Bacardi cares about its communities and tries to be the best corporate citizen it can be.
More than $500,000 is donated to projects and causes in Bermuda each year, while around the world that figure tops $4 million.
The company says: “Bacardi Limited has a 150-year history of quality, excellence, ethics and social involvement. Those values were important to our founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó and are still today.
“We are proud of our long and rich heritage of providing support focused on Environment, Education, Health and Social Services, Arts and Culture, and Disaster Relief Assistance.
“We have a long-term interest in fostering healthy and vibrant communities, so when communities succeed we can also succeed as a trusted partner.”
Environment: In 2010 Bacardi Portugal organized ‘B-Responsible Day’. Eighty-eight employees planted 1,000 trees to offset CO2 emissions.
In Puerto Rico, Bacardi helps to recover land and create arboretums through support to Fundacion Munoz Marin.
In Thailand, employees have planted seedlings in eroded coastal mangroves.
Education: Bacardi USA has supported the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, which prepares students for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Health and Social Services: Bacardi Brazil funded life-saving operations for 30 children through the International Children’s Heart Foundation.
Bacardi Russia helps children at the Pechora Orphanage, donating money for toys, games, school supplies, books and DVDs.
Arts and Culture: In Italy, Martini & Rossi provides financial support for the restoration of Turin.
Disaster Relief: In 1852, Don Facundo Bacardi Masso organized food relief for the citizens of Santiago de Cuba after a series of devastating earthquakes.
Since the founding of Bacardi in 1862, that philanthropy has continued through the decades.
For example, in 2010 Bacardi Chile funded 30 emergency housing units in Pescadores, a fishing community destroyed by a tsunami after the 2010 earthquake.
Bacardi Limited donated $50,000 to the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It also donated pallets of relief supplies.
Around the world, staff also donate their time, providing hands-on assistance to local charities and causes.
Bacardi Limited states: “We encourage staff to get involved, and promote employee volunteering. We recognize this is a powerful way to make a difference — by lending our time and resources to programmes an employee feels strongly about.”
In addition to its education awards and scholarships, Bacardi provides financial support to more than 70 charities each year.
Environment: On November 26, 2010, 50 staff took part in a Community Giving Day, assisting the Sunshine League Children’s Home, Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS).
Health and Social Services: Bacardi supports non-profit organizations and makes contributions to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
In 2010 Bacardi committed $50,000 for three years to the Bermuda Heart Foundation, to help the charity in its goal of reducing heart disease-related deaths by 25 per cent.
Arts & Culture: Bacardi is also a sponsor of arts, cultural events and institutions.
It is currently helping to build the Bermuda Zoological Society-Bacardi Café at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo.
The company also sponsors the Bacardi Limited Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art, and the Bermuda Festival of The Performing Arts.
Sport: Bacardi sponsors many sporting events on the island, such as sailing, fishing and golf.
Each year the company also hosts the Bacardi 8k Road Race and Walk.
Disaster Relief: Staff donate to disaster relief around the world.
The company also provides assistance at home. In June 1990, when Bermuda was suffering a prolonged drought, Bacardi loaded its rum tanker in Canada with 700,000 gallons of fresh water and shipped this to Dockyard.
The gesture prompted Premier Sir John Swan to describe Bacardi as “a superb corporate citizen”.
It also inspired cartoonist Peter Woolcock to draw an amusing cartoon (pictured).
Bacardi staff are keenly aware of the economic conditions blighting the island. They cancelled their 2011 children’s Christmas party to donate funds “to help out the community”.
Corporate Responsibility Week: In January 2011 Bacardi launched its Corporate Responsibility Week.
Each year, in the run-up to Founders Day on February 4, staff around the world organize activities for local causes.
Last year, Bermuda employees helped 14 charities and raised $5,000 in two fundraising walks.
Bacardi also raised $3,095 for CADA (Centre for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention) at a cocktail reception.
This year, to mark Bacardi’s 150th anniversary, Corporate Responsibility Week will run for an entire month, in May.
Employee Choice Awards: Each year, Bacardi Limited donates $50,000 to five Bermuda charities.
The Employee Choice Awards started in 2006, the year of the company’s 40th anniversary. Staff choose five local charities from a list of 10, and the top five receive $10,000.
Bacardi continues to foster closer relationships with the people of Bermuda.
The company recently launched the website www.bacardiontherock.bm.
This site contains information on the company’s history (‘The Bacardi Story’), recipes, and a ‘Social Scene’ section with photos and videos from Bacardi-sponsored events.
People can also submit their own photos, giving them a personal presence on the website.
Peter Woolcock's 1990 cartoon