Bacardi Limited

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Company: Bacardi Limited
Company Description: Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines including BACARDI®, GREY GOOSE®, DEWAR'S®, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, MARTINI® and more. Founded 153 years ago, family-owned Bacardi employs nearly 6,000 people, manufactures its brands at 29 facilities and sells in more than 160 countries.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Global Issues

Nomination Title: Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1, 2014 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. TEXT REDACTED FOR PUBLICATION

SITUATION:

On February 4, 2014 – the 152nd anniversary of its founding – family-owned Bacardi rolled out its first global sustainability campaign called “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future.” The program was designed to showcase a commitment to reduce environmental impacts in areas critical to making our products: sourcing, packaging and operations. Bacardi uses approximately 12 liters of water per liter of spirit and natural resources such as sugar cane, wheat, and a number of botanicals are critical to producing our more than 200 brands and labels. The sustainability program is directly tied to the natural resources required to produce and distribute our products. At the same time, it makes business sense, saving the Company an estimated US$17M annually. Based on CR Reports issued by Bacardi and top competitors, the Company is already a leader in water, energy and CO2 emissions, but was not sharing this story. The program served as an opportunity to engage stakeholders in our heritage of sustainable business practices.

RESEARCH:

In 2012, a research study identified perception of Bacardi against a number of Corporate Responsibility (CR) categories. Interviews with key stakeholders revealed that while there was an overall perception of Bacardi as “a responsible company,” there was an opportunity to highlight existing programs. Also clear was an expectation that managing environmental impacts would continue to increase in importance. Five of 10 issues of increasing importance were related to sustainability: 1). Direct Environmental Impacts, 2). Sustainability Agriculture and Sourcing, 3). Responsible Supply Chain, 4). Sustainability Packaging and, 5). Local Communities. The first global employee engagement survey ranked employee perception of being “socially responsible” at 89 percent, however, understanding of sustainability programs was limited.

PLANNING:

Using the stakeholder research study, an environmental sustainability strategy with specific targets was developed by Operations. In parallel, Corporate Communications developed a strategy to increase awareness and understanding of existing programs. More than a year before launch, Global Corporate Communications and Operations developed a vision and brand tied to our products (spirits) and a long-term commitment to sustainability.

Internally, the aim was to create passionate brand ambassadors, educate employees on sustainable business practices, and inspire local market activations. External communications objectives were to raise the Company profile in the media and reach 70% of target media (particularly challenging as a private company that does not share financial figures); garner greater support from regulatory, environmental, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) community; and connect with sales and commercial partners who are influenced by CSR policies. A story was crafted using a variety of assets over 24 months. Pre-launch, outreach to engage brand teams, operations leaders and to recruit Green Champions to lead local activations was completed.

EXECUTION:

Internal and external communications launched on Founder’s Day, February 4, 2014 – the 152nd anniversary of Bacardi. Externally, a global multimedia news release, a new sustainability section on the corporate website, and the launch of content on a CSR focused news distribution platform paved the way for sharing stories. Throughout 2014, a global news release was issued twice per month, each divulged to 160 markets where our products are sold and available in 12 languages. Internally, assets were unveiled for local use including branding, employee videos, fact sheets, presentations, electronic signatures in 10 languages, graphics for phone displays, and more eco-friendly products. A “Good Spirited” Hub on the global intranet served as the one-stop shop for content. New content was posted weekly with more than 120 assets are available on the Hub. An online calculator launched to convert employee activities that conserve energy and natural resources into savings of energy, GHG emissions and water. To further reinforce that sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, external content featured more than 30 employees across levels from site managers, packaging developers, to landscapers and blenders.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2014 (up to 150 words).

•More than 120 assets created
•Reached 82.7% target mainstream media (exceeding target of 70%) and 79% of target social media. Secured 1,150 mainstream articles, nearly 100% positive tone and 100% driven by PR efforts
•First appearance on Forbes 2014 “The World’s Most Reputable Companies”
•Recognized by CR community with awards from EPA, Ethical Corporation, Global Water Summit and positioned as thought leader in sustainability case studies and CR industry events
•Commitment to plant a tree when BACARDÍ rum sells led to 11%+ sales in participating state
•60% of the company visited the “Good Spirited” space on global intranet
•50+ employees volunteered as Green Champions
•Employees tracked 8,200+ “Acts of Green” equivalent to saving electricity to power 26 houses/year or reduce GHG emissions equivalent to planting 400 trees
•Internal awards recognized green champions, partnership programs and office and plant improvements
•During CR month, half of employee volunteer activities were sustainability-related