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Commitment to Sustainability

The Brazilian sugarcane industry is committed to sustainable development and good stewardship of the country’s vast resources. This commitment includes:

  • Best Practices – Employing modern agronomic management techniques to enhance productivity and protect the environment
  • Labor Conditions – Creating a safe and responsible work environment
  • Food and Energy – Providing both food and fuel from agriculture
  • Land Use – Preserving biodiversity and protecting precious resources

In addition, Brazil’s government has enacted a comprehensive package of environmental policies that serve as a model for other countries, with a wide range of federal and state laws that balance social and economic development with environmental preservation.

For example, environmental licenses are required to locate, install, expand and operate sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity mills. Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) – which evaluate the environmental, social and industrial factors of a proposed project – must be conducted to obtain a license. The EIS must be approved by both the Environmental State Secretariat and the Environmental State Council (CONSEMA), a group composed of representatives from government authorities and civil society (including labor unions, NGOs and professional organizations). Operation licenses must be renewed every 2 years for ethanol plants and energy cogeneration units, and every 3 years in the case of sugar mills.

A partial list of the main environmental legal provisions that apply to the sugarcane sector includes the following.

Learn more about how the Brazilian sugarcane industry certifies and reports on its sustainability programs.