Member Spotlight: Magaly Feliciano LozadaSeptember 22, 2022 | BIER
Connect with Magaly on LinkedIn
Welcome to our series aimed at spotlighting the individual leaders within BIER member companies and stakeholder organizations. Learn how these practitioners and their companies are addressing pressing challenges around water, energy, agriculture, climate change, and what inspires each of them to advance environmental sustainability in the beverage sector and collectively, overall.
Briefly describe your role and responsibilities and how long you have worked with your company.
I’m the Global Sustainability Director for Bacardi. I joined the Bacardi family 13 years ago. During my first years in Bacardi, my efforts were focused on driving environmental stewardship at the world’s largest rum distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico. Apart from managing the environmental requirements for the distillery, one of the achievements that makes me proud was helping create a continuous improvement mentality in the sustainability area of this Great Place to Work.
Currently, as Global Sustainability Director, I am responsible for supporting all of our iconic brands with their sustainability initiatives, ensuring that at every step of the journey, from field to bottle to cocktail, the brands respect and care for the environment. To achieve this, I develop and ensure the implementation of sustainability strategies and programs across all Bacardi sites and with our business partners too.
Briefly, the scope of my responsibilities include:
- To build the sustainability understanding within the organization to determine the best approach linked to the key success factors for the company
- To improve performance by setting industry-leading sustainability standards and ensuring consistent application through the entire supply chain process
- To develop and own the capital expenditure plan according to the sustainability priorities
- To manage talent for expertise and leadership development in the environmental sustainability field
How has the company’s sustainability program evolved over the years, and what are your specific priorities for 2022?
Sustainability has always been a priority for Bacardi. Back in 1862, our founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, knew that healthy ecosystems mattered. Today, we are taking bold actions to reduce our impact on the planet – from our water consumption and energy use to our waste and single-use plastics.
In 2018 we launched our ESG program called Good Spirited. The program has four pillars: Good Choices, Good Futures, Good Sources, and Good Footprint.
Our Good Spirited sustainability targets are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At Bacardi, our goals are:
- Cut greenhouse gases by 50% by 2025
- Cut water consumption by 25% by 2025
- 100% key ingredients & packaging certified sustainable by 2025
- 100% plastic free by 2030
- Zero plastic point of sale materials by 2023
- Zero plastic secondary packaging by 2023
- 100% packaging recyclable by 2025
- 40% recycled content by 2025
- Zero waste to landfill in all operations by 2022
The strategy has remained the same, yet the consciousness has evolved in a positive sense. The strategy has been deployed to all levels and functions within the organization. Sustainability is part of the criteria for our product development, materials purchasing, process and packaging design, transportation means even marketing. So, today I can proudly say that sustainability is embedded in the global, local, and individual agendas.
For 2022, we are continuing our focus on efforts to reduce water consumption in all our sites and implementing the actions established in our emissions reduction roadmap. Our top priorities are the installation of combined heat and power at our BACARDÍ rum distillery here in Puerto Rico and the energy recovery systems at our PATRÓN tequila distillery in Mexico; making sustainable secondary packs by eliminating single-use plastic, and working on the development of the world’s first biodegradable spirits bottle.
How do you feel being a BIER member will help you successfully address the key areas you are addressing in 2022?
As a member of BIER, we have the opportunity to select and choose the workstream agendas for the year ahead and ensure that the BIER efforts, workstreams, and guides add value to our work here at Bacardi. Additionally, because of our member participation, we can ensure that the work is aligned with our priorities to work around current and common issues. For example, as previously stated, water stewardship is a top priority for Bacardi, as it is for BIER. Apart from the existing guidelines, this year BIER has three (3) different workstreams to work around water (Off-Site Water Circularity Good Practices Guide, Practical Perspectives Guide on Water Replenishment/ Regeneration, and Charco Bendito Collaboration).
Similarly, with the climate change aspect of BIER, there is the workstream with the Facility Climate Resiliency Toolkit. The result of this workstream will help me to address the emissions impact. So, there is a continuous effort from BIER to look for innovative approaches and tools, and methodologies that are beneficial to the members and support us in moving to the next level.
One of the guides that has been particularly helpful is the water and energy benchmarking report. Because the benchmark report touches on all the main areas (water, energy, and emissions), it gives us a framework for where we operate and where we need to make decisions. We want to be realistic when we set our targets while also reaching for what is possible. The benchmarking reports support our internal decision-making related to understanding what the practical solutions are and what is possible within our sector, especially in comparison with our competitors and colleagues. The benchmark report helps us to calibrate our efforts in that sense, in terms of discerning where we stand in the environmental and sustainability arena.
Name one of the practical solutions or best practices you learned in working with BIER and its members and why it was important to you and/ or your company.
Bacardi is committed to doing the right thing for the environment, which is why we have a target to expand water stewardship efforts beyond our operations. The experience with the Charco Bendito project is a big learning opportunity. This collaborative project has given us the opportunity to proactively take action in regard to the water-related risks and opportunities that we all face in the beverage industry. For Bacardi, this project is a pilot to understand and gain knowledge on the specifics, including:
- the agreement approaches
- the location selection, to choose a meaningful basin for all the companies
- the technical details of the action plan and
- how to monitor the benefits through key performance.
For Bacardi, this experience is only the beginning, and the Charco Bandito project serves as a model to follow in other locations.
Share a recent accomplishment of your company’s sustainability initiatives/achievements you are most proud of and why.
There is a long list of sustainability initiatives implemented by Bacardi since we launched the sustainability strategy containing five pillars: GHG Emissions, Water, Responsible Sourcing, Waste Management, and Plastic. We have made progress in each of the pillars, such as,
- 100% of our electrical power is green energy – solar / wind / hydroelectric power – at more than half of our production sites, including MARTINI, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, DEWAR’S, CAZADORES, and Tultitlán in Mexico,
- Bacardi brands have drawn closer to our goal of zero waste with extraordinary efforts made around the globe to achieve zero waste to landfill in operations by 2022. In fact, Bacardi is already 99.8% of the way there.
- In the next year, we will have removed all single-use plastic from our secondary packs and our point-of-sales materials.
While these achievements are truly remarkable and encouraging, the achievement that makes me most proud is our consistency in improving efficiency in water consumption. Despite increases in production, the use of this essential ingredient in our products has continued to decline. To date, water consumption measured in liters per production unit has been reduced by 12% compared with 2015. This was possible thanks to working groups in the production sites that are focused on seeking improvement opportunities and addressing them as a high priority. Some examples of these initiatives are: improving cleaning cycles in bottling lines, treatment of process waters to be reused, replacement of water seal pumps, monitoring and control of water treatment systems, reuse of condensate water in boilers, and there are many more.
Speaking of the working groups and operational crews, these teams in operations look at the data management systems and have keen insights into our processes. Given that, it is often the small and specific actions that are the ones that support continuous improvement related to our sustainability goals. What is best of all is that this is owned by the operators, those working at all levels of the organization. As I mentioned earlier, sustainability is truly embedded in our culture. So that makes me very, very proud in terms of what we have achieved in our company. To honor this, we offer the Good Spirited Award. It is presented annually to recognize those efforts and achievements and also to motivate our teams further to maintain the focus on continuous improvement.
If you had one superpower that could be used to radically accelerate and scale sustainable best practices, which one would it be, and how would you use it?
If I had a superpower, I would like to have a superpower that accelerates the advent of new technologies and innovations that help us meet and exceed our sustainability goals.
Fortunately for me at Bacardi, the sustainability values of the company and the embedded nature of sustainability in the culture of the company have been critical in our continuous investment in new technology and innovations. This has been a critical part of our journey and contributed to our success in reaching our sustainability goals. It is part of the company’s values and strategy to do the right thing and to make sustainability a priority. So that affords me the opportunity to execute and develop those work plans that allow us to move towards our goals. Given the embedded nature of sustainability throughout our organization, my hope is that the sustainability mindset will expand and reach others.
BIER Publications referenced in this interview:
2021 Water and Energy Use Benchmarking Study
The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) is a technical coalition of leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector.
By BIER [crp]