Ingenio Providencia achieves latest Bonsucro certification in Colombia

14th June 2019

Ingenio Providencia has become the second mill in the Colombia to obtain certification under Bonsucro’s Production and Chain of Custody Standards. The company is part of Organización Ardila Lülle group. The mill, which began operating in 1926, is located in El Cerrito, western Colombia.

Tyrone Siachoque Gaete, Ingenio Providencia’s Human Resources Manager, explained to us how their company culture of sustainability led to the decision to pursue Bonsucro certification. According to the mill, they have strived to include environmental and social development in everything they do. This has also included wider initiatives such as the Providencia Integral Training Center, Providencia Educa, Providencia Connect, Soccer School, School for Leadership, and Educating for the Future, which strive to create opportunities for the communities in which Ingenio Providencia operates. Ingenio Providencia sees Bonsucro certification as a milestone in their sustainability journey, and an opportunity to be recognised for their work and dedication.

We asked Dr Siachoque more about their journey to certification:

What were some of the key elements to your success in the certification process?

A core team was gathered who worked on preparing the company for certification. This team was established by the General Manager of the Company and was led by the Human Resources Department. It included members from our Quality Assurance, Field, Harvest, Factory, Laboratories, Logistics, Marketing, and Costs divisions. The certification process was a success achieved by this huge collaborative effort.

Were there changes that you implemented during the Bonsucro certification process that have improved your sustainability footprint?

Using the Bonsucro Standards and Calculator the core team were able to identify shortfalls in our sustainability practices. We then made sure that any changes that needed to be made to our operations were done well and efficiently, to maximise value. For example, the work done in the plants and the field helped to improve our productivity.

Despite having many other certifications and having a very structured quality assurance system, Bonsucro and its tools, the Standard and the Bonsucro Calculator, offered us the opportunity to establish new sustainability indicators and identify and close some gaps.
Tyrone Siachoque Gaete

It was important to Ingenio Providencia SA that any changes we made to our operations to comply with the Standards matched our company ethos of sustainability. These changes included the implementation of more efficient irrigation systems as well as the effective disposal of solid waste. We also established mobile solutions to service in field workers better, including water tankers with potable water, nursing and sanitary services, and more than 36 rest areas.

Now that Ingenio Providencia has achieved Bonsucro certification, what is next for you on your sustainability journey?

We would like to continue improving our performance against some of the Bonsucro indicators to further our achievement. We are also engaging and developing a number of of our farmers in our Bonsucro journey, to enable them to pursue certification for their cane.

We will continue to promote our Bonsucro certification to our clients, as evidence of our sustainable production practices. We hope that as we do this, our buyers will increasingly recognise our compliance with the Bonsucro standards as sufficient evidence of our sustainable operations.

Bonsucro & Renovabio: Exploring synergies and advancing GHG reduction in Brazil

Project partners: Earth innovation Institute and Agroicone
Project length: 12 months Budget: $22,347,79
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals:

RenovaBio is a Brazilian biofuel policy designed to decrease Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2029 [compared to 2018], in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. It aims to do this by incentivising fuel distributors to blend more biofuels into their products. RenovaBio has established a certification scheme for biofuel, towards which Brazilian sugarcane mills are working, that will enable them to trade decarbonisation credits on the Brazilian stock exchange.

Bonsucro continuously seeks to grow awareness and adoption of its standard. In Brazil, this can be achieved by aligning its framework with RenovaBio to optimise costs and time for mills. In 2019, Bonsucro received a grant of US $22,000 from the Earth Innovation Institute to provide a common understanding of how RenovaBio works and how other regions might benefit from this approach.

Bonsucro addressed the topic at Bonsucro Global Week in Bangkok in March 2019, and through three stakeholder forums in Brazil. The Bonsucro team also commissioned a technical comparison study, which enabled the organisation to understand how best to align with RenovaBio’s requirements.

The study has been shared with key stakeholders in Brazil and the project is now complete. Bonsucro is working to incorporate the study’s findings and recommendations through its ongoing Production Standard Revision process.

By aligning opportunities of optimisation, joint work and integration with the Brazilian Government and reflecting it in the Bonsucro Standard, Bonsucro can help to ensure that more producers adopt sustainability standards like Bonsucro.