Climate Strike: How sustainable sugarcane can play a part

20th September 2019

Today, thousands of people all over the world are taking the streets to call for stronger action on the climate crisis. From Auckland to Berlin, New York to London, people are making it clear that the status quo is not a tenable option.

Action needs to be taken in all walks of life – and how we grow our crops for food and fuels can play a huge part in mitigating climate change.

Growing and processing sugarcane, as the world’s biggest crop by biomass, in a sustainable way, is crucial.

With climate change affecting every country and sugarcane demand expected to double, a scientific study published in the prestigious PNAS journal suggests globally consistent sustainability standards like Bonsucro offer an effective roadmap to reducing negative impacts of sugarcane production.

The report reveals how global adoption of Bonsucro’s voluntary sustainability standard could halve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (51%) in sugarcane production. With GHG emissions at the highest levels in history, the report highlights Bonsucro’s ability to provide scalable solutions to tackle climate change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To find out more about Bonsucro’s Impacts, go here.

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.