how the company got started, how they’ve adapted to modern times and how they are leading the spirits industry in sustainability initiatives.

BACARDÍ is leading the way in the spirits industry when it comes to sustainability initiatives. Has this always been a priority for the brand, or was it a recent choice to be more eco-conscious?

BACARDÍ has been focused on sustainability efforts for a number of years. We began tracking global impact on the environment in 2006 and have since made notable improvements in several areas, including water use efficiency and reduced GHG intensity. Building on current programs and efficiencies that reduce its environmental impacts, the Bacardi Limited “Good Spirited” environmental sustainability program sets specific goals in Responsible Sourcing, Global Packaging and Operational Efficiencies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use to help the company reach its vision of a net zero impact.

Last year, Bacardi Limited and Lonely Whale joined forces to help rid the environment of single-use plastic, including the goal to eliminate one billion single-use plastic straws by 2020. Through a series of corporate and brand collaborations, events, and calls-to-action around the world, the brand has encouraged consumers to join the campaign entitled #TheFutureDoesntSuck.

This fall, BACARDÍ launched the newest component of the partnership, the Straw Vinyl program, through which we are collecting single-use plastic straws from 55 bars across the country to upcycle them into limited-edition vinyl records. The final upcycled limited-edition vinyl records will become available for purchase on Giving Tuesday, December 3, exclusively on One hundred percent of the proceeds from the straw vinyl will go back to Lonely Whale.

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