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Bacardi opens Scotch blending and ageing site

Bacardi’s Scotch whisky arm John Dewar & Sons has opened a new blending and ageing facility in central Scotland as part of its £500 million investment in the sector.

The opening of Bacardi’s Poniel Blend Centre & Maturation Warehouse forms part of the group’s £500m investment in Scotch whisky

Said to combine “industrial innovation with environmental sustainability”, the 100-acre Poniel Blend Centre & Maturation Warehouse features 18 warehouses, each of which can hold up to 72,000 casks to create blended Scotch whiskies Dewar’s White Label, William Lawson’s and single malt Aberfeldy.

The centre also forms part of Bacardi’s sustainability drive and includes new technology to enhance water addition, mixing, and control spirit strength, as well as “energy-efficient conveyers” that transport casks on pallets.

This system also enables the movement of whisky between sites in tankers instead of traditional wooden casks, which Bacardi claims reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 metric tons.

“Cutting-edge accomplishments at Poniel reinforce the essence of our forward-thinking vision and organic growth,” said Iain Lochhead, operations director for John Dewar & Sons Ltd.

“We recognise how important it is to preserve and protect the natural resources that exist in the places where we operate. Caring for the environment is at the heart of our corporate heritage.”

In order to efficiently manage water use, the site has implemented a “sustainable urban drainage system” which routes rainwater to a retention pond and provides on-site wetlands for wildlife.

A total of 24 workers run operations at the Poniel Blend Centre & Maturation Warehouse.

Under its “Good Spirited” sustainability program, Bacardi targets three areas to eventually achieve “net zero impact” on the environment.

As part of its “responsible sourcing “ target, the Bermuda-based group is aiming to obtain 40% of sugarcane-derived products used to make its rum from certified, sustainable sources, and 100% by 2022.

In “global packaging”, the group plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10% by 2017 and 15% by 2022.

With regards to “operational efficiencies”, Bacardi is working to cut its cut water use by 55% by 2017 and eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.

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