New code of conduct for members launches

31st March 2020

Following a year of development and consultations with members and stakeholders, Bonsucro has finalised the new Code of Conduct for members and delivered an upgrade to our governance.

The Code of Conduct is the foundation of Bonsucro membership and a key mechanism through which Bonsucro delivers its vision of a sugarcane sector with thriving, sustainable producer communities and resilient, assured supply chains.  All members of Bonsucro commit to complying with the Code of Conduct and it applies to all membership classes.

Bonsucro recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic will have an impact on our members around the world. This is a busy time for businesses to adjust and adapt. The new code comes into effect on 1 April 2020, however existing members are not required to report to us until early 2021.

Bonsucro’s first Code of Conduct was agreed in 2011 and had not been revised in the last ten years.  International voluntary sustainability standards, like Bonsucro, have evolved significantly over the past decade and the new Code of Conduct is been drafted to reflect those changes in expectations and responsibilities.

Bonsucro has ensured that the new Code of Conduct for members is in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. In addition, it draws on the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains. These are important globally agreed frameworks important to Bonsucro and our members working along the sugarcane supply chain.

Bonsucro’s CEO, Danielle Morley, said, “We have reached this important milestone after a year of thinking, drafting and consultations with members and stakeholders. The new Code of Conduct strengthens our governance and commits our members to principles of continuous improvement and respect for human rights in sugarcane supply chains.”

The Code exists to set the basis for the expected behaviours of our members. But it also captures the spirit and values of Bonsucro by asking that members commit to continuous improvement of their environmental and social impacts.

Norma Tregurtha, the Director of Policy and Partnerships at ISEAL said, “Companies are increasingly facing pressure to carry out robust due diligence on human rights and other sustainability issues. With the revision of its membership requirements and complaints mechanism, Bonsucro has gone a long way to strengthen its system so that it can more effectively support supply chain due diligence efforts”

The new code was developed following extensive consultations with both members and non-members which started in November 2018.

Meredith Smith, Vice Chair of the Membership Council said, “The process to update the Bonsucro Code of Conduct was taken very seriously, and the updated Code of Conduct reflects many hours of discussion and input from the Members Council, Secretariat, Board, Code of Conduct Working Group and internal and external stakeholders over the past year. This final version strengthens Bonsucro Members’ commitments to improving sugarcane sustainability and provides tools for sharing and reporting on best practices to other Bonsucro Members. “

The full code of conduct, an implementation guide and a reporting guide are available on our website here.

All members are requested to make best efforts to join one of the webinars where the secretariat will introduce the new Code and explain everything you need to know to ensure you are able to comply with the changes. These will be held in different time zones and languages and available to download afterwards:

22 April 8am BST in English: sign up here

22 April 3pm BST in English: sign up here

23 abril 6pm BST en espanol: resgistrate aqui

23 abril 4pm BST em português: registre-se aqui

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.