China: Accelerating Progress

14th June 2018

It was only fairly recently that China, one of the biggest sugarcane producers in the world, had no Bonsucro members. Yet since the first member arrived towards the end of 2016, the Chinese industry has made impressive steps towards sustainability through Bonsucro.

In April 2018, the first Bonsucro certification in China was achieved by Guangxi Ningming East Asia Sugar Co, followed by a second in May, by Guangxi East Asia Funan Refinery Sugar Co. Both are located near to the Vietnamese border in Guangxi province, and sells their products to global brands, many of whom are Bonsucro members.

Over the past few years, Bonsucro has steadily increased its engagement with the country’s sugarcane industry due to its status as a key origin and a market for sugarcane-derived products. Before the Bonsucro Standards could be used in the country, however, first they had to be registered with the China National Certification Association (CNCA). Through a partnership with SGS China the Standards were translated to Chinese, along with Bonsucro’s training materials. Bonsucro has also been working with the Guangxi Provincial Government to promote Bonsucro’s Standards and the certification process throughout the province. Earlier in June, Bonsucro, SGS China and the Guangxi Provincial Government organised a summit to introduce Bonsucro and its Standards and Certifications with over 100 participants from most millers in Guangxi. The summit was successful with a very positive response from participants.

Instrumental to this acceleration in China was the appointment of Bonsucro’s Regional Director for Asia, Rick Lyu, in early 2017, which allowed greater engagement with Bonsucro stakeholders in the region. “The developments in China are very exciting for Bonsucro and its members – we are seeing a great deal of interest in Bonsucro from the Chinese industry. We are expecting a lot of growth in terms of engagement with Bonsucro in China”, said Rick. “The country’s industry see Bonsucro as the ideal way to demonstrate their sustainability credentials in a credible, globally recognised way”.

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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.