The History of Bonsucro

The origins of Bonsucro (formerly BSI)


In June 2005, thirty stakeholders identified the key social and environmental impacts of sugarcane production. They discussed how best to address these impacts through a collaborative approach and came together as the Better Sugar Cane Initiative (BSI).

The BSI was a non-profit initiative dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of sugar cane production. By using a Standard that measured these impacts accurately, and with the development of a system to certify that sustainable practices are being followed, they aimed to improve the way sugar cane was produce across the planet.


In 2009 and 2010, the BSI created Versions 1 and 2 of the BSI Standard. In accordance with ISEAL, the BSI embarked on two 60-day public consultations and a global stakeholder outreach programme.
Funding enabled the BSI to complete the public consultation phase through Stakeholder Outreach Meetings and programs led by the Technical Working Groups (TWG) and the BSI was able to extend the contracts of the TWG Leaders.

With this additional funding to hand, the BSI was in a position to deliver the finished product to the BSI Annual General Meeting for approval in November 2009.

In 2010, BSI focused on the development of the certification model. Without the Packard funding the Better Sugar Cane Initiative would not have been able to consult and engage with global stakeholders. The Technical Working Group leaders were an invaluable component to the Outreach meetings, and mutual respect was given to the leaders and added real importance to the consultation process.

The ultimate aim was a clear set of principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers which collectively amounted to measurable targets, enabling anyone with an invested interest in sugar cane to improve their social and environmental operations. This was proudly achieved.


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.