Bats are more than just an icon on a label for Bacardí. The company, synonymous with the world’s only flying mammal, stepped up its environmental stewardship efforts at the world’s largest premium rum distillery in Cataño to create a full-circle bat conservation campaign in 2018.
The initiative was applauded during the annual WHC Conservation Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, where Bacardí demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship by securing the WHC Conservation Certification.
This is the first WHC certification for a program in Puerto Rico and the second certification for a Bacardí facility, the first was for the program at Bacardí Bottling Corporation in Jacksonville, FL, which recently achieved re-certification.
“Bacardí is an environmental leader, voluntarily managing its lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them,” said Margaret O’Gorman, president, Wildlife Habitat Council.
“Achieving certification at the Bacardí Corporation facility in Puerto Rico demonstrates the company’s commitment to the environment, employee engagement and community relations,” she said.
The Bacardí bat program in Puerto Rico, spread over several months, offered education to company employees and the local community. The wildlife management process began with educating an all-volunteer employee team about bat species in the area, and their importance to the island’s ecosystem, hosting a day-long exhibition on site, and participation at the “Puerto Rico during Climate Change” event, where booths provided education on the importance of bat conservation.
The initiative also marked the beginning of the Bacardí facility’s ongoing restoration of the natural forest area near the front of the campus which is now home to four of the eight bat houses on site.
The Puerto Rico team plans to expand the size of the forest over time with additional tree and shrub plantings in the surrounding open lawn areas. The goal is to connect the forest patch to the forested area on the south side of the campus. These reforestation efforts will enhance the area’s value to birds, bats and other wildlife on site.