Bundaberg Rum is surging forward with its sustainability journey after recently installing a 160 kilowatt solar power system at the Visitor Experience Centre.
The system will not only help the local business cut electricity usage by roughly 260 megawatt hours annually, but it will also help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 200 tonnes each year.
Distillery Marketing and Experience Manager Duncan Littler said the installation was part of an even bigger plan to push forward with eco-tourism and sustainable action to better the environment.
“It's a small step, but it's a step in the right direction,” he said.
Sustainability certification support on offer
Bundaberg Rum is the first business in the region to start its sustainability certification.
Following the region's Eco Destination Certification Bundaberg Regional Council is incentivising local businesses wishing to undertake sustainability certification through Ecotourism Australia by offering a 50 per cent cash reimbursement from Council.
The certification promotes tourism operators which leave minimal impact on the environment and community or improve them.
Duncan said Bundaberg Rum had plenty of plans for future targets.
“In 2020 Diageo, who owns Bundaberg Rum, launched its ten-year Sustainability Action Plan, and this is a plan that is underpinned by some very firm targets,” Duncan said.
“Diageo is committed to decarbonise all direct operations in its business, including sites like the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, by 2030.”
“By 2050 we want to decarbonise our whole business and value chain.”
Duncan said the company was also working towards reducing its water usage in the coming years.
“Diageo's ambition is to be using 30 per cent less water per average drink than we were in 2020 and we also want to be designing for change by 2030,” he said.
“We want to ensure that 100% of our packaging is widely recyclable and ensure that 60% of our packaging is made from recycled materials by 2030.”
How to gain a Sustainable Tourism Certification
For businesses and tourism operators following a similar sustainability journey to Bundaberg Rum, there is assistance available.
Bundaberg Regional Council supports Ecotourism Australia’s recognition of the growing demand for sustainability across the entire tourism industry.
Using Ecotourism Australia’s globally recognised criteria, the new Sustainable Tourism Certification program is ideal for tourism businesses that are committed to improving their sustainability and business practices but do not provide nature-based or ecotourism experiences.
Sustainable Tourism Certification is a way for local tourism business to receive official recognition for sustainable initiatives and practices.
To find out more or to apply, go to https://www.ecotourism.org.au/sustainable-tourism-certification