Sustainability

Sugar

We are a leading producer of sugar, ethanol and bioenergy in Brazil.

Across São Paulo state, we are promoting cultivation methods that are in harmony with ecosystems, while maximising economic development for sugarcane farmers and communities.

Responsible sugarcane cultivation

Sugarcane  is the one commodity that we grow and mill ourselves. Both in the field and the mill, we are finding creative ways to optimise use of water and other resources, while reusing wasted by-products wherever we can.

We are using technologies to increase yields, while protecting land for long-term cropping. Innovations include biological pest control, inter-cropping and natural fertilizer from our mills. These are reducing soil erosion and chemical use, while building climate resilience. Read our story here.

Thanks to satellite mapping, we now have a clear picture of land use surrounding sugarcane fields. This helps us avoid impacting indigenous land or areas of high conservation value. Find out more about our environmental practices here.

Certified sustainable ethanol and bioenergy

Certification is one of the tools we deploy to verify sustainable production. The schemes we support include:

Case studies

Drones to monitor native vegetation

In 2018, we introduced drones to aerially map permanent preservation or reforestation areas around sugar fields. This footage helps farmers better monitor native vegetation cover and comply with conservation standards.

Let nature do the work

Our sugar team in Brazil has found clever ways to drive up productivity and drive down agrochemicals. Natural predators such as wasps are replacing pesticides, while organic waste from sugarcane mills steps in for synthetic fertilisers.

Protecting bees and livelihoods, Brazil

Project Pollinate is our programme to build constructive dialogue with our beekeeper neighbours. Working together, we are optimising crop protection methods with bee lifecycles. We also offer technical consultancy to help maximise the health and productivity of beehives.

Brazil’s Sugarcane Industry Union (UNICA) has welcomed Project Pollinate and is seeking to replicate it in other regions of São Paulo state.